July 21, 2010

Nothing left to do but celebrate! Pacific Cup 2010 – San Francisco to Hawaii

The dust has settled and in the end we pulled off the rare “Clean Sweep” and then some. Conditions allowed us to complete the 2070nm course in a little over 8 days 10 hours. This was good enough for first to finish, first in class, first overall, and a new course record for a Santa Cruz 50. Another perk will be the family trophy awarded to he top boat with two or more family members aboard. I was fortunate to sail across the ocean with my dad and Navigator, Jon Shampain.

In the period of eight and a half days we saw every condition other then really light air and only sailed minimal miles over the rated distance of

the race. We started out with a #3 jib and beat out under the Golden Gate Bridge exchanging tacks with our fleet of 50 footers and a couple of faster 40 footers. The next day as the wind lightened slightly and backed a few degrees we shifted to the heavy #1 Genoa. By day three the wind had built and backed enough to get the #2 Jib Top up and a Genoa Staysail underneath it. As the wind continued to back we were able to get up the 3A. Perhaps we could have put it up earlier but we working hard to keep the high lane in our fleet. This would be key later in the extension of our lead. After popping the 3A the wind quickly went aft enough to get the 4A up. Now we were lit up in the high lane. By the next day (day 4 or 5 at this point) we had sailed fast down in front of our class. We extended from there and never looked back. Only one day in the middle, California Condor, a new Antrim Class 40, looked good briefly before breaking there rudders. With 800nm to go we threw in a jibe and that was it. Straight to the finish! We changes from the 4A, to the 3A, to the 4A, and then the 2A the day before our finish.

The Horizon Program has every advantage possible. She just went through a major refit at Choate’s in Southern California. She has a professional Boat Captain and Navigator, Jon Shampain (and my father!). She has an owner who loves his boat to death and a steady crew who loves sailing her. And finally she has an all Ullman Sails inventory that is continually updated and upgraded. For this race we built a new Carbon #2 Jib Top, an AirX 700 4A, an AirX 600 2A, and a carbon #3 jib. And wouldn’t you know it, those were exactly the sails used the majority of the time!

The track record speaks for itself. Let Ullman Sails fill in the magic piece or your winning puzzle.

Erik Shampain

Ullman Sails