Early this morning (Friday, July 19), the 42-foot Zimmer reported to race committee that rig failure seemed imminent; they temporarily rigged the back stay and had reefed the main. There was a competitor nearby, vessel Good Call, that monitored AIS and VHF distress and is continuing to monitor.
Thanks to quick crew work, according to the race committee log, the MAYDAY was canceled within a couple of hours of the initial report.
According to Jenna Young, who is texting with those on board, “They were able to recover the backstay and are working to repair it and possibly reattach it. It may be a slow day for Zimmer.” She continued with a personal thought, “Sam loves to climb the mast, so I see it happening.”
The crew is confident in the pending repairs and has their sense of humor, with the most recent text message, “We will still make the parties.”
One of the most interesting facets of Transpac is the family involvement. A wonderful example is Alamitos Bay YC member Mike Gebb is sailing with his daughter Samantha and son William on board the family boat, Zimmer.
"Thirty-six years ago, I watched my then boyfriend, father-in-law and brother-in-law cross the starting line to race to Hawaii," Leslie Deukmejian Gebb said. "Today, Sheldon Gebb's legacies are making that same journey with son Mike and our children, Samantha and William on the water. The five other crew with their skill and support is heartfelt and appreciated. I can't wait to fill my field of vision with Zimmer finishing TransPac 2019."
Mike Gebb had previously sailed in the race with his father, well known admiralty lawyer and author Sheldon Gebb. Before they left Mike answered a few questions:
What is your experience in Transpac?
My Dad, brother, uncle, 2 cousins, and a friend of my father’s participated in the ’81 and ’83 TransPac races on a Tartan 41 named Regardless. (I was one of the youngest crew members in the fleet at age 17 and 19).
What kind of advice and help is your father, providing?
Besides the moral and financial support (as well as allowing us to use his boat) he has provided a tremendous amount of knowledge and advice on how to prepare for the race based on those two campaigns he was previously in charge of. Especially helpful has been recommendations on the menu and what to and not to bring.
He continues to help prepare the boat for the race doing everything from polishing the hull and refinishing the teak to checking that the engine and water system are working correctly. He also went through and repacked and updated all the medical kits and supplies.
Adding in additional items he has found useful. He even loaned us his sextant and books on celestial navigation along with stories on when it did and did not work (we had clouds almost every day so was rarely able to get a noon sight). GPS did not exist back then so we relied mainly on dead reckoning and celestial navigation.
Any Zimmer traditions on board?
We don’t have any real traditions other than sunset margaritas, but alas we won’t have the ice (or the blender) for this race. I’ve heard the families are sending a halfway bag which sounds like it will be fun. We have a wide variety of ages and experiences with this crew so it should be an interesting trip with lots of stories.
What are you looking forward to?
The first day and the last day are the best. Looking forward to getting out far enough putting up the kite and taking off the watch cap.
What are the challenges?
Biggest challenge so far has been finding the time to get everything ready. After the start it will be getting away from the mainland and out into the real breeze. Zimmer was designed for the southern seas so we are hoping to get her back into those types of conditions where she can really run free.