This year’s 14th biennial singlehanded race from San Francisco to Hanalei Bay, Kauai drew 16 solo sailors in boats ranging in size from a Kirby 23 to an Open 60. After racing the 2120-mile course, UK Sailmakers customers won two of the four divisions. With unusually light air off the California coast, the race split into two divisions, the boats that made it out to the system breeze quickly, and those that did not. Synthia Petroka, Textile Engineer for UK Sailmakers San Francisco and one of the two women racers, sailing a Hawkfarm 28 won the ‘Small Plastic Classics’ division and actually finished ahead of all the boats in the next faster division of ‘Rhumbliners’. On corrected time she finished 6th, trailing the first-to-finish Open 60 by only 58 minutes on corrected. Another UK Sailmakers San Francisco customer, Phil MacFarlane, racing his Ericson 35 SAIL A VIE was first-to-finsh and corrected out 1st in the ‘Rhumbliners’ division. An interesting note about Phil’s Polyester Taffeta / Carbon inventory: He used the same sails to win this race overall in 2004 and delivered his boat back to San Francisco using his racing inventory. He used his racing sails for the return trip this year — under double reef most of the time — and he says that there is no notable degradation to the sails after almost 10,000 miles of singlehanded sailing. Well that’s not quite true, the sail numbers are a bit faded!
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