The Pegasus Open 50 Sailing Log: Weather


Philippe Kahn describes the weather before the race.I took a serious look at the weather. What a mess! In 11 crossings I have never seen such messy weather patterns in the usually very predictable Pacific.


July 1st, 2009

The weather chart says it all. Instead of one beautiful strong, stable high pressure centered somewhere 800 nautical miles from San Francisco, there are now 10 different weather systems playing with each other. Yes, climate is changing! This makes it all the more interesting for the Transpac. We start Sunday the 5th at 1 PM out of Long Beach, California. I'd love to celebrate the 14th of July or Bastille Day in Honolulu watching the sunset by Diamond Head. But a lot has to happen before that!

The Pacific has been highly unusual over the last 30 days. In particular, sea level pressure has averaged below normal off the California coast and much below normal over the central Pacific, northwest of Hawaii. This pattern has resulted in a weak Pacific high, ridged in a north-south orientation.

That means that the wind has been a right-shifter along the California coast and weakened the strong North Westerlies that are typical of the first two days of Transpac. But, things may be changing fast.

My bet is that by the end of the week we will see consolidation of the high given the trends on the 500mb chart and as a consequence a more typical, fairly windy race. But it could go either way!

The Boat will make it to Long Beach this evening. The delivery team is making good progress.


Our goal for this race is the double-handed Transpac record. Last year we established a new double handed record from San Francisco to Hawaii. This year we start from Los Angeles.

Just two of us: Mark Christensen, VP of Engineering and myself, Chief tinkerer at Fullpower and 2250 nautical miles of open ocean between the start and Diamond Head!


Sailing Team:
Philippe Kahn
Mark "Crusty" Christensen

Boat Project management:
David Giles, Zan Drejes, Bruce Mahoney,

Onshore Pegasus Racing team:
Zan Dredjes, David Gilles, Bruce Mahoney, Mark Golsh, Jana Madrigali, Seth Larkin


Online Presence:
Caleb Dolister, Peter Spaulding, Arthur Kinsolving, Joe Dolister

Sailor's food:
Bonnie Willis

July 2nd,2009

Illustration for article titled The Pegasus Open 50 Sailing Log: Weather

Now we are running routes and the different forecasting models are very different as you can see from the chart. Wildly different. In fact I don't believe any of them. The great news is that the weather on the Pacific is settling. The upper level blockages are dissipating and we may be in for a more classic July North-East Pacific weather pattern.

I have to confess that I have been arguing with myself as to the playlists for the soundtrack during the next 8 days. Lots of deBussy, ravel, Faure and of course Iz!


The boat will make it to Long Beach today and I will post some pictures soon.

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]



Shamoononon drives like a farmer

I love looking at weather charts and radar data. I'm kind of addicted to it... and I live in Southern California... so hmmm.