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The Pegasus Open 50 Raceboat Log: Day/Night One

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July 5th, 2:40PM PST, 2009, Catalina Islands: Right before the start, one hour on our way, our hydraulics failed. That's the system that helps cant the keel. It's a must have.

Our shore team hustled and made miracles happen. They had just 50 minutes because 10 minutes before the start they have to be off the boat with Crusty and I the only souls on the mighty Pegasus. By the time they hopped into our escort boat, we had half of our hydraulic systems back up. That's enough to take us to Honolulu safely. Thank goodness for redundant systems, and thanks to Gilesie and Zan for a miracle fix.


Now it is just the two of us sailing on our way to Honolulu. We're upwind because we must leave the top of Catalina to port. This is the only mark of the course. Next stop, the Diamond Head lighthouse.

We had a good start, just where and when we wanted: At the boat end 10 seconds after the gun. We are now happily sailling upwind, half way to Catalina. Crusty (Mark) is steering.
Course 234° T, Speed 8.2 Knots, Lat 33° 33' N, Lon 118° 27' W


July 5, 7:00 PM PST, 2009, Catalina Islands

We are getting ready for a wild and wet night. Now the wind is gusting to 25 knots and the seas have grown to 9 feet. Check out this picture taken from the nav station.
Course 220° T, Speed 10.5 Knots, Lat 33° 05' N, Lon 119° 05' W

July 6, 8:00 AM PST, 2009


Mark and I split the night. I stood watch until 2 am, Mark took over until sunrise. We are both wet, cold, battered by waves, yet happy as can be: We sailed fast and smart.

At one in the morning we put up the big Genoa (the big sail up front with about 120% of the usual area), cracked the sheets and stood on 14 to 16 knots. Fast into the night. We saw lights from racers ahead of us, then on our beam (side), then behind us, Then no more.


I saved a life last night. I was hit on the chest by a giant flying fish. I looked at it flapping in the dark amidst the fluorescent krill brought on by the large waves submerging the boat periodically. So, I made a dive for the fish on my way, hit the auto-pilot switch, grabbed the fish, felt a violent right turn, and I got washed to leeward (away from the wind) by a wave. Bloodied nose, bruised knee. The autopilot didn't engage. But I saved the fish. I wasn't going to eat it. It was a male so no Tobiko, anyhow. Now this fish has quite a story to tell his fellows. Mark slept down bellow through all of this.

Pushing hard for the record after a wild, wet and exhausting night.

Course 219° T, Speed 14 Knots, Lat 31° 18' N, Lon 121° 27' W

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]