Not-too-early morning brought the start of the TransPacific yacht race to Honolulu, complete with free continental breakfast and pretty girls wearing leather knee-high riding boots (to a yacht race? I think we’re mixing our upper-class leisure events here, aren’t we?). Throw in Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, smiling with the whole of his catcher’s-mitt face, and I’m hooked. Of course I was there!
In Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor on Sunday, the last wave of TransPac racers sailed by the packed pier for their send-off, a ceremonial precursor to the actual start of the race. They are heading for Hawaii, and this wave of boats are rated the fastest based on sail and hull design. Each team drifted by, treated to an introduction, encouraging words and, of course, a hearty, “Alooooooooooahhhhhhhhhhh!” followed by the boom of cannon fire.
Highlight of the ceremony: Definitely the Hugo Boss yacht. They were dressed fabulously and smelled fantastic.
Biggest Disappointment: No actual cannon, just two guys camped out by the lighthouse detonating glorified M-80s to replicate the sound of a blast. Is nothing sacred?
Biggest juxtaposition: The drive from the yachter/polo player-occupied dock in Rainbow Harbor to the streets of San Pedro. The starting point of the race was actually far off the cliffs of Point Fermin, which is a far cry from the gentrification of downtown Long Beach.
Watch the day’s slideshow here.