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Tales of Two Guys phoning home, and
Mr. Disney's wild ride

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July 15 Position reports

by Rich Roberts

Honolulu Hawai`i (July 15, 1999) - When the boat Two Guys On the Edge took a knockdown and lost its radios 20 miles from the finish of the 40th Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawai`i, Bruce Burgess and Les Vasconcellos still needed to check in with the race committee. They had one of race sponsor Iridium's satellite phones as a backup but didn't know the number.

So Burgess phoned a number he knew - the bar at the Waikiki Yacht Club - and asked the bartender to relay the message.

There were no larger celebrities along Transpac Row this week than Vasconcellos and Burgess - two local veterans whose feat in beating 11 larger boats and winning the Doublehanded division captured the imaginations of hardened racers and landlubbers alike. They joined Roy E. Disney and the other division winners at a press conference hosted by the WYC Thursday.

"It's all embarrassing - and I love it," said Vasconcellos, who runs a boat bottom-cleaning business from a battered van.

Vasconcellos and Burgess have done 10 Transpacs each, but the others were on larger boats than Dan Doyle's 30-foot Sonoma. Doyle, a Honolulu real estate developer, had to drop out because of business at the last minute, so Vasconcellos recruited Burgess on three days' notice.

Vasconcellos said, "It was Dan's passion. It wasn't my passion. I was doing it because I'd made a commitment. It since has become my passion."

Burgess said, laughing, "It was a great race, and I'd never do it again."

The press conference was considerably more upbeat than it might have been if Vapor - out of touch since it started June 29 - hadn't finally checked in four hours earlier (see earlier report).

Disney recalled a couple of highlights of Pyewacket's record run: "I remember a jibe in 18.8 knots of wind. That was interesting . . . and loud . . . and profane. And when I was driving down to the finish it was so dark and we were making so much spray that all I could see was the instruments. We had the most wind and our top speed of the race: 35 and 22 knots."

Pyewacket navigator Stan Honey recalled the crew's reaction at morning roll call when they learned they had stretched their lead from 12 to 54 miles on Zephyrus IV by running south on day four as their rival continued west.

"I heard so much whooping and hollering behind me at the nav station that I couldn't hear the next reports," he said.

Jim Cascino, co-owner/skipper with Bill LeRoy of the St. Francis YC's Div. 3 winner, Gone With the Wind, said, "This was my first Transpac, and if I had checked the moon I might have re-evaluated whether to come. At night you couldn't distinguish the water from the sky. It was a new experience going down waves you couldn't see at warp speed."

LeRoy: "To say that the Santa Cruz 50 is a great boat to do Transpac is an understatement."

Kim Stebbens won the Cruising division with his live-aboard home, the Septre 41 Hurricane from Seattle's Sloop Tavern YC. The Sloop Tavern is a saloon where the club meets. Dues are $45 a year.

"This is pretty rarified air being in the company of Roy Disney and these other great sailors," Stebbens said, "especially when I was last in the Victoria-Maui race."

Tom Garnier, who won Div. 4 with his J/35 Great Scot from Los Angeles YC, said, "It just shows that a $50,000 boat can compete in the race. I don't want people to be scared off. We did well and had a great time, and that should appeal to a lot of people."

James McDowell said that while Disney had Honey, he had Patrick O'Brien as his navigator aboard Grand Illusion, the ULDB 70 from Lahaina YC that was the race's overall winner on corrected time.

"I can't credit Patrick enough," McDowell said. "He got the crew together and put the boat where we needed to be."

O'Brien said, with a nod to Honey, "I was glad to see that [on day four] Pyewacket had gone south, too."

Only two boats remained at sea Thursday afternoon: Vapor and Ned Knight's Peterson 42 Apollo V from Point Loma YC. Apollo V was due by sundown; Vapor was expected Saturday morning.

Standings (as of 5 p.m. PDT July 15; in order of corrected handicap time):

DIV. 1 (started July 3) -
1. Pyewacket, Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles YC, finished, elapsed time 7 days 11 hours 41 minutes 27 seconds (breaks record of 7:15:24:40 by previous Pyewacket, Roy P. Disney, 1997), corrected time 7:11:39:58;
2. Magnitude, Doug Baker, Long Beach YC, 7:13:37:07/7:13:36:07;
3. Zephyrus IV, Bob McNeil/John Parrish, St. Francis/San Diego YCs, 7:16:34:43/7:16:33:59;
4. Front Runner, Lou Grasso/Craig Lyons, Newport Harbor YC, 7:16:51:45/7:19:51:43;
5. Pegasus, Philippe Kahn, UC Santa Cruz Sailing Club, 7:17:51:20/7:20:50:20.

DIV. 2 (started July 3 )-
1. Grand Illusion, James McDowell, Lahaina YC, 8:02:52:27/7:08:40:10 ;
2. Cheval, Steve Popovich, Cabrillo Beach YC, 8:13:47:14/7:20:44:46;
3. Velos, Kjeld Hestehave, SDYC, 9:13:31:03/7:22:55:12;
4. Mongoose, Robert Saielli, SDYC, 8:16:58:37/7:23:09:01;
5. Medicine Man, Bob Lane, LBYC, 8:15:24:12/8:00:29:07.

DIV. 3 (started July 3) -
1. Gone With the Wind, Bill LeRoy/Jim Cascino, StFYC, 9:11:41:04/7:14:45:18;
2. Stealth Chicken, Alamitos Bay Syndicate, Alamitos Bay YC, 9:08:46:14/7:19:06:40;
3. Warpath, Fred Howe, Santa Cruz YC, 9:11:37:40/7:19:56:46;
4. M-Project, Manouch Moshayedi, Bahia Corinthian YC, retired.

DIV. 4 (started July 2) -
1. Great Scot, Tom Garnier, LAYC, 12:03:22:51/7:18:36:58;
2. Tower, Don Clothier, Waikiki YC, 10:16:48:47/7:22:55:15;
3. Glama!, Seth Radow, California YC, 11:04:45:55/8:07:29:10;
4. Prime Time, John Borkowski/Richard Sherlock, Channel Islands YC, 11:12:21:567/8:11:43:31;
5. Bolt, Craig Reynolds, Balboa YC, 12:17:28:13/8:19:05:27;
6. Sweet Caroline, William Rawson, Royal YC, Australia, 12:17:40:26/9:04:20:16;
7. Uproarious, Robert Bussard, Silver Gate YC, 12:08:43:14;
8. Apollo V, Ned Knight, Point Loma YC, 92 miles to go.

DOUBLEHANDED DIV. (started June 29) -
1. Two Guys On the Edge, Les Vasconcellos/Bruce Burgees, Waikiki YC, 12:10:04:31/7:21:15:24;
2. Vapor, Bill Boyd/Scott Atwood, Alamitos Bay YC, 262.

CRUISING DIV. (started June 29) -
1. Hurricane, Kim Stebbens, Sloop Tavern YC, 14:07:42:09/9:22:067:09;
2. Esprit, Bob Pace, Oceanside YC, 14:12:28:14/10:10:00:44;
3. Willow Wind, Wendy Siegal, Cortez Racing Assn., 14:16:23:04; 10:17:55:34;
4. Tango, Howard Raphael, Palo Alto, Calif., 15:20:26:22/11:05:17:37;
5. Pacifica, Doug Jones, Southwestern YC, 15:10:39:09/11:08:29:09;
6. Endeavor III, Randy Bell/Eleanor Clitheroe, Royal Canadian YC, 15:20:26:22/11:14:33:52;
7. Goodnight Moon, Carlton Vanderbeek, Dana Point YC, 15:02:24:33/12:00:20:38;
8. Derivative, John Robert Misko, Seattle, Wash., 15:19:18:14/12:04:15:44.

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: Friday - 19990716.12:10 HST
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