In the Press


Reichel/Pugh Designs Earn Top Results at 50th Transpac (2,225nm)

July 27, 2019 · Posted by Kate Sheahan

Congratulations to all 2019 Transpac sailors, and to the Hamachi team for their overall win!

Reichel/Pugh designs, and staff, earned top results:

  • Reichel/Pugh Naval Architect and Structural Engineer David Oliver won Division 5 as navigator aboard the 60’ Good Call.
  • Taxi Dancer – R/P Design 39 – 70’ ULDB – Clarence McFarland Trophy for 1st Corrected in Division 2
  • Alive – R/P Design 162 – 66’ CBTF Racer (formerly Black Jack & Stark Raving Mad)
    – 2nd Division 1 and 1st Division 1 Sub-Class 2, the Clark Sweet Trophy for 2nd Place Elapsed Time and Curtis Laukea Trophy for First Foreign Boat on Corrected Time.
    “‘If the boat can’t take it, it is not supposed to be in the race,’ was the answer from one of our drivers on whether we might be pushing it a bit too hard… Six relentless days of 20-25kn winds, a 430nm+ miles 24hr run and plenty of squalls for the final stretch saw us reach Honolulu in the early morning of Saturday. What a driven team that left nothing in the tank.” – Alive Navigator Wouter Verbraak
  • Grand Illusion – R/P Design 73 (Reichel/Pugh-designed keel and rudder appendages) – 4th Division 2
  • Vitesse – R/P Design 199.2 – Southern Cross 52’– 5th Division 1

Race Tracking
Event News

Reichel/Pugh’s original sled design launched in San Diego in 1988, the 70’ Taxi Dancer took, and immediately took 1st place in Class A in the 1989 Transpac and second overall—this was during the heyday of the California Sleds when Class A of the 1989 race featured 19 Sleds. She also won the ULDB 70 Class in the 1989 Newport-Cabo Race and went on to win the 1990 Newport to Ensenada Race and the Big Boat Series ULDB 70 Class in 1990, 1997, 1998 and 1999. She later won her Class in the 2010 N2E race. Thirty years later, Taxi Dancer is still winning major ocean races—a true testament to the longevity of Reichel/Pugh designs.

Phillip Turner’s Australian-based Alive Yachting team most notably won the 2018 Sydney-Hobart overall, and recently swept 2019 California Offshore races with back-to-back line honor wins in the SoCal 300 (Santa Barbara to San Diego), Coastal Cup (Monterey to Santa Barbara), Spinnaker Cup (San Francisco Bay to Monterey), and Newport-Ensenada Race.

2019 SoCal 300

Alive Yachting Team at the 2019 Transpac Finish Line

Vitesse Team at the 2019 Transpac Finish Line


Reichel Pugh Maxi’s have held the Transpac Course Record for nearly two decades, from 1999 (Roy Disney’s 75’ Pyewacket Maxi Sled) until 2017 (broken by Comanche – setting the new Merlin trophy elapsed time record at 5 days 01:55:26). Until 2017, the record had been broken 4 times since 1999 – always by Reichel/Pugh designed yachts. R/P yachts have won the Barn Door Trophy 7 out of 10 editions of the race since 1999.

2015 – WILD OATS XI – Roy Pat Disney’s and Bob Oatley’s 100’ Canting Keel SuperMaxi Wild Oats XI had the fastest elapsed time of 6d 10h 37m 2s to win the 2015 Merlin Trophy and take first in Division 1 at the Transpac’s Diamond Head finish line. Wild Oats XI is a 100-foot custom design famous for its record nine elapsed time victories in thirteen years (2005-2008, 2018) and three overall fleet wins (2014, 2012 & 2005) in the Sydney-Hobart race.

2015 – GRAND ILLUSION – Ed & James McDowell’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion was the overall winner. She was designed by Bill Lee and features Reichel/Pugh-designed keel and rudder appendages. Grand Illusion has now equaled the record for most overall Transpac wins, joining the 88′ Lurline which won the first two races in 1906 and 1908, and again in 1912. However, Grand Illusion holds the status alone for winning overall three times under the same Owner/Skipper, Ed & James McDowell.

2013 – RP74 WIZARD – David and Peter Askew’s 74’ Reichel/Pugh-designed and New England Boatworks-built Mini-Maxi WIZARD (formerly Bella Mente) finished ‘first’ in the 2013 Transpac Race winning the unique Transpacific Yacht Club’s Perpetual Trophy – a 3.5’ x 4’ plaque of hand carved Hawaiian Koa Wood – better known as the ‘Barn Door.’ This trophy is traditionally awarded to the fixed keel mono-hull employing no stored energy with the fastest elapsed time. Wizard’s elapsed time was 7 days, 7 hours, 53 minutes, 46 seconds, which was 12 hours and 13 minutes slower than Bella Mente’s Barn Door record run of 6 days 19 hours 39 minutes 28 seconds set in 2011.

2011 – RP74 BELLA MENTE – Hap Fauth’s 74’ Mini Maxi BELLA MENTE set a new fixed keel course record of 6 days 19 hours 39 minutes 28 seconds with an average speed of 13.6 knots.

2011 – RPTP52 PATCHES – Jorge Ripsteins R/P-designed TP52 PATCHES won Division 2 followed by R/P designs CRIMINAL MISCHIEF 45’ and VINCITORE 52’.

2011 – GRAND ILLUSION – Ed and James McDowell’s Santa Cruz 70 featuring R/P-designed appendages took first in division and first in fleet overall on corrected time.

2009 – RP100 ALFA ROMEO II – 1st to Finish (Lending Tree got a DNS!) 5 days 14 hours 36m 20s) (Moveable Ballast & Powered Winches Course Record). N. Crichton’s Alfa Romeo II, sailing in the “unlimited” class, was not eligible for the traditional “Barn Door” trophy, but instead was the inaugural winner of a new trophy dedicated by Trisha Steele, called the “Merlin Trophy”. On July 7, 2009, ALFA ROMEO II beat the MORNING GLORY record for best day’s run set in the 2005 race, by sailing 399nm in 24 hours. The next two days she broke her own best-day record by sailing 420nm and 431nm.

2005 – RP86 MORNING GLORY – 1st to Finish (SET NEW RECORD 6 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes, and 11 seconds to win “the Barn Door” trophy) (Moveable Ballast Course Record) – H. Plattner

2005 – RP52 ROSEBUD – 1st Class & 1st Fleet Corrected Overall – R. Sturgeon

2003 – RP77 PEGASUS – 1st to Finish Barn Door Trophy Winner – P. Kahn

2001 – RP75 PEGASUS – 1st to Finish Barn Door Trophy Winner, 2nd Fleet Overall Corrected – P. Kahn

1999 – RP73 PYEWACKET – 1st to Finish Barn Door Trophy Winner (SET NEW RECORD 7 days, 11 hours, 41 minutes, and 27 seconds Ending Merlin’s 20-year record) (Fixed Ballast Course Record) 2nd Fleet Overall Corrected – R. Disney

1995 – RP66 EXILE – 1st Place Class Winner – J. Warwick Miller

1989 – RP70 TAXI DANCER – 1st Place Class Winner (19 Sleds competing), 2nd Place Fleet Overall – M. Rousse

For more information on the yachts contact:

First organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club in 1906, the Transpacific Yacht Race or Transpac is an offshore sailing race from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head, just east of Honolulu, a distance of 2,225 nm. This is among the world’s great ocean races, and biennially attracts some of the world’s fastest sailing yachts, some of its most talented offshore racing sailors, and a wide variety of offshore sailing adventurers.

photography courtesy of Ultimate Sailing

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