In the Press


Transpac: Wild Oats XI Has Fastest Elapsed Time | Grand Illusion Is Overall Winner

July 26, 2015 · Posted by kate

Congratulations to all the owners and crews of Reichel/Pugh yachts racing in the 2015 Transpac Race!

Reichel/Pugh designs currently hold the Transpac course records for both fixed and moveable ballast designs, have set new Transpac course records four times since 1999, and have taken elapsed time honors in eight of the last nine Transpacs.

Honolulu, Hawaii (July 26, 2015) – The overall winner is a Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion designed by Bill Lee and featuring Reichel/Pugh-designed the 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.

Roy Pat Disney’s and Bob Oatley’s 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 eight elapsed time victories, two overall fleet wins and is the current course record holder in the Sydney-Hobart race.

Reichel/Pugh has a long history in the Transpac, their original sled design, the 70’ Taxi Dancer 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. Reichel/Pugh designs have taken elapsed time honors in eight of the last nine Transpacs and have broken the course record four times.

“What a machine; what a ride; what a crew,” shouted an elated Roy P. Disney as Wild Oats XI docked inside Honolulu’s harbor to the cheering of an adoring crowd of family and supporters. Disney, who lives in Los Angeles, has 21 Transpacs to his credit. He entered the yacht in this year’s race in conjunction with the Australian owner, Bob Oatley. “This is a great race, I’m really glad we came to do it,” said co-skipper Mark Richards, who along with Roy Pat Disney led a 16-man crew of mixed Aussies and Americans. “Wild Oats will be heading back to Oz shortly to undergo surgery in preparation for the team’s greatest passion, the Sydney-Hobart race held in late December.”

Click for Wild Oats Welcome to Hawaii
Click for Aerial of Wild Oats XI 20nm from the Finish Line

Additional Reichel/Pugh finishers include:
RPTP52 Bolt (former Rosebud) – 1st Division 2 – C. Reynolds
RPTP52 Patches – 2nd Division 2 – E. Porter Ludwig
RP77 Zephyrus – 5th Division 2 – D. Guizot
RP74 Wizard – 6th Division 2 – D. Askew & P. Askew
RPSTP65 Bad Pak – 7th Division 2 – T. Holthus

Click for final 2015 Transpac Results
Event Website

In 2009 when the existing course record was smashed by over a day by Neville Crichton’s canting-keeled Alfa Romeo II, Transpac YC recognized that this class of designs was unique and needed its own trophy, so the Merlin Trophy was born to honor the boat that did so much to encourage high-speed, offshore-capable design in this race and beyond.

Reichel Pugh Maxi’s have held the Transpac Course Record Since 1999 (Roy Disney’s 75’ Pyewacket Maxi Sled). The record has been broken 4 times since 1999 always by Reichel/Pugh designed yachts. R/P Yachts have won the Barn Door Trophy on 7 out of 8 editions of the race since 1999.

2013 RP74 WIZARD (pictured below) – 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 (pictured below) – 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:

New England Boatworks (builders of RP74 Wizard)
McConaghy (builders of RP100 Wild Oats XI and RPSTP65 Bad Pak)
Green Marine (builders of RPTP52 Patches)
Jim Betts (builder of RP77 Zephyrus)

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.

Title photo © Sharon Green | Ultimate Sailing

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