— THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS ALL PHOTOS LATITUDE / ROB UNLESS NOTED
of the pole, eight is pretty much all you need."
hen asked at what point he first thought Alfa Romeo had a chance at setting a new elapsed-time record for
TransPac, navigator Stan Honey, who's sailed the race 15 times, said, "About three days before the race started." The crowd that had assembled at Waikiki YC for Alfa's post-race press conference just laughed. But knowing even just a fraction of the content of Honey's sailing resume means you know how many records the guy has broken, and we don't doubt him. After all, he had just navigated the silver-hulled sliver with the 145-ft tall
rig to a new TransPac record of 5d, 14h, 36m, 20s. To put that in perspective, the existing record, set by Hasso Platner's MaxZ 86 Morning Glory in 2005 was just over a day slower! Although 2005 was not a very fast year — the write-up in Latitude said, "Imagine if there had actually been any wind" — we never expected to see Alfa break the record by such a large margin. In fact, the boat's time was so fast, there was a chance up until very late in their race, that Alfa could also break the multihull record set in 1999 by Bruno Peyron's Commodore Explorer at 5d, 9h, 14m, 36m, 20s. For Alfa and the rest of the June 5 starters, the weather could have been better, but not by much. "The race had the nice property that it never had a slow day," Honey said. In fact, Alfa set a new daily-run record on the race's second day, surpassing Morning Glory's 2005 mark of 393 miles, by an additional seven miles. And they didn't stop there, posting a string of 400420-431-391-mile days. Compared to Divisions 3-7 which had all started with the high squarely in their path, the big boats had a much more direct course.
Peter Tong's 'OEX' crew sailed the SC 70 hard enough to do this to their vang ram.
The August 2009 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.