The 2016 Pacific Cup will be remembered for the big wind and seas that challenged some racers with broken boats and bodies, but pushed many in the fleet to record breaking passages. I personally loved the experience of sailing an offshore with the sights of San Francisco at the start, and approaching the island of Hawaii at the finish, 2070nm later.
Manouch Moshayedi’s super maxi Rio100 sped across the Pacific to set a new Pacific Cup Fastest Passage record. With an elapsed time of 5 days, 2 hours, 41 mins and 13 seconds, Rio100 knocked two hours off the record set in 2004 by Robert Miller, whose 139-foot Mari Cha IV finished with an elapsed time of 5 days, 5 hours, 38 minutes and 10 seconds. Congratulations to the Rio team!
We did the race on board Varuna VI in 5 days, 20 hours, 42 minutes, 19 seconds. In my mind we left about 12 hours on the race track, but it was an awesome experience with a fantastic team. We did get a little scrape on the way, but nothing that halted our speeds across the Pacific. Check out the video here.
The boat is now packed up and ready to head to Sydney for the Rolex Sydney Hobart this year. I am in England, and will head to Cowes Week in the next few days, before flying back to Australia for Hamilton Island Race Week.
Looking forward to a few good weeks of racing ahead.
After competing with Varuna VI in the Rolex Middle Sea Race last year, and then the RORC Caribbean 600 in February, I was also invited to join the team for Les Voiles De Saint-Barth in April.
For me it was great to see the old Varuna IV (now Tonnerre) next to the Varuna VI on the dock… A few times from up the rig as you can see.
This trip again involved a bit of work in the lead up to the regatta, back in Antigua, for me playing with carbon. We extended the boom by 1.2 metres to fit a mainsail that was on delivery with an extra 22 square metres.
I then delivered the boat to Saint-Barth and prepped her for racing.
The regatta for our team was purely to test the new main, and to look at how we can improve the boat leading into the Pacific Cup, where I will also race with the team.
Looking like a busy year, but as always BoaTEC Australia will get the job done.
The RORC Caribbean 600 is now one of my favourite ocean races. Picture a 600 miler, in 18 knots plus, in shorts and a t-shirt around some pretty good looking islands. And that is not including the rum punch at the finish…
I got the late call up to head to Antigua in February to help get Varuna VI (Kerr 54) ready for racing, and jump on for the race as a helmsman and a handy all-rounder after doing the Rolex Middle Sea Race with the team last year. Great experience, and this race is now on my “must repeat” list.
There are plenty more pics and videos from on board with Varuna on the BoaTEC Australia Facebook Page, or you might like to check out the official video below.