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Los Angeles-to-Honolulu Sailing : Blondie Finds Wind, Moves Into Transpac Lead

<i> Special to The Times </i>

Bob McNulty’s Santa Cruz-70 Blondie found a fresh slant of wind Sunday and moved ahead of Roy Disney’s Nelson-Marek-70 Pyewacket to take the elapsed-time lead in the 2,225-mile Los Angeles-to-Honolulu Transpac yacht race.

At the 8 a.m. Sunday roll call, Blondie reported a position 749 miles from the start. Pyewacket’s position report placed her 729 miles out.

The winds had shifted to the northeast and were holding at about 18-20 knots.

Other Class A yachts which had passed the 700-mile mark were Citius, 717; Pandemonium, 712; Hotel California, 710; Ragtime, 705; and Cheetah, 702. The scratch boat Merlin had logged 689 miles.

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The wind shift to the north-northeast indicates that the yachts are sailing in the northeast trade winds, considered the most favorable for the race. Most of the yachts have been reporting positions well to the south of the rhumb line, the most direct route to the finish at Diamond Head on the island of Oahu.

Two catamarans were engaged in a close battle in their attempt to break the elapsed-time record of 7 days 7 hours 30 minutes in the 2,225-mile Multihull Los Angeles-to-Honolulu race.

Rudy Choy’s 62-foot Aikane X-5, out of Honolulu, was 787 miles from Los Angeles, and Steve Shidler’s 48-foot Wind Warrior, out of San Francisco, had logged 783 miles.

Aikane was slowed when her mainsail was down 15 hours for repairs after it was split in the strong winds. But even with jib and spinnaker she logged 297 miles in a 24-hour run. Wind Warrior’s run was 328 miles.


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