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The Transpacific Yacht Race (Transpac) is an offshore yacht race starting off San Pedro at the Pt. Fermin buoy, and ending off Diamond Head Lighthouse in Honolulu, a distance of around 2,225 nautical miles (2,560 mi; 4,121 km). Started in 1906, it is one of yachting's premier offshore races and attracts entrants from all over the world. The race is organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club.
Fully Crewed Multihull Elapsed time: Explorer (86' catamaran), 1997 of 5 days, 9 hours, 18 minutes, 26 seconds.
Fully Crewed Monohull Elapsed time: Alfa Romeo (yacht) II, 2009 of 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds.
Double Handed: Pegasus 50, 2009, sailed by Philippe Kahn and Mark Christensen, set a new record of 7 days, 19 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds.
In 1977 the yacht Merlin, designed by Bill Lee, set an elapsed time record of 8 days, 11 hours, 1 minute. This record would stand for 20 years. Ending Merlin's record, in the 1997 race a new monohull elapsed time record of 7 days, 11 hours, 41 minutes, and 27 seconds was set by Roy E. Disney's Pyewacket, a 73 foot maxi ultralight designed by Reichel/Pugh. The record fell once again in 2005, with Hasso Plattner's Morning Glory, a maxZ86 from Germany. Morning Glory was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls. She finished the race in 6 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes, and 11 seconds to win "the Barn Door" trophy, a slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time.
In 1995, multihulls were invited to participate for the first time, but not eligible for the Barn Door trophy. Steve Fosset set a new race record in 1995 on his 60' trimaran Lakota, of 6 days 16 hours 7 minutes 16 seconds. Two years later in 1997, this record was broken by the 86' catamaran Explorer with a time of 5 days 9 hours 18 minutes 26 seconds.
On July 7, 2009, Alfa Romeo II beat the Morning Glory record for best day's run set in the 2005 race, by sailing 399 nautical miles (459 mi; 739 km) in 24 hours. The next two days she broke her own best-day record by sailing 420 nautical miles (480 mi; 780 km) and 431 nautical miles (496 mi; 798 km). First to finish the 2009 Transpac, Alfa Romeo II set a Transpac race elapsed-time record of 5 days, 14 hours, 36 minutes, 20 seconds. This represents a new race record for monohulls; the multihull record of 5 days, 9 hours, 18 minutes, set by Bruno Peyron in the 1997 race, remains. However, because she must use "stored power" (a diesel engine) to move, Alfa Romeo II, sailing in the "unlimited" class, was not eligible for the traditional "Barn Door" trophy, but instead was the inaugural winner of a new trophy dedicated by Trisha Steele, called the "Merlin Trophy".
In the double-handed division, Pegasus 50, sailed by Philippe Kahn and Mark Christensen, set a new record of 7 days, 19 hours, 38 minutes and 35 seconds. They pioneered use of an iPhone, with Fullpower-MotionX GPS technology.
The 2008 documentary Morning Light is a film about the 2007 Disney-sponsored competitors in the race.