2023 SHTP SF to Hawaii 3 Westsailors are in the race

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  • June 25, 2023 2:58 PM
    Message # 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2023 SHTP skippers - Gary Burton on Elizabeth Ann, Bill Stange on Hula and Randy Leasure on Tortuga 


    Tortuga and I depart for the Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race on tomorrow Sunday June 25th! 

    The race tracking page will be available to view here:


    I will be sending update to the race committee and they will be posting all the racer updates on the Singlehanded Sailing Society site:


    Note that this tracking is not 100% real time for all boats and there could be delays or times when trackers stop working. Fear not, if the tracker stops working it’s probably just some tech gremlins at work. 

    The race starts on tomorrow Sunday at 10am off the Golden Gate Yacht Club for those that want to see the start. 

    I’ve had a crazy 24 hours! The bottom cleaning diver found a bunch of play in the max prop moving fore and aft on Friday am. I was able to get an emergency haul out yesterday and got the problem fixed with the bolt holding the hub on the shaft had worked loose. I splashed again yesterday afternoon but the blades weren’t aligned right. We got the blades aligned properly and back in the water before low tide this morning when they couldn’t launch me. 

    It couldn’t have been that easy though….

    The line holding the lifting straps got caught in the prop in the sling. In a flash, the boat yard hero Mohammed dove in the water to cut it away! all good and was able to make it to the skippers meeting this afternoon. 

    All provisions loaded and ready! 

    A big thank you to my north star Danielle for her patience and help as I’ve been working non stop on boat projects the last few months!

    Thank you to all the others who have supported Team Tortuga with advice and help prepping the boat! I wouldn’t be able to race without you! 


    W32 Tortuga 


    Post race links 

    Latitude 38 

    Jibeset  race Summery - the details. 

    Dave King analysis:

    "A MAGNIFICENT RACE!  Hula, with Bill Stange, crossed the finish about 20 minutes ahead of Elizabeth Ann,  with Gary Burton, BUT, Elizabeth Ann corrected out about 15 minutes ahead of Hula.  Elizabeth Ann has a one second per mile rating advantage over Hula, due to technical differences.    

    Elizabeth Ann and Hula will be listed as the 12th and 13th fastest, corrected time finishes of all time in the history of the Single Handed Trandpac (SHTP). A truly MAGNIFICENT RACE! I am in tears. Randy, on Tortuga, is currently holding on to 8th place. He is due in Tomorrow morning and will also break the previous W-32 record crossing set in 1978 by Michael Lintner. "

    I'm looking for links to the details from Hula and Elizabeth Ann -- to add to this topic... Please advise  Jay Bietz ... 

    Last modified: July 13, 2023 10:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • June 25, 2023 6:03 PM
    Reply # 13219767 on 13219736

    Good luck and have fun .

  • June 29, 2023 8:16 AM
    Reply # 13221688 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hello All - 

    General Updates;

    All racers have completed their daily POL check-ins for today 06/26/2023 with the exception of SUCH FAST - there is still 6 hours left in the check in window

    CIRCE has retired and is returning to San Francisco - Tony is OK and we will track and overwatch until he is inside the Golden Gate

    From Randy and Tortuga

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Monday, June 26th

    A rolly night dodging lots of shipping traffic. There are quite a few big container ships out just marking time and don’t answer their radios on 16 or 13, so you’ve got to try and pass safely while bashing along in the big seas and breeze Working jib, staysail, and double reefed main are the combo today.

    Tried to get some naps on and off, keeping a watch. I do a deck walk (more like a crawl) in the am and before the sun goes down to check nothing is working loose or chafed. All good so far.
    Some of the wave trains are off the starboard bow and give a great smack and showering of the sea across the whole deck. Amazing the force they have. Had a good breakfast burrito scrambled with fresh spinach, tomato, and cheddar. The sun came out for a few hours, which was nice to feel the warmth and charge the batteries up.

    Have not seen any other boats in the fleet, and AIS is not showing anything either. Hard to gauge everyone’s position with the daily update since the pings are not all at the same time. My emails to the RC email aliases are bouncing from my IGO, so there was a little swirl on my Pol checks-in, but that has been sorted now with Dave. If I were doing a LongPac race, I would have hit the turnaround mark today!

    Heard about Circe My heart goes out to Tony. I can only imagine how hard that was to have to turn around after having to abandon the PacCup last year too. After the blood, sweat, tears, and boat bucks - that it takes to do this. No easy decision, I am sure. Hope he is safe and back in the bay now.

    Eggplant Parmesan and garlic bread are on the menu for dinner tonight. Always fun trying to meal prep at 30deg of heel!
    No sea monsters sighted yet.

    Team Tortuga

  • June 29, 2023 8:16 AM
    Reply # 13221690 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All is well with Randy and Tortuga. Follow Randy and Tortuga here


    From Randy and Tortuga 6/27 


    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Tuesday, June 27th

    Got some decent rest on and off throughout the night. Woke up early to light conditions and shook out the reefs in the main. Sleeping conditions are great with the port settee on the low side and a great place to nestle in. Some things are money well spent, i.e., the world's most expensive sleeping bag from Ocean Sleepwear. They make them for the extreme survival ocean races like Vendee-type conditions etc. A nice thick fleece liner with an amazing outer shell. Doesn’t seem to mind if you’re wet. You’re still warm and cozy. I call mine The Revenant. If you’ve seen the movie, you understand.

    Made some blueberry pancakes to kick off the day and then switched out to my super Yankee, and we’ve been flying along all day at 6.5/7 knots in 12/14 knots. Could use some more sun to top off the house bank. The new AP is a bit power-hungry. Got the folding solar panels out on deck for the goal zero battery that I use to charge all the devices etc. Hope I’m sailing down south enough of the high-pressure zone. Could actually be out on deck today without getting soaked. A welcome change, and I think we are out of the “windy reach”.

    I set up the Monitor Windvane to start steering this afternoon to give the AP a break and conserve more battery power. If the wind backs up a bit more tomorrow, I will fly the code 808.

    Looks flat up ahead. Hope I don’t sail over the edge…

    ⛵️Team Tortuga 

  • July 01, 2023 9:21 AM
    Reply # 13222604 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 6/28

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Wednesday, June 28th

    It was cloudy with mist on and off through the night with the wind gusting up into the teens. I had put a reef in the main to keep the weather helm to a minimum. I was still doing 6.5 with the reef. The house bank was down to 12.2, so I decided to run the engine in neutral for 45min before going to “sleep” (which consists of a series of 30 to 45min naps). That engine run took the house up to 12.7, so I called that good for the night.

    With the cloud coverage, it’s not enough sun to top off the house bank, and I don’t want to run it down too low. Before running the engine, I discovered a coolant leak underneath the heat exchanger. I hope it was just the loose clamp I found. Lost about 1/2 cup of coolant in the small bilge under the engine. Man, a good mechanic is hard to find! Who did such a shotty job?! Oh, wait. that was me. I left the cleanup of that for later in the day.

    Heard a VHF response from a container ship in the am and assumed he was responding to another racer; I saw him pass behind me about 3mi with the AIS alarm blaring. I find comfort in that annoying sound.

    Looking at the daily gribs it seems like I was about to sail into a small high-pressure zone in the am, so I fell off course quite a bit; it seems like I’ve avoided that high-pressure area and was still moving at 5.5/6knts.

    Took the opportunity to clean up the engine room mess and add more coolant with the mellower point of the sail before hardening up again once past the last small high-pressure bit.

    I've seen a few more container ships throughout the day with no name on the AIS ID. I thought I was out of most shipping lines, but that’s not the case.

    I’ve been about to put up the Asymmetrical spinnaker a few times today, got the sheets ready and run, and pulled the sail from the V berth but each time the wind starts blowing again and we start doing 6.5+ knots and would be overpowered by it.

    There has been a parade of mini squalls all day where the wind puffs up and it gets cloudy and misty as it passes over which is helping my speed. Tortuga has been doing 150 mile+ days which is nice and my fastest time so far doing this race at this point. The other times I sailed the race there was a wind hole for a full day on the day of the start offshore and I sailed into a high-pressure zone with no wind for a few days. I just need to keep the boat moving and not break anything except my own record for the crossing.

    A mushroom Pizza is in the oven for dinner tonight. A Pacific Crossing menu that includes Pizza multiple times a week is highly recommended! A pizza within a pizza sounds like a good idea = Pizza-ucken. Need to work on the name a bit…
    Team Tortuga

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  • July 01, 2023 9:22 AM
    Reply # 13222605 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All is well with Randy and Tortuga. Follow Randy and Tortuga here

    From Randy and Tortuga 6/29

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Thursday, June 29th

    It's been super light winds all night/morning. At first light, I got the Asymmetrical spinnaker up and going and we’ve been ghosting along about 3-5 knots.

    Treated myself to a toasted egg, avocado, and cheese sourdough breakfast sandwich after getting the spinnaker all sorted.

    The last time that sail was used was on my friend Marks boat for the PacCup last year. We tested it for his boat but never ended up using it on the race. I thought I had made it around and out of the high-pressure zone but no luck. I even noticed the barometer went from 1016 to 1020 when I was making my log entries this morning. I wonder how the other boats are fairing or if they made it more south. From what I can tell on the daily position report it sounds like there are a few boats much farther south than me. Probably in better winds, I would imagine.

    Spent the afternoon with the Asym up and gliding along at 3-4 knots. If the gribs I’m pulling are right, I’m right along the southern edge of the high-pressure blob and should have some more breeze this afternoon. Kicking myself for not giving it more margin and heading more south. If this wasn’t a race, it’s downright pleasant! I don’t have to do parkour to make it across the cabin, I can just walk. What a concept! Took the opportunity to wash the dishes and was able to open the sink drain and it would actually drain. The Asym has been flying all day. The zone of the micro squalls the last few days is no longer. Not sure if that’s because I’m skirting the high or not. Will keep the kite up into the night if the breeze stays this light. I’ve got my mental fire drill all worked out if I need to douse it quickly By 1700 we were back to doing 5-6knts right on course. 6 or 7 would be better, but compared to earlier today, I’ll take it! Really nice steady sun this afternoon for a few hours and it topped up all the batteries nicely.

    Got a couple of emails from other racers and it’s nice to see how everyone is doing now we are in a more pleasant phase of the race. The last few hours before sunset it got really light and foggy. Was sailing along at 2-3 knots inside a cloud. The AP was barely doing any steering and it was eerily quiet. The wind picked up after the “sun” went down and I was back to 5/6 knots. I could see a moon trying to peek through the clouds giving the sky a pale glow. With the slight wind increase the spin halyard started its squeak again and the sound reminded me of Sailor the Dog telling me it’s his dinner time.

    Mermaids? None so far…

    Team Tortuga

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  • July 01, 2023 9:24 AM
    Reply # 13222606 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (Sorry this message is out of order Jay Bietz)

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Sunday, June 25th

    It was a misty morning at the start of the day.
    I had finished most of my last to-do projects at about 9 pm the previous night. The last things to take care of after the swirl of the emergency haul out (oh yeah, that’s right, I had to haul the boat on Friday and splashed Saturday morning to fix my max prop that came loose and made it to the skippers meeting just in time!) were to finish installing the boom pieces and lines for the 3rd reef, get the dingy secured, and remove the last minute things off the boat I didn’t need. The saying that getting to the starting line is the hardest part of this race couldn’t be more true!
    Admiral Dani and Sailor, the dog, were there in the morning, as well as Jim from W32 Resolve and his sister, who came by to wish me well at the dock at Pier 39 along with Chris from the Pork Chop Express and his wife Charlotte who are my dock neighbors; we also got to wish each other a safe passage.

    I wasn’t sure which head sail to start with as the forecast was for a lighter breeze outside the gate. I’m so glad I didn’t try to fly a larger jib! It was a breeze getting out of the gate. I had a terrible start and got caught in the counterflood current that had started to flow. I was trying to start with just the staysail to make it easy to tack back and forth as needed, but then I realized I had to get the jib up to get enough speed to make it across! The other 2 Westsails pulled away from me and made it under the bridge before me. The nice consolation was the pics Dani sent me of my friends from onshore who came out to GGYC and friends that came to see me off from the water and the day before at RYC; THANK YOU!

    It was a washing machine ride out with the last of the ebb pushing us out under the bridge and past point Bonita doing almost 9 knots! It lit up a bit, and I knew the breeze would eventually pick up, so I was torn about expanding the energy to put up a bigger headsail or not. I decided to leave it as it was and made some decent progress in the lighter breeze and nap. I could see about eight other boats just to the north of me, so that was good. The breeze did fill in, so we were bounding along at 6.5 knots later in the afternoon. It was a bouncy night with lots of shipping traffic, so I was eventually down to a double reefed main with the working jib and staysail.
    A pesto margherita pizza from the oven with fresh basil topped off the evening!

    Team Tortuga

    6 files
    Last modified: July 01, 2023 9:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • July 03, 2023 12:01 PM
    Reply # 13223116 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 6/30

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Friday, June 30th

    WWDKD? What would Dave King do? For those friends who don't know Dave, he is the Westsail racing guru, having sailed and raced to Hawaii more times than I can count. His wisdom and words have been with me this trip; his main advice was: "If you’re not sailing at 7.4 knots, trim your sails". Well, I’ve been doing plenty of that and trying to keep the boat speed up in the light air. At this point, I know the other Westsails are ahead of me from the daily update, but I'm still trying to make the Westsail family proud by keeping the boat moving as best I can and at least beating my previous best time doing the race of 17 days.

    The Asymmetrical spinnaker has been flying for 24 hours now. Will likely be at least another 24 hours before the wind starts backing too much for that sail. Then will need to decide on flying the symmetrical spinnaker based on winds and squall frequency.

    No sun yet this am. Another grey day so far. Pulled another GRIB report, and I really hope I’m out of the light winds now, although it looks like there is another possible spot late morning for a few hours, looks too big of an area to try and skirt around. Headed down a bit more south. We shall see.

    Was a great afternoon, and the sun came out for quite a few hours. The little squalls have become bigger, and after the one around 1900 decided I shouldn’t be flying the asym anymore. It was a good 36-hour run with that sail-up. The squall didn’t look like much on the horizon, but it was windier that the others had been on the leading edge, and we started to round it up pretty quickly. Jumped into quick douse plan action, fell off 

    ⛵️Team Tortuga 

    2 files
  • July 03, 2023 12:02 PM
    Reply # 13223117 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/1

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Saturday, July 1st

    Really, really frustrating morning; the wind shut down around 0200 - 0600. We were ghosting along around 3 knots for most of that time, rolling around in the swell. The squall-type weather affected the forecast of 15 knots, I think. There wasn’t just one, particular, squall; just a large patch of light winds, drizzle, and rolly seas. Was feeling really down about my position when got a note from Elizabeth Ann early morning, and Gary said they were in the same weather pattern, so I felt a little better about not falling even farther behind, but not sure how much it slowed their lead.

    Had an actual visible sunrise this morning with a rainbow to cheer me up.
    The last the blueberries are gone, with a batch of blueberry pancakes to start the weekend off right. I bought super green avocados and haven’t been able to eat more than one. They’ll be great next week, I bet. Only a few bananas are left, and the oranges and apples are holding strong. Have not started using the lemons yet, so I think I’ll be able to avoid any scurvy outbreaks onboard.

    The wind filled in by late morning and started backing more, so I got the staysail down and poled out the super Yankee to port. It’s Day 7 of being on a starboard tack. Been cruising along in the mid 6ks all day. Get bursts into the low 7s with squalls passing over. Still too breezy for me to fly the symmetrical spinnaker comfortably. There was a period when it lightened up, and I thought about it but will see what tomorrow brings. I can cruise at 6.5-7 with no fire drills and ride the squalls passing over with the current sail config. That seems to be working right now.

    I’ve been seeing many batches of old fishing gear and netting going past me today. Disheartening to see it, and certainly, I would not want to get caught up in one of those floating islands of debris.

    I noticed my bilge pump going off before taking my evening nap. I investigated further and found the starboard cockpit drain thru the hull weeping around its base. There is no seacock or valve; it’s just a straight hull that the cockpit drain hose attaches to and goes overboard just above the waterline (when not moving around). I tried tightening the hose clamps, but it seems it’s weeping at the base. Possibly the inner retaining nut is loose, or something else is the issue with the thru-hull piece. Not sure. I mixed up some splash zone, did some boat yoga to reach it, and put it in the affected area. It’s curing now and seems to have stopped the water. Will try a second application once the first is cured.
    “If it was easy everyone would be doing it”.

    ⛵️Team Tortuga 

    2 files
  • July 05, 2023 6:46 PM
    Reply # 13224044 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/2

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Sunday, July 2nd

    Was a rolly night, and I started my day by checking out the splash zone epoxy repair on the thru-hull. I think my first applications were not generous enough with it, so I mixed a 3rd batch and covered the whole area. Will check on it in a few hours after it cures more.

    A really beautiful morning, although I spent it pulling myself in and out of the engine compartment laying across the top of the engine while not trying to damage anything to reach the thru-hull and apply the epoxy.

    Was trying to summon the energy to get the spinnaker back up, and then the wind filled in, and we are doing 7knts again. Had our first squall downpour for a few minutes when it was raining hard. Nice to clean the decks and the sails off from the crusty salt build-up. Right before that downpour hit, the wind went super light, so we're kind of thrashing around in the swells with no wind in the sails. Surprised by how cool the temperature dropped while it passed over us. It’s been continuously raining most of the day now. Checked the epoxy repair, and it seems to have mostly stopped leaking for now. The true test will be when, at some point, I’ll need to be on a port tack and that thru-hull is completely submerged. For good measure, I added a 4th layer in the evening, so I really hope it holds.

    I thought I had been resting up enough on the trip so far, but today it really hit me how tired I am from all the months of race prep and the crazy last-minute haul out, etc. Took a lot of naps today and kept the boat moving as best I could in the lighter airs.
    It’s been a full week underway now, from Sunday to Sunday. Should hit the halfway mark tomorrow.

    It was overcast and rainy all day but had a nice sunset. Thought I saw some small birds going in and out of the waves but then realized it was flying fish!

    ⛵️Team Tortuga 

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