Road to Transpac 2Mon, 22nd Jun 2009
By Chuck Skewes
Alchemy finished its final practice and offshore sailing leading up to the famous Transpac race this last weekend in the windy Coastal Cup from San Francisco to Catalina Island. This is a 340 mile race that usually provides great surfing and big wind. Some boats use it as a delivery race to get their boats south for the start of the Transpac. This year Alchemy put it on the schedule to practice some high wind boat handling and a final check on the boat and sails prior to the race to Hawaii.
The start of this years Coastal Cup was typical San Francisco conditions while sailing up under the Golden Gate Bridge. Once outside thing became a little less typical. Foggy conditions and winds dropping down to 6 knots greeted the Thursday starters. For two hours some boats drifted as others had small puffs causing the fleet to get spread out just before the wind started to fill. When the wind filled it came in at 12 knots and built consistently for four more hours. Alchemy was soon doing 12-15 knots with the A3 up.
As the day continued the wind built and shifted north allow the crew of Alchemy to put up the A4 with the spinnaker Staysail. Wind speeds were now touching 30 knots and Alchemy was consistently hitting 20 knots of boat speed and peaking out at 26.3 knots. Pulling off a jibe in this wind went well and was great practice for squall hunting in the Pacific. The boat and crew are now resting until the start of Transpac. You can follow Alchemy and the race at http://transpacrace.com/ where you will find the tracking for each boat. Alchemy will be starting with all the sleds on July 5th trying to catch all the boats that start as early as June 29th.
Here is a short video of Alchemy doing over 20 knots http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgtWVPc2BXQ
This article was posted on Mon, 22nd Jun 2009