Skippers, Crew Match up for TransPac

Los Angeles, Calif., (March 17, 1997) -- Want to sail the Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawai`i but you don't have a boat? Or you have a boat but need a crew?

Go see Dan Nowlan. He doubles as entries chairman and matchmaker for this summer's 39th race, which with the origination of the new cruising class is expected to introduce many competitors to blue water sailing.

Skippers seeking crew or sailors seeking boats may contact Nowlan for leads. His number is (619) 490-1010 (phone or fax); his address is 1522 La Playa Ave., Apt. 5-310, San Diego, CA 92109.

"Crew available" and "crew wanted" information also may be posted on Transpac's web site: Transpac97 CrewList

Nowlan cautions that sailing the race isn't for everyone--or every boat. "But for people who want to go, it's an adventure," he says.

Except for a few megabuck campaigns, the adventure is often sobered by the cost. Besides the entry fees of $750 and $1,000 for boats under and over 50 feet, respectively, an insurance rider for racing more than 150 miles offshore costs $500 to $1,000. Also, the crew must be fed and perhaps housed in Hawaii for a few days after the race, and then flown home.

That's why many skippers look for crew not only with blue water savvy and an ability to do various, difficult jobs, such as work the bow or steer, but who also are willing to share in expenses and even sail the boat back to the mainland. Professional delivery charges run about $2.50 a mile--a total of more than $5,000 for the average boat.

And if he wants to be competitive, a skipper may have to lay out up to $20,000 to buy new sails, have the boat bottom redone, the rigging tuned and equipment spiffed out.

A crew looking for a boat probably is in a better position to bargain, depending on experience. But unless he or she strikes a rare deal, it's still cheaper to fly there and back on a 747.

When looking for a boat the first consideration should be the boat's condition. "You're going to be out there a thousand miles from anywhere," Nowlan says. "If something breaks, you're going to have to deal with it yourself."

Compatibility is also critical to a successful crew. "You're going to be with those people for a couple of weeks," Nowlan says. "Emotions can run hot."

Nowlan suggests that crew looking for boats prepare brief resumes outlining their qualifications and goals, and that skippers first decide if they really want to do it. Then prospective shipmates should meet and, if possible, sail together before joining forces. That way they may avoid ugly experiences such as dismissing a crew upon request by his mates, as Nowlan has had to do, or the bitter ending of a voyage by a popular comedian who had lost his sense of humor long before reaching the islands.

"He sailed into the harbor, threw his mooring line on the dock and said, 'Sell it,'" said Nowlan.

* The early entry deadline passed March 1 with 22 boats filing discount fees. Subsequent entries will cost $750 for boats under 50 feet LOA and $1,000 for boats 50 feet and over. The final entry deadline is May 16.

* The early entries included the race's smallest entry ever: Lester Robertson's Moore 24 Legs from Mound House, Nevada. Previously, the smallest entry was a 27- footer in 1934. Robertson said he has "turbo-charged" his boat with a larger spinnaker to get its PHRF rating down to the race maximum of 140. For emergencies, the boat has an outboard motor, which is permissible subject to review by the eligibility committee.

Other early entries are record-holder Merlin; Luna Barba, which was named Silver Bullet when it finished first in 1989 and '93; an all-female team co-skippered by Linda Elias and Betty Sherman who have chartered the Santa Cruz 50 Bay Wolf; and six boats in the new cruising class.

* The cruisers will start off Point Fermin June 28, followed by progressively faster classes on July 2, 5 and 7

* Internet information on the 1995 and '97 races can be found at:

* The Honolulu press facility will open in Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor on June 27, 1997.

Owner/Skipper Boat Name Type Class
Steve Fossett Lakota Trimaran Multihull
Bob Hanel Double Bullet II Catamaran Multihull
Joe Jaconi Kathmandu Santa Cruz 70 ULDB 70
Al & Vicki Schultz Vicki Andrews 70 Maxi
Pat Carey Kismet Cal 40 PHRF
Bob Lane Medicine Man Andrews 56 50s
Ron Kuntz Cantata Andrews 53 50s
Richard K. Leute Acey Deucy J/44 PHRF
Steve Travis Persuasion Andrews 53 50s
James S. Ryley Mirage Santa Cruz 70 ULDB 70
Edward J. Soellner Seaz The Moment Hylas 47 Cruising
Eleanor Clitheroe Endeavor III C&C 40 Cruising
arl Schopp Seaven Seas III MacGregor 65 PHRF
Linda Elias/B. Sherman Bay Wolf Santa Cruz 50 PHRF
Anthony Sessions Luna Barba Santa Cruz 70 Maxi
McNeill/Parrish no name R/P maxi sled Maxi
Fred Frye Salsipuedes Tayana 52 Cruising
Lester Robertson Legs Moore 24 Turbo PHRF
John W. Black Inquisitor Nordic 37 Cruising
Robert C. Pace Esprit Peterson 46KEL Cruising
Skip Steveley Merlin Lee 66 Turbo Maxi
Richard Sherlock Surprise Catalina 36 Cruising

Latest entries list

Publicity: Rich Roberts
Phone (310) 835-2526
Fax (310) 513-1664

Hawaii Media: Carol Hogan/Ocean Promotion
Phone & Fax: 808-325-7400

Transpacific Yacht Club: Gil Jones, Commodore

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