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J/35 Great Scot wins Division 4
Coast Guard alert for Vapor

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July 14 Position reports

by Rich Roberts

Honolulu Hawai`i (July 14, 1999) - Diminishing trade winds chased Tom Garnier's 35-foot Great Scot toward Diamond Head early Wednesday afternoon for an apparent claim on the 40th Transpacific Yacht Race's last outstanding first-place trophy. Three other Div. 4 boats finished earlier, but Garnier's smaller J/35 from Los Angeles Yacht Club eclipsed them on corrected handicap time.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard's District 2 PAC Search and Rescue Center in Alameda, Calif. Wednesday morning issued a "fleet group call" for Vapor, the little Doublehanded division entry from Long Beach that has not been in radio contact since it started June 29. That alert went via Telex to all merchant vessels in the eastern Pacific.

Anita Culver at the PAC station said, "We'll probably issue an 'urgent marine information' broadcast later today, just to draw information to see if anybody's seen them."

That broadcast would be by voice radio transmission and call on all ships and boats, commercial and private, in the region to report any sightings or contacts.

Vapor, a 25-foot B-25 sailed by Bill Boyd and Scott Atwood of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, was not thought to be in distress, but Wednesday was the 16th day of its voyage and on the outside of its estimated time of arrival. However, Vapor had radio problems even before the start, and other boats have arrived later than expected because of breakdowns that caused them to reduce sail.

There was less concern for Sweet Caroline, a 43-foot entry from Australia whose last contact was July 10 before its batteries presumably went dead. Skipper William Rawson said then that his engine was inoperable - meaning he probably couldn't charge his batteries - and he would need a tow from the finish line into Ala Wai Yacht Harbor.

Sweet Caroline was 19 miles behind Great Scot when it last reported its position four days ago.

Great Scot is the smallest boat in Div. 4. It needed to finish by late afternoon to save its handicap time on Don Clothier's 45-foot Tower. There were no subsequent near-threats to Grand Illusion's finish last Sunday as the race's overall winner on corrected time. James McDowell's ULDB 70 from Lahaina YC posted the race's third fastest corrected time in history.

With Great Scot's finish, 26 boats had arrived, three were known to be sailing and two were unreported.

Photos, e-mail from boats, daily progress and position reports, charts, crew lists and other information are available on the race web page.

Arrival Party Photos are at http://holoholo.org/transpac/99arrivals/

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Last Modified: Wednesday - 19990714.14:51 HST
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