Update 2

July 12, 2010

Hello from Horizon!

We just completed our second day of the race and the spirits are running high on Horizon.  As of this morning’s standings we were second in class and fleet.   We gained mileage on everyone in our class and we’re hoping that our strategy of staying North will pay off!

Even better news is that we broke out of the cloud cover around 2 AM and immediately it started to warm up.  Maybe 5-10 degrees but believe me it was welcome.  We’re still wearing all the layers as well as our foulies but at least we’re warm!

Just before dark we put up our #2 jib top and immediately our speeds started exceeding 10 knotts.  We carried the jib top all night and this morning we added a stay sail.  The wind speeds have been averaging between 16 – 22 knotts and  our boat speeds have been in the low to mid teens.  Hip has the current record of 18 knotts.  It won’t last!!

We had sun all day today and as of 4 PM fog has settled in.  Very weird!  Last night we saw the entire sky light up as a meteor (we think) hit the atmosphere.  It was a bright as hell and actually had a smoke trial as it broke up before it hit the water.  Pretty spectacular!

Last night we had Jason’s Beef Stew for dinner (Thank you Kathy) and this evening we’ll be having Pot Pie.  Can’t wait!

Everyone is getting plenty of sleep and it’s nice to have all crew members driving.  It keeps everyone fresh and really keeps us on our toes!

We’re looking forward for the wind to back another 20 degrees so we can put up our spinnakers.  That’s when we’ll really take off!  Hopefully we’ll be flying our 2A by tomorrows check in!

That’s it for now!  Having a blast! Go Horizon!!!

Update 1

July 12, 2010

Hello from the crew of Horizon!

We’re off again!  Yesterday we started our race to Hawaii off Saint Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco Bay at 1:15 pm.  We had a nice clean start in 16-18 knots of wind with gusts up to 26 knotts.  Our start was very exciting and it was great seeing the crowd of family and friends at Saint Francis watching, cheering and taking pictures.  Hopefully they got some great shots!

This years race has a different twist.  Usually the Pacific High is further South in which our strategy was to take the Southerly route and be one of the furthest boats South.  Theoretically this strategy gave us leverage on the rest of the fleet.

This year the high is much further North which means we are taking the Northerly route or as its called the “Great Circle Route”.  This is the shortest route to Hawaii and if we have consistant winds in the teens or better yet in the 20 plus range we should have a quick race.  Hopefully it will pay off.  As of this morning we were North of most of our class and all day the strategy has been to stay as North as we can so we can stay in the higher wind pressure.  Currently we are 3rd in class and 3rd inn fleet.  That’s pretty good for us because usually at this stage in the race we are at or near the bottom.  Hopefully we didn’t jinx ourselves.

We started the race under full main and a #3 jib.  After exiting the bay we made a right hand turn and sailed up the coast for two hours.  The winds dropped into the low teens and at that point we went with our heavy #1 jib and tacked over to Port for our run to Hawaii.  Currently we are still reaching with our heavy #1.  Winds are in the low teens and we are averaging about 8 knotts!

Highlights so far are starting our race off of Saint Francis Yacht Club, racing under the Golden Gate Bridge for the 1st time, seeing a pod of Blue Whales yesterday afternoon and waking up a Pilot Whale this afternoon that stayed with us for 15 minutes!  Lastly was our Hot dinner prepared by Hip!  It was great and we all needed it because its very cold!

It’s July and I’m wearing, long johns, sweats, a long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt, thermal jacket and a complete set off foulies.  All at once!  How’s that for cold!  The crazy thing is that we all love it and we’re having a blast!

We’ll that’s it for know.  Time to go racing!

Hello from Horizon!

July 7, 2010

Hello from Horizon racing!

We’re off again!  This Thursday, July 8th, Horizon will be making its 5th crossing across the pond to Hawaii.  This time our start is right in front of the Sr. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco and will finish on the North shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

As in the past we will be E-mailing our progress reports from Horizon and they can be found on the HorizonSailors.com web site.  In addition you can find updates on the 2010 Pacific Cup web site.  As in prior races will also have a transponder on board and you can check on our progress through ionearth.com.  Once on the site you’ll find a page for the 2010 Pac Cup.

There are eight racers on board.  All good friends and we have been racing together for years.  On this trip we have Jon Shampain and his son Erik, Robert Plant, Tom O’Keefe, Jason Adamson, John Berry and Peter Kornhaber.

This race is a little different from Transpac.  It takes the same meticulous planning that began over one year ago and then we had to get Horizon up to San Francisco.  Our prep book is our Pac Cup Bible and at this point its about 12 inches thick of details that need to be discussed and dealt width in order to have a successful crossing.  Ellen Todd has been our coordinator and coupled with Jon Shampain’s relentless effort for perfection we are ready to go!

Pac Cup’s fleet is a mix of serious off shore racers as well as club racers that want to experience racing across the Pacific.  It’s billed as the “Fun Race” and they encourage 1st time racers.  I would say that about half the fleet has never raced over to Hawaii before and their enthusiasm and excitement about this adventure is truly contagious.

There are seven classes and all the starts are staggered.  The 1st start was today and they consisted of the slower boats.  There is a start on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (our start) and Saturday.  If you have chance check out the 2010 Pac Cup Web Site and go to the 2010 race page.  This page will give you the break down of the divisions and ratings.  There are boats as small as 22 feet crossing the Pacific!  Pretty wild!

Our class consists of eight boats it is very competitive.  There are two sister SC 50’s as well as a number of other very quick boats.  It should be very close racing and there will be a very small margin for error.

At this point the weather forecast is still too far out to tell if we will have a fast or slow race.  Hopefully it blows like hell and we can complete our crossing in less than 10 days!

That’s it for now.  Once the race starts I’ll send our 1st progress reports.

Jack Taylor


February 24, 2010

1st in class – 6th in fleet! Congrats Horizon!!


February 24, 2010

Horizon finished at 3:59 am on Wednesday 2/24/2010. Congrats to the crew of Horizon on a great race!!! We are currently waiting for the official results – stay tuned!


February 23, 2010

We are now 36 hours into our race and this mornings roll call was just what we hoped.  As it turned out our  strategy of being the inside boat on the race course paid off and we are now 1st in class and 1st in fleet.  We still have close to 400 miles to go but obviously we were elated.

Yesterday I mentioned that we should see more wind and we were right.  Starting last night and through today we have been sailing in winds ranging in the low to mid twenties and our boat speeds have consistently been in the mid teens.  In matter of fact little Hippie just set the new race speed record of 17.8 knots.  Just beat out big Hippie and there still jabbing each other about it.  The winds are predicted to freshen even more so I don’t expect little Hippie’s record to stand up very long.  We’ll see and hopefully tomorrow one of us can report a new record in the 20s.

Once again Horizon is performing like a champion and everyone is working as hard as we can to put as much distance as we can between us and the rest of the fleet.  Hopefully we can hold on to our 1st in class position.  The 1st in fleet will be very tough to keep.  Just take a look at the web site and check the standings.  The classes that started behind us are very fast and it will be very close on corrected time.

Last night we had Eileen’s Ziti and it was up to her normal standards.  A big hit.  Tonight we are having John’s Chile Verde.  Once again it should be super.

The weather brochure was finally right and the weather is sunny and warm.  We’re in Tees and shorts and loving it.  The rain is a distant memory!

WE’ll that about it for today.  A great 24 hours and hopefully tomorrows report will be more good news.

Go Horizon!

See Horizon’s progress at IBoatTrack.com (When the page opens click on 2010 Vallarta Race).


February 22, 2010

We have just completed our 1st 24+ hours and all is well on Horizon.  At today’s roll call the race committee still had us in 5th and actually loosing a little ground.  As usual we have a game plan and we feel that if the wind is consistent across the race course then we will be in pretty good position.  We are positioning ourselves on the inside and hopefully we’ll gain some leverage on our competition.  Unfortunately these decisions are locked in once they are made because at this point we are dealing with a relatively short race course.  Right now our strategy looks good and the next 24 – 36 hours will really tell the tale.  Hopefully we played this right or we’ll be hosed!

Once again crew work has been flawless and everyone is having a great time.  The travel brochure finally had it right today because for the most part its been sunny, much warmer than yesterday with a few showers.  Not the torrential rainfall we had on Friday night.  Each day will get warmer and soon we’ll be in shorts and T shirts!

The wind has been in the low to mid teens with very few times where it actually was below 10 knots.  Our boat speeds have been has high as the low teens.  We would like more wind and according to our weather grib files more wind is coming.  Not sure if we’ll break the Horizon speed record of 24.7 knots but we’ll certainly give it a shot.

Last nights pork chops, rice and salad was a real winner.  Thank you Kathy Adamson.  This evening we’ll be having Eileen’s Ziti.  This is one of our favorites and I’m sure we’ll have glowing reports tomorrow.

We have been on Stardboard all day flying our money maker the 2A Spinnaker.  This is our largest and fastest sail.  At this point we haven’t really surfed very much because the seas are relatively calm.  The wave heights are only  three feet.  Once the wind picks hopefully the seas’s will build and we’ll be in surf city.

I’m getting ready to go on watch.  Looking forward to a great night.  Wind, stars and lots of laughs with our crew.

What more could you ask for!

Until then Go Horizon!

See Horizon’s progress at IBoatTrack.com (When the page opens click on 2010 Vallarta Race).

First update from Horizon

February 21, 2010

Hello from Horizon!

Welcome to our Website and our first up date on our progress on the San Diego to PV Race.  This year we have some familiar faces racing with me i.e. Jon aka Hippie, Eric his son aka Little Hippie, Big Tom Okeefe and my very best friend Geno.  We also have a few newbees as well i.e. Robert Plant, John Berry and another very good friend Tom Adamson. This is the 1st leg in our journey.  Once we get to PV we will be spending another week racing a Mexican Regatta called Mexorc.  More on that event as we getter closer to the finish. This race is 1,000 nm miles and as of this mornings roll call we were in 5th.  Everyone is in a few miles of each other and our major competitor Allure another Santa Cruz 50 is in 1st.  This is only after 18 hours of racing and its very early in the race!!  We’ll run her down!!! We have just completed our 1st twenty four hours and everything on board is running extremely well  All Horizon’s systems and modifications are working perfectly! We have a very talented crew and we’ll all getting along together extremely well.

We started our race yesterday with a beautiful start.  We where 1st at the start and had position on the rest of the class.  Hopefully there are a few pictures on the site. We tacked out of the harbor and bore off to Mexico.  Horizons strongest points of sail is off the wind and for the 1st 16 hours we have been hard on the wind racing with our heavy jib.  Wind speeds have been in the teens and our boat speeds were 8-10 knots.  This morning the wind backed to the right and we were able to crack off and put up our code 0.  This sail has been up all day and we have been averaging 10-11+ knots.  We would love to crack off more and put up our spinnakers but the weather Gods have not given us a break.  We might be carrying the code 0 until very early Sunday morning!  We’ll see!

The weather yesterday was cloudy and cold during the day and then the rain came last night.  The highest wind gusts was 20 knots and that has in a squall with torrential downpours.  Most of us we soaked and we have spent the day warming up and drying out.  It rained so hard last night that it was very difficult to read the instruments.  I felt like I should have been wearing a mask and snorkel because my contacts almost blew out.

You might be wondering how we felt.  Well its part of the game and like everything else in life you grit your teeth get through it and we were actually laughing about it because we were thinking about all the snow and ice the rest of the country was experiencing.

Last night we had Geno’s famous beef stew with biscuits.  It was hot and tasty and by dinner everyone was ready!

I just got up from my off watch.  My watches are 6-9pm, 12-3am 6-12 noon.  I’m rested and ready to go.  It looks like the bulk of the rain is behind us(hopefully).  Its been sunny and chilly all day but most of our clothes have dried out so tonight should be a little dryer and warmer.  I’ll let you know tomorrow.

That’s about it for now.  Got to go sailing

See Horizon’s progress at IBoatTrack.com (When the page opens click on 2010 Vallarta Race).

Hosted by San Diego Yacht Club, the 29th biennial race will conclude at the picturesque destination port of Nuevo Vallarta, just minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. This race will begin February 18. Please check back then for live race tracking via iBoattrack.