The 'Rocket Ride'
Reinrag2 wins Transpac 2007
Reinrag2 skipper Tom Garnier and his crew captured the coveted "Governor of Hawaii's Trophy" for takng first place overall in Transpac ’07 (www.transpacificyc.org), the 44th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race from California to Hawaii. The 2,225 nautical mile race is considered to be one of the four major "blue water" races in the world.
Of the 73 boats in the race, Garnier’s boat, Reinrag2, a 41-foot J125, captured first place overall with an elapsed time of 10 days 11 hours 51 minutes 35 seconds, reduced by a handicap allowance for a corrected time of 6:13:31:33 to secure the overall win. Reinrag2 was the 3rd boat in at the dock to trail behind only 2 other boats, one that measured more than twice its size. The 41-foot boat, which is considered small for this type of race proved that size doesn’t really matter when performance is required.
And performed they did. With boat speeds of up to 20 knots, the crew didn’t find much time to take care of mere necessities such as eating and sleeping. Yet the crew kept plugging away and as it was documented on their blog from the reingrag2.com website, “You could spend millions to get a ride on a rocket, and not get the experience we had.”
Tom’s brother, Al Garnier, who in years past has sailed as a crew member of Reinrag2 served as the Transpac 2007 Commodore. It was his dream to present his brother with the “big award”. You could say it’s been a family thing. In fact, the boat’s name, ‘Reinrag’, is Garnier spelled backwards. And 5 of the 6 crew were Garnier family members: skipper Tom Garnier, Al's sons Kevin and Darren Garnier, Kevin's wife Lashawna, Tom and Al's nephew, Jared Lathrop, and Joby Easton, a close friend that they sail other races with.
The win was quite a feat. Especially for a non-professional sailing crew with time and budget commitements far less of the many others competing in the race.