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2016 Pacific Cup Updates

Chasch Mer is in Pasha Hawaii ORR Division D

Blog updated July 26, 2016.

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Chasch Mer Wins First Hawaii Yacht

Perpetual Trophy featuring King Kamehameha

Back home once again

Chasch Mer in good company

Pictures from the trip


Back home once again

Sailing into the sunset with the Aloha kite

Life aboard Chasch Mer

July 23: Day 10

As of 19:29 PDT:
Miles to Finish almost there..
Wind 035 at 18-25 kts GUST 30+
Seas 9-11ft

Distance last 24 hrs approx 220 nm


We have quite the variety of both in Chasch Mer. You have met some of the people through their blog contributions and what others bloggers have had to say. I find it very cool that gib ( lower case ) has put together a wide variety of talent and skills. We are residents of 2 countries, 5 states, half CA , various professions, and ages, from 20's to 70+.

We all learn from each other and pitch in for whatever needs to be done. Our hero is Jon, who has voluntarily taken the galley from the hap hazzardness of 10 cooks/ preparers to a smooth sanitary operation accepting minimal help. And as our Doc, reminds us about sanitary practice.

The trimmers, foredeck, grinders and and Watch Captains keep the boat moving safe and fast and all pitch in for repairs! I keep the electrical/electronics and data flow for routing and weather concerns going to the Skipper and WCs who with that input make the final call, sometimes following the computer's guidance, and many times adjusting for experience, local conditions and our sail inventory. That has worked out well and Mags has been a great mentor for improving my communication skills as navigator ( guesser). I sincerely regret that in Gib's impossible list of prerace task and on board time , I did not set high enough priority to get the YB tracking working on board and displayed as promised. That may have impaired our early tactical decisions. And Thanks to my sweet non sailing wife Sue, we were able to get division data later. Just some inconsistencies between YB and RC rankings were confusing, so we Sailed on.


From my berth in the Starboard stern quarter, an siting at the nav table I experienced a wide variety of sounds. Some became music to my ears as we surfed a wave or just consistent wind that was the jet engine whoosh. Sometimes mixed with intense splashing as we blasted thru the smaller cross waves. The almost relative silence as we waited for the next roller. There was the different sounds of splashing during the knockdown as my body was high in the hull, that I found out as we righted was the boom and main sail in the water.

There were various bangs and whops! Some ok as the main filled and jerked the boom back out, the lazy jib blocks flopping, and the cresting cross waves slamming into the side. Some not so good as the sails refilled, knowing that luffa get and refilling stressed the expensive Carbon fiber.

BAD Bangs.. The various breakages, worst was main block and sheet on a too quick jibe.

Then the voices, Kevin "saying how great a sweet it is" to drive. The watch captains and drivers yelling commands to the trimmers: most intense David, "SHHEETTT!" And Mags, "SIT DOWN AN CLIP IN" as I was making a perceived unsafe move to the stern for a beard shampoo during a rain shower.

Most often heard phrase: What is our DTF?,, (Distance to finish) 2nd " Range and Bearing" And variations of that ( some times in Caps!!). Thanks to all my landlubber and sailing friends that offered support and prayers, from childhood friends still in the country, high school, former and present coworkers, And most of all family from our matriarch Jenny, down to the Little " b's" in Barbados. Special thanks to my wife, Sue whose name was use most on the boat next to Jackie. To the crew and Skipper, thanks for "THE FUN RACE TO HAWAII!"


July 22: Day 9

As of 19:29 PDT:
Lat 26.03 N
Long 148.51 W
Wind 48-18 knots true. twa 050.
Sea state 4-8

Distance last 24 hrs as of 21, July 13:10: 246 nm
Distance to Finish as of 19:29: 356

Ahoy from Chasch Mer. Currently conditions are somewhat benign compared to the previous series of days. We have relegated anything below 18 knot of wind as "light-air" sailing. The persistent cloudy and boisterous windy days have finally given way to a maximum sun day.

So much to the delight of fellow crew, with Palmolive dish soap (easy to rinse off) in hand we have been taking bucket showers, having been dipped into the now warming tropical waters.

In addition to the usual routine of eat-sleep-sail, we have been busy documenting the journey with pics and video to share post race.

Yo-ho we feel the breeze freshening, and the sounds of the ropes tugging on the sails. Chasch Mer is getting close enough to smell the barn, and wants to gallop home. Now it is just up to us to hold on!

Until next time, signing out,

Mark S.

From Gib: We are tracking tropical storm Darby and have planned our approach to Hawaii to avoid it. The current forecasted maximum winds are well the capability of the boat and crew. We receive regular NOAA forecast updates, we are communicating with the race committee and the coast guard even over flew us! We will adjust if the forecast changes.

July 21: Day 8

As of 13:10 PDT:
Lat 26.03 N
Long 148.51 W
Wind 18-25 knots true. twa 035.
Sea state 8-10

Distance last 24 hrs: 236 nm
Distance to Finish as of 19:55: 561

What a crazy sport - this morning I was sleeping on a spinnaker and dreaming about a woman (and she was actually talking with me and I think she liked me).... More about my dreams later. Then 5 minutes later I find myself on the very bow of the boat pulling down the jib as we just launched the kite. I was lashing down the jib with sail ties as the water rushed by at 15 knots and waves crashing over my head, all while trying to tie a knot under one foot of water. All I could do was laugh and ask myself, what other sport does one go from deep REM sleep to performing in an extreme environment in a matter of minutes. I found no answer.

For the most part however my day was dry. I have been wet for the while trip. My bunk, underwear, shoes, feet, shirt, everything. I have to rethink my career as a foredeck guy as this wetness is getting old. But I declared war on my stinky feet today. New socks ( that stayed dry for maybe a few hours). Febreeze, baby wipes, anything I could find to kill the stench from a week old damp environment.

So today we replaced our 5th guy. Mother Nature just will not let up on chafing much of our running rigging. But we battle on fixing parts, and building new guys.

The sailing is awesome! We always have at least 20 knots of breeze and big blue following rollers. The temperatures are warm to even hot mid day. Gib took a shower off the swim platform today and let out a big HOWL as he dumped a bucket of pacific blue over his head.

The food is amazing as we are all eating Jackie's homemade grub. Thanks Jackie!


PS be careful not to kneel on the baby flying fish all over the decks. They are only 2 inches long. Never saw them that small before.

July 20: Day 7

As of 13:10 PDT:
Lat 26.25 N
Long 147.51 W
Wind 15-22 knots true. twa 042.
Sea state 6-8

Distance last 24 hrs: 197 nm

Hello from Team Chasch Mer,

Great sailing last night with the chute in 25-28 knots until 10 minutes before midnight when David's prediction of exciting became a reality. The guy popped out of the pole jaws and we were in full and dramatic broach. Water knee deep in the cockpit and the boom in the water, but we finally got control of the boat and brought the spinnaker in without damage.

Big shoutout to my wife Johnna for the inspiration for our Hoo Rag Halfway party. It was a great time and we are all happy to be counting down to zero. Weather is excellent and we are having a great sail.

Love to my wife and daughter; miss you guys and can't wait to see you guys.


PS our Half Way Party was a big hit with full rum rations all the way around. We toasted to our good friends who could not be with us John Mathews of SF and those Orgonians, Mick & Riko!

July 18: Day 5

As of 1900 PDT/1600 EDT:
Lat 28.18 N
Long 141.34 W
Wind 15-22 knots true. twa 035.
Sea state 6-8

Distance last 24 hrs: 210nm (est. computer crash)

Welcome to the good ship Chasch Mer on day five.
We have switched modes; from wet dripping berths to t-shirts. Sea sickness has also finally escaped the craft. It has become truly brochure sailing but not without a few issues. The splice at the spinnaker guy blew up and created a dramatic, flogging spinnaker. The crew quickly brought it down and reset. We are taking the main down tomorrow to fix a few tears at the top batten.
We are officially half way to Hawaii with the kite up and enjoying 20 to 25 knots of wind. Tonight will be the first night we will have the spinnaker up with the emergency tiller. It will be exciting to know how many miles we can complete in 24 hours. The clouds have been dramatic and truly awe inspiring. The sea life has been minimal other than flying fish. Vito you would have been proud: I finally changed my clothes on day 5. One outfit to the finish. Your trunks are ready for the finish.
I miss my family and look forward to an ocean I actually swim in.
From from my initial reconnaissance it will be a very difficult swim from the mainland.
It has been windy and rough.

Picture of Watch Team Sven at exactly halfway.

July 17: Day 4

As of 13:10 PDT:
Lat 31.18 N
Long 134.18 W
Wind 20-24 knots true. twa 65.
Sailing at 8.5 knts
Heading is 35 mag.
Sea state 6-8

Distance last 24 hrs: 220 nm

I would like to thank my crew mates for assistance in finding an easy blog topic: today we collectively broke the steering wheel, but I had a starring role. Everyone is fine and in good spir its, but our arrival in Kaneohe may be a little later than planned.
Yesterday, we noticed that the wheel was loose, and jury-rigged a support. Today, we put up a spinnaker at noon and began the true down wind dream of the Pac Cup. Halfway through the the first watch with the spinnaker, the wheel broke off in my hand. After a round up, we got the kite down safely and the emergency tiller deployed. I think the crew performed admirably; everyone was on station promptly to get back on track within 90 seconds. Shortly, we raised the small jib and commenced the new plan: sail straight to HI. Jack and Expedition currently predict a Sunday arrival. Not satisfied with that, we are quasi-seriously talking about all sorts of ways to get the wheel back on and put up larger sails. Everyone is enjoying the engineering challenge, particularly Tod.
Thanks to Jackie for Shepards Pie. We're all enjoying our first home cooked meal of the trip. Thanksgiving in a bowl!
Everyone is over their seasickness and feeling strong. In my case, I began eating and feeling normally on Saturday morning.
Also, Jackie, please check with WayneRise about the mooring ball.
My other planned blog topics will remain my secret.

July 16: Day 3

As of 1700 PDT/1400 EDT
Lat 32.26 N
Long 129.49 W
Wind 20-24 knots true.

Aloha from the good ship,

231 miles made good last 24 hours. Wind around 21 and enjoying a nice headsail reach in lumpy and confused seas. A bit of steering issue, a first for me, our destroyer steering wheel started to self destruct . Pulled out the emergency tiller and rigged it very quickly. Mark Maglin, Mags, and our Eagle Scout, Todd Moody, have been tearing the boat apart looking for anything to be used to reinforce the SS wheel before it blows apart. There both great guys and Dave Holscher wants the world to know Tod is a very close friend. So I want you all to know both he and Mags are my best friends . Anyway they are really digging in and will come up with something to rival Apollo 13 I'm sure.

Seasick guys (Kevin, Richard, Terry and Sven) are doing much better now, I think they realized Sven was eating their share of provisions. The confused seas have not helped them much. Sailing has been great for the most part under medium gray skys.

We are happy Sue is supportive of our naviguesser, Jack Everett, other wise we would not be getting any news.

Will report on the wheel tomorrow.

Aloha to all,


July 15: Day 2

As of 13:30 PDT:
Lat 34.35 N
Long 126.23 W
Sailing at 21 knts

High wind, high seas, high fun. John caught flying fish on deck. Terry and Kevin did a midnight sail change under 25 knots wind. Top speed 21 knots. Sailing on number two jib and reefed main. All is well.

July 14: Start Day

Video of Start

Erik Simonson's Photos

As of 08:00 PDT/11:00 EDT
Richmond Yacht Club
Wind 242 at 6 knots
Sea state 0-1 in the bay, 2-3 in Pacific

Distance last 24 hrs: 0.0 nm
Distance to Kaneohe Finish: 2080 nm

We are ready to go! After trips to five stores, the provisions are aboard and tucked away in every nook. Everyone spent Wednesday cleaning the boat, stowing personal gear and tending to the last minute preps. Cell phones were out as we depart from our dearly beloved. Almost time to go off the grid!

Wind has already kicked in this morning at 6 knots. We should have a solid 10-14 by our start at 1300, then picking up to 20 by the time we get past Golden Gate and into the open ocean. Forecast looks great for a fast race. The Pacific high is fully formed and strong. There should be solid wind most the way as long as we can avoid a couple soft patches. Now it's up to us to sail Chasch Mer FAST - like we stole her!

We'll try our next update tonight as we get moving offshore.


July 12: Start minus 2 Days

As of 11:00 PDT/14:00 EDT
Golden Gate Bridge
Lat 37 54.6 N
Long 122 23.0 W
Wind 18-22 knots true
Sailing at 8.6 knts
Sea state 0-1 in the bay

Distance last 24 hrs: 0.0 nm
Distance to Kaneohe Finish: 2080 nm

Practice Day on the Bay. Perfect conditions to go out and knock the barnacles off. Watched Division A start and then followed them tacking out of the bay to get a feel for the wind and current. Saw several pods of whales blowing and some flukes breaking the surface. After passing Point Bonita we turned around and set the asymmetrical spinnaker, a beautiful kite perfect for these conditions. We make some tweaks and soon were easily hitting 14 knots. Everyone got a turn at the helm with unanimous praise for how easy Chasch Mer handles.

We returned to the dock, debriefed and cleaned up. Richard and Johnna hosted us for a luau at their beautiful home overlooking the bay

July 11: Start minus 3 Days

As of 16:00 PDT/19:00 EDT
Richmond Yacht Club, CA
Lat 37 54.6 N
Long 122 23.0 W
Wind 18-22 knots true
Sailing at 0.0 knts
Sea state 0-1 in the bay

Distance last 24 hrs: 0.0 nm
Distance to Kaneohe Finish: 2080 nm

The crew has assemble and is making final preparations for Chasch Mer stem to stern. Sails have been washed and hanging to dry. We had a short sail this morning with the rigger to do final checks on the mast and fine tune it for the race. Confusion between the two Marks has been settled: Mark M is Mags and Mark S is Sven so no more Marks on the boat. Gib took two hours to find Pizza Hut for lunch and has finally acknowledge that he cannot drive in California.

Thanks to Richard for the SF Giants game last night and orchestrating a win over the Diamondbacks and a nearly perfect game. 4-0 shutout with only one hit late in the 8th. Thanks to Vito for the ride over from SFYC and the sunset cruise back aboard "Sequel."

We are all looking forward to getting some more practice in Tuesday, finishing those last minute preps and moving aboard.

Weather looks great for the race. The first division (cruisers) left today and Divisions B, C and the crazy double handed boats start Tuesday. So it will be interesting watching them.

Hawaii to SF Delivery Updates

Tuesday 31 May

Day 17

Chashmer Mer Arrives in San Fransico!

Captain Mark Woods snuck her in to Sausalito around 9PM last night & missed the welcome party planed for our lads. We’re happy to have Chasch Mer and her salty men safe & enjoying a quite evening.


Monday 30 May

Day 16

As of 1042 PDT: Short update, 114 nm at average 7 knots last 14.7 hrs, wind 25 gust 30, reefed, #4, seas 8-12, considering bearing off until closer in to shore when things are supposed to lighten up.
Position 37 25n 127 32w
241 nm to go to SF Golden Gate. 7.5 more to RYC.
Estimated positon at 2000 : around 37 20 n 125 45w depending on bearing they took from the earlier position.

ETA Tuesday evening to early Wed morning.

Sunday 29 May

Day 15

Update 2

Chasch Mer Escapes the High

Lat 37 13 n
Long 130 32 w
All's well.
210 nm since last report in 2 segments
160 net course made toward SF
384 nm to SF ( at bridge)

Have wind 10-15. Our heading is 60. Climbing up to 39-40 before wind jumps. Have sails ready for possible 30-35. Knots. Headed up so we can run in. Yay.

From Jack:
Update on Gribs 25 max comming in. Light close to shore on Tue and Wed.

2016-05-29 13:35UTC / 0635 PDT
113 nm sailed 103 made good toward SF 458 from SF
I hope to get another update later today.
They are still by gribs in less than 10 knt at 9 deg wind.
If forecast hold they should see close to 15 late tonight that is backed to 0 deg and more mag to allow them to come up toward SF
The bad part is waves at 2 meters on the beam.
And wind drops as they approach under 100 miles from SF..

Saturday 28 May

Day 14

Lat 36 46
Long 133 50
Wind 6-10
Everyone OK
119.55 nm since last report, 545 nm to SF

Friday 27 May

Day 13

1925 PDT
Lat: 37 3n
Long: 136 18w.
Headed 90. In search of wind. All hands ok.
Slow 54.85 miles since last report.
659 nm to SF.
Wish there was more fuel, very calm.

Thursday 26 May

Day 12

2016-05-26 19:05UTC/12:05 PDT
Lat +36deg 53'1"
Lon -138deg 45'42" Sent via Iridium GO!

Wednesday 25 May

Day 11

2016-05-25 22:51UTC/15:51 PDT
Lon-140deg14'13" Sent via Iridium GO!

172.13 nm since last report,
859 nm to go

From Chasch Mer:

We have found wind 8-12 knots out of the SE. Going 8 knots boat speed. Finally wind in the right direction. Beam reaching heading 55. Perfect location sent seas calm everyone happy.

We thought we heard a dog barking all night long. Finally the gyre has relinquished her tentacle-like strangle hold on Chasch Mer. No kraken in sight. Ahh Neptune is smiling upon us

they have turned to east more 55-60 deg to get under the light winds in the High.

Tuesday 24 May

Day 10


81.39 nm since last report. 1019 nm to go. Distance traveled 1245.69 nm

We are at 34 4 n. 143 00 w.
Heading 10 degrees pinching. Wind direction is e-ne. Straight at us. Tws 6 knots.

All's well.
Boat speed 4-6 knots.

Note from Jack: It will be slow sailing for perhaps 24 hrs. The high is slowing down so plan is to skirt the bottom, the push north a bit for a fast ride to the finish.

Monday 23 May

Day 9

1630 PDT

We are lat 34 37n 144 25 west on a heading of 100 in 10 knots true wind speed.

139.68 nm since last report
1079 Great Circle distance left to go of 2070 nm
Route distance to go is: 1185 nm

Close haul port tack. All is well. We decided to push east last night instead of blowing our fuel. Caught 5-10 knots early. Now moving at 7.5 knots weather clear sea small. Out of center high. We are about to tack north to climb a few degrees then west. Have latest grib JACK>Expedition, says more SE to around 34 15n 142 10w (change from prev WP)before going north.. Mark agreed to go a bit further and OK to tack when he judges best.

Chart has latest position and route:
The purple boundaries are wave heights, now in seas under 2 meters.

Sunday 22 May

Day 8

By SMS text Sent via Iridium GO!:
2016-05-23 23:03UTC (1303 PDT)

Position at 1735 PDT
Lat 35 06 n
Long 147 13 W.
Wind: 0-3
Seas : Glass
Crew: Swimming. good spirits and wanting to move!!
Plan: motor to edge of High then sail on!
Attached is that position and route.

By Jack: Had call with Mark Woods (and I think he had also talked to Gib) about fuel and the glass.

We discussed how to get out to some wind without exhausting fuel. I ran several scenarios in Expediton and decided on the one in the chart.

Mark and I discussed bearings that would get them to wind. Gribs show 50 to 80 nm to get to wind in any where from 40 to 100 deg. Then adjust to get east and the additional 2.5 deg north to hit SF. We settle on 55 to 60 degrees the up to stay in sailing wind. Tuesday, if predictions hold to a hitch northeast.

Saturday 21 May

Day 7

Now motoring to get across the edge of the high which is consolidating north from a ridge and will come back southeast a bit. It seems always going where we want Chasch Mer to be.

From the boat:" All else is great. Everyone chipper. Starting to get chilly though. Caught a damn albatross today. He shook the hook. Poor fella!

Jack. We are at lat 34 16.56n. 149 27.65w. No wind no sea.. Will call!"

We chatted on the satPhone and concluded that east now working north is best so as things may change with the low coming across to the north they can come down into SF BAY!

Friday 20 May

Day 6

From Jack:
Had voice call. now wind is back up:
Boat speed is 7.5 and sog almost 8 there is a little current way out there.

Position at 12:30hrs (HDT).
Lat 33 00.09n.
150 49.56 w.
10knots e-ne. Cts 40

should hit your waypoint. Everyone happy. Seas 2-4.
We saw Dolphins today. Spent am hatch's open drying out and showering. Happy to have some calm seas. Eg moving slow. Oh yes we also have been cleaning let gib know boat is spotless

Calcs by Jack 160.35 nm since last report, average Speed: 6.08 in 10 knot or less winds.

Thursday 19 May

Day 5

Time: 2016-05-19 20:08UTC
10:08 PDT Thursday

142.52 nm since last report 21 hrs 15 minutes average speed made good : 6.7 knts

From mark on Chaschmer:
Seas are 8-12. With cross sea. Lumpy. Wind is east northeast 20-23.
All are well.
Boat is well.
Small issues manageable. I'm punching to get back to my original course
which is same as Expedition last lay long.

Just remember we are only flying tri sail and 110 jib no main but still doing 9 knots

I just want to say I love sailing her. I like how she lifts her nose and surfs well  she's a great girl.

Wednesday 18 May

Day 4

2016-05-18 22:53UTC
Show on Google Maps

They made 195 nm since last repot. and need to turn back east a bit to target turning in the Hi that will drop down.

Tuesday 17 May

Day 3

As of 15:37 PDT:
lat 25.31.5n
long 154.34.6w.
Wind 18-22 knots true. twa 65.
Sailing at 8.5 knts
heading is 38 mag. S
ea state 4-6.

Everyone in good spirits and well. Barometer is high 31.and hasnt moved.

Attached is the charts with the new position as of 15:37 and routing 18:00 update (1200 18 May weather). and another with the time advance to the turn in the High.

May 16

Day 2

Sent: Monday, May 16, 2016 2:51 PM
Iridium Map

The polar adjustment on the one point is to set at 90%.. more tuning later. Course should back to maintain reaching, to 20-30 (they were doing 50) and is good for a few days, that's the predicted routing and what they see could be biased by the desire to go ease. The High is building and the deep low is not moving much.--Good! Routing has them going toward the center then turning in light wind an motoring to the eastern edge of the high and start sailing, but that is a week out and will change. The charts attached are as of today and 20 May. Shows the progress then the extension of the Expedition routing. Violet lines are 1/2 meter wave height. Some areas are around 2 meters. These may be too "Busy", so if you like I can simplify.

Hi Jack, Boat is sailing well. Day 2 began as day 1 ended. 10-15 knot true wind. 7.5 average boat speed. Average of 75% efficiency of boat speed : wind speed. She's a fast boat. Heading 53 mag. Everyone on board is ok. Tsama is a little sea sick but not too bad. Beautiful night. Perfect sailing weather thus far. We are doing 4 hour shifts at night and 6 hour shifts by day. Haven't caught a fish yet. Saw one fishing boat. Numerous flying fish and bioluminescent sea flora at night. We are in first place so far with no competitors anywhere in sight. Current position is 23.26N54 0156.29.25W. Although we've traveled 142 nautical miles across the ocean we've done 75 nautical miles (velocity made good) against our goal of 2100 nautical miles, 4% of the way home. --Neal for Mark

Sunday 15 May

Day 1

Chasch Mer is on it's way!

2016-05-16 21:50UTC
Iridium Map

Delivery Crew Leaving Kaneohe Yacht Club Dock

10:50AM Sunday May 15, 2016 right on schedule, Chasch Mer departed Kaneohe Yacht Club for San Fransisco, the Golden Gate, Richmond YC and, in July, the Pacific Cup. This 1st leg is some 2025 miles as the crew flies and hundreds more the way the wind drives the sloop. Skippered by professional Mark Woods the crew of 4 had a great breakfast & drink of Hawaiian& european bits. They all have high spirits, tons of energy and terrific attitude for what can be a 14 day+/- journey.

Chasch Mer is a highly thought of and well known yacht in the racing circuit with numerous races and some well deserved wins under her keel. She is hull #1 of the famed Santa Cruz 50 class, designed by Bill Lee, "The Wizard", a ULDB breakthrough boat. Built in 1978 she will be one of the elderly statesmen of the Pac Cup fleet, however, "She is still full of surprises" states owner, Gib Black.

Follow Chasch Mer on her website: and her Blog page.

Photo caption: Dockside at KYC moments to shove off, left to right Gib Black, Mark Woods, Tim Anderson, Kareem Dabbagh, Tsama Pineda and Neal Mueller. Gib is owner & captain for the race, Tim gave the moving Blessing, neither are on this delivery trip.

Tim Anderson Blessing Chasch Mer before departure from Kaneohe Bay