Tsunami Debris Dogs Transpac Fleet

Of all the things to run into when you cross the ocean...

The Gunboat 66 Phaedo was sailing under an A4 with 16 knots of breeze when suddenly the top of their mast failed, bringing the entire rig down. We are happy to report that no one was injured and the crew was able to cut away the mast and boom and start the long leg back to Los Angeles. The fact that they only have about 250 miles worth of fuel means they'll eventually need assistance getting back to shore, but that's the least of their worries.


Elsewhere on the race course, a telephone pole was spotted by Chris Megeath's Reichel Pugh 45 Criminal Mischief. And somehow John Sangmeister's ORMA 73 Lending Club, with St. Marys alum Ryan Breymaier onboard, hit a telephone pole while doing 22 knots. The main daggerboard took the majority of the impact, but "thankfully it's a very long board. We managed to pull it out of the case, clean up the splinters and put it back upside down," said Breymaier via social media. The boat seems to be back up in action because at the time of writing they're doing over 19 knots at just over halfway to Hawai'i. They lead the rest of their fleet by 72 nautical miles.


The Division 8 leader Manatea, a Seastream 650 owned by Bob Hayward, also reported striking a 10-foot section of a telephone pole. Boat and crew all managed to come out unscathed and at the time of writing are doing over 9 knots with a 126 nautical mile lead on the next boat, but said that they sailed through a field of debris so massive that it looked like "the structure of the house."

It's thought that the debris field is the evidence of the March 2011 tsunami tragedy in Japan, which is still making its way around the North Pacific. Transpacific YC has told all competitors to be on the lookout for anything else that could be in the water.

David Askew's Wizard is currently third in Division 1 but is only 85 nautical miles behind the division leader, Ragamuffin, an Elliot 100 owned by Sydney Fischer. The monohull record currently stands at five days, 14 hours, 36 minutes and 14 seconds, set in 2009. Boats would have to maintain an average speed of 16.5 knots.

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