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From the Boathouse: From Frisco to Honolulu, the races are on

July 23, 2013|By Mike Whitehead

Ahoy!

This is the summer of exciting sailing races with the now-underway America’s Cup challenge in San Francisco Bay and the Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac), which began off Point Fermin in San Pedro and is currently finishing off Honolulu’s Diamond Head.

Let’s begin with the America’s Cup update and the Round Robins 4 match races that began this week. The first race in Match 4 was on Tuesday between the Emirates Team New Zealand and the Luna Rossa. New Zealand beat Luna Rossa in last Sunday’s match race, so this is going to be a great challenge race since the Luna Rossa needs to capture a win.

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Then Artemis Racing and the Luna Rossa will be competing against each other Thursday, and Artemis Racing is back on the course Sunday while sailing against the Emirates Team New Zealand. Round Robins 5 races begin Sunday as the last of the round robins, and the semifinals begin Aug. 6.

Additionally, the Transpac is underway, and boats are finishing as I submit this column to make my editor’s deadline. The Transpac organizers started the boats over a weeklong period, with the slower boats crossing the start line first and the fastest boats leaving last. This staggered method of starts, hopefully, allows the boats to finish together rather than having huge gaps if they were to start at about the same time.

The first boat to finish was Tritium Racing on July 18 after covering the 2,225-plus-nautical-mile course with a time of five days, 11 hours and 52 minutes. The team missed the record set in 1997 by an 86-foor catamaran, Explorer, which made it in five days, nine hours and 18 minutes.

Keep in mind that you cannot calculate the average speed of the boats by dividing miles by time. The boats do not sail a direct line from start to finish since the Pacific High pressure zone is sitting between the two lines. So the boats usually drop in latitude to round the Pacific High with the clockwise circulating winds.

The tip of the week comes from two e-mails in my in-box that I think you will enjoy.

The first is from a boater who was having a little problem with red tides. He said the red tide made flushing the head an experience, with coloring and odor a problem, and wanted to know how to use only the clean seawater.

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