June 28, 2000
The 11th running of the Pacific Cup, the bi-annual 2,070 downhill race from San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay in Oahu is fast approaching, with the first fleet of boats set to start on July 10th followed successively by the larger boats with July 14th set as the start date for Division H. That will be our start. I’m sailing on Rage this year to take a run at getting her record back.
Rage first made headlines in 1993 in her inaugural race across the Pacific. She was so radical and rated so fast, they in fact made her sail her first Transpac with only half of her intended sail area. Despite the heavily penalized sail plan, she still took first in class in PHRF. The following year in 1994, her first Pacific Cup, she broke the course record arriving in 8 days, 7 hrs., then did it again in 1996 with a run of 7 days, 6 hrs. In 1998, Roy Disney Jr.’s newest Pyewacket took the title for course record, completing the run in 6 days, 14 hrs.
I’ve spent a lot of time this year with the original design team of Rage – Steve Rander who built Rage at his Schooner Creek Boat Works in Portland, Ted Van Dusen who did all of the composite work, and Tom Wylie who designed Rage back in 1992. They’re building the Open 60 for my “Made in America” Global Challenge, and in many ways, Rage is the mother of “Wylie’s Wocket” – our affectionate term for “Made in America’s” Open 60. A few weeks ago during a noisy cell phone conversation while stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge, I quipped with Steve that it would be fun to “turbo charge” Rage using some of the concepts we’ve come up with for the Open 60. We tossed some ideas back and forth about changes to the rig and a revved up sail plan, and before I made it off the Powell St. exit, we had a plan.
The rig is already a very similar sail plan to that envisioned for the Open 60. Also, the keel on Rage was deepened in 1998 from 10′ to 13′, with a resulting increase in righting moment. We simply needed to put the boat back in balance and add some tricks for deep sailing angles and we’d be ready for battle. I was also very excited about getting out on the ocean for some long distance sailing again.
I’ve been driving a desk for a long time – 6 straight months now of non-stop work to build the “Made in America” campaign. In the last Pacific Cup aboard the “Azzura” we won the double-handed division, and I’m dying to get out there again.A break to Hawaii would be just grand about now, and we’ll be able to test some of the new rigging concepts planned for the Open 60. We had Rage out for a check sail the other day, and having already done some minor adjustments, and she streaked up the City Front in fine form.
The first race for the “Made in America” challenge will be the Atlantic Challenge in July of next year, but we need all the on-the-water data we can collect to trial our concepts. So now, having fully justified the trip to Hawaii in my mind, I can focus the next few days on scrambling to get all the rigging adjustments done and the sails completed The idea of pre-testing my design concepts on a proven boat, Rage, is very exciting and is a further step in the development of the “Made In America” Open 60 program.
For further information, contact: Joan Garrett/V.B.S.I. – media liaison for The Made In America Global Challenge