The Road to Transpac
What It Takes To WinTue, 9th Jun 2009
By Chuck Skewes
The 2009 Transpac is coming soon and for the racers is appears to be coming even faster. Ullman Sails has quite a few teams that they are working with to get ready for the race including two entries from Acapulco Mexico along with many from the United States.
In the newly reborn 70 foot sled class, Holua and Alchemy are gearing up for a battle. This fleet that was so popular in the 80’s is back and the boats are rebuilt and ready for the 2400 mile race. With big names like Roy Disney, Brack Duker, and Peter Tong back in the 70 footers, joined by new comers like Per Peterson the fleet will be tight and highly contested.
Ullman Sails recently went with Per Peterson’s Alchemy for their offshore practice to fine tune the sail cross overs and trim of the new sails. This consisted of computer generated polars and then following up with practical application of sailing 150 miles in multiple different wind ranges and true wind angles. The purpose is to find which sails have the highest performance in each wind range and angle and to document this so that the correct decision on sail choice is clear and precise. By running every sail above and below their rated range the overlaps are determined and this all put on a chart so performance can be evaluated. It is this type of preparation that it takes to make a successful Transpac campaign. Alchemy headed North afterwards to take part in the Coastal Cup from San Francisco to Catalina Island on June 18th for the final practice before Transpac.
Horizon the Santa Cruz 50 owned by Jack Taylor is also gearing up with the Ullman Sails Team. Horizon has had a great track record on the offshore circuit and is eyeing the gold of the Transpac to add to it’s collection of success.
Ullman Sails has been working on developing new Staysail designs and sizes to help squeeze out every last bit of boat speed for these offshore races. There are several different configurations of Staysails being worked on including multiple staysails being used at the same time. Also new to this year are the A1 asymmetrical spinnaker designs with straighter exits for keeping the boat moving in lighter air. This is the latest in a long line of successful Asymmetric Designs by the Ullman Sails Team.
To view a recap of the practice go to this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-wlKxxE1x0
You can follow these Ullman boats live through the Transpac web site at http://transpacrace.com/.
This article was posted on Tue, 9th Jun 2009