Pegasus Open 50 Raceboat Log: Day 5/6 and the Moon

Illustration for article titled Pegasus Open 50 Raceboat Log: Day 5/6 and the Moon

July 9, 5:30 PM PST Today we are living within the realm of Squalls. Squalls in the the Northeast sub-tropical Pacific are different. They are small, concentrated and powerful. The rain lasts ~20 minutes under them if you're stationary.

We're not.

I love squalls in Honolulu: refreshing, cleansing and replenishing for island precious water.


On Pegasus 50, we move fast at more than half of the squall's speed. My personal interpretation of North East Pacific Squalls is that they are caused by evaporation with subsequent cooling of the rising air and travel with the tradewinds. During their build-up phase, they mostly "suck" air into them as they are highly active building convective systems. The upper limit comes when the ultra moist air reaches adiabatic balance. Therefore, if you are in front of such a building squall, you loose a lot of wind velocity and get a nasty right shift, but if you have one behind you, she "sucks air" that heads you if you are on starboard jibe with a great boost in velocity. The longer you ride that squall the better. Mark caught a short video of one that he was riding to a max speed of 28 knots of wind and 22 knots of boat speed this afternoon . Check it out, passing right behind Pegasus 50. Mark is steering and filming.

Course 270° T, Speed 14 Knots, Lat 25° 54' N, Lon 139° 36' W

July 9, 7:00 PM PST
Tradewind sailing with building squalls, pointing right to Diamond Head

Course 270° T, Speed 14 Knots, Lat 25° 52' N, Lon 139° 40' W

July 10, 2:30 AM PST
Insomniac sailor with a Transpac purpose!

Philippe Kahn founded Borland, invented the Camphone, and decodes human motion. He's also a fellow outdoorsman, splitting time skiing Tahoe and sailing in Santa Cruz. He'll share his Transpac 2009 sailing race with us live from the Pegasus Open 50. He and Richard Clarke set the race record for a double handed team in 2008 with a time of 7 days, 15 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds, besting all boats in overall time for that year.
[Previous Pegasus Sailing posts on Gizmodo, Pegasus]


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Has Philippe mentioned safety harnesses and related equipment yet? Do they clip in to go forward to set and take down headsails? Ocean racing and yacht deliveries with crews of 14 (c. 1972) always used to open with a lecture from the watch mate or the captain about falling overboard. "We're not coming back to pick you up, so don't fall overboard." Basically, they just can't find you with just your head sticking out of the water at night. Some harnesses have floatation and a strobe light and a whistle. We had a rubber dinghy that we towed behind on easy daylight sails between islands in the Caribbean. They would flip over and snap their painter (a line led from from the bow). It happened a couple of times and usually took about 45 minutes or so to get back to it, and that was under a blue sky and in calm seas.

Alone on deck, autopilot on, crew asleep below . . . Sign me up.