SAILING : Cheval ’95 Overcomes Broken Mast to Win Transpacific Race

From Associated Press

Hal Ward’s Cheval ’95 finished the 38th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race with a broken mast Tuesday but held its lead to claim the Barn Door trophy as the monohull with the fastest elapsed time--nine days, one hour, 32 minutes and 20 seconds.

The Andrews 70, sailing its maiden race, started the day with a 46-mile lead over Rich DeVos’ 74-foot Windquest and broke its mast while running in strong winds only 25 miles from the finish.

The crew, which included helmsman John Kolius and navigator Mark Rudiger, was able to set a jury rig to reach the finish line off Diamond Head at half speed but with a comfortable lead.


Ward, an Arcadia eye surgeon, had Long Beach naval architect Alan Andrews design his 70-footer for the primary purpose of winning the Barn Door, so named because it is a 3-by-4-foot plaque of native Hawaiian koa wood, coveted by the world’s blue-water sailors.

Ward was dismayed when Windquest sailed as an “invited guest” without restrictions on sail size. Ward feared the efforts of the class competitors would be upstaged, but he won anyway.

Because of light winds through the first half of the 2,225-nautical mile race, Cheval ’95 missed the Transpac record of 8 1/2 days set by Merlin in 1977.

A few hours before Cheval ’95 arrived, Steve Fossett’s 60-foot trimaran Lakota finished in 6:16:07:16 to break the Los Angeles-to-Honolulu record for multihulls of 6:22:41:12 set by Rudy Choy’s Aikane X-5 in 1989.

Among the monohulls, Windquest and Larry Ellison’s Sayonara were in a close race for second place.