The 2003 Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii has a record number of foreign entries with nine, but none quite as unlikely as Francisco GUZMAN'S J/145, Jeito, from Acapulco, Mexico.
"This was a crazy idea,"
said Guzman, who will start with the Division 3 and 4 boats at 1300 local time today, following the Cal 40s, Aloha classes and four Division 5 racers that started Tuesday and preceding the final, fastest dozen on Sunday.
At yesterday morning's roll call, Aloha-A boats were setting the pace, led by Lady Bleu II, Roger and Brenda KUSKE'S Dynamique 62 from San Diego that averaged 7.6 knots to sail 211 miles in the previous 24 hours. First-day leader Beautiful Day was three miles back but still first in class on projected corrected handicap time. Stan and Sally HONEY'S Cal 40, Illusion, remained first overall and first in class, 33 miles behind Lady Bleu II.
Grant BALDWIN reported from the communications vessel Alaska Eagle that "clear skies have given way to general overcast. Temperatures remain cool; foulies continue to be the order of the day. No flying fish yet but many jellyfish. The fleet is approximately 350 miles out. Stomachs have returned to normal."
Guzman, a 44-year-old Mexico City architect, bought his boat only a month ago, a few days after he and some friends had raced his J/120 at Acapulco.
"We were coming to Mexico City when I started thinking about buying the boat, and suddenly a friend of mine said, 'Why don't you buy the boat and do the Transpac?'
"I said, 'That would be my golden dream. When is Transpac?' Suddenly, everything happened. It was a miracle to do a whole Transpac organization in 35 days. It's a record."
Jeito's crew includes John BENNETT of UK Sails, who recruited much of the crew; San Diego veteran Jon SHAMPAIN, and three father-son duos, including Guzman's son Francisco Jr. and Acapulco Yacht Club Commodore Ricardo BROCKMAN and son Ricardo Jr.
And, by the way, the boat's name is not the customary Spanish pronunciation, which would be hay-EE-to. "It's a Portuguese named pronounced 'jetto,' "
Guzman said. "I bought the boat in Seattle. It means 'brave with elegance.' "
Another foreign entry with Jeito in Division 3 is James and Jenny NEILL'S Reichel/Pugh designed Super 30, The Cone of Silence. Rod SKELLET'S Young 32, Krakatoa, also from Australia, and Bill ALLAN'S Cape Bay Fast 40, from Canada, will start in Division 4 Friday. Barry RUFF'S Wylie 39, Axapac, from Vancouver, B.C., is already racing in Aloha-A.
Four boats going in Division 2 Sunday are Karl KWOK'S Transpac 52, Beau Geste, Hong Kong; Yoshihiko MURASE'S Ohashi 52, Bengal II, Japan; W.E. RAWSON'S Adams 60, Helsal II, Australia, and Dan SINCLAIR'S Andrews 68, Renegade, Vancouver, B.C.
Full position reports can be found on the event website at the address below.