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SAILING : DeLaura Expected First for Landfall in Transpac

July 12, 1993|RICH ROBERTS

HONOLULU — John DeLaura's Silver Bullet was expected to lead the finish of the 37th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii tonight, as winds continued erratic under persistent Pacific cloud cover Sunday.

While rivals groped for puffs of the northeast winds ranging from four to 20 knots, Silver Bullet seemed to be sailing in breeze all its own.

The Santa Cruz 70 from Los Angeles Yacht Club, following a northerly course set by navigators John Jourdane and Mark Rudiger, logged the fleet's best day, 247 miles Saturday.

That left it 388 miles from Diamond Head and cut Persuasion's overall lead from 66 to 34 miles. Neil Barth's Excel 53 from Newport Harbor YC was seven miles in front of Hasso Plattner's Reichel/Pugh 50 Morning Glory.

Sailing in IMS-A class, they started a day earlier than Silver Bullet and the other ULDB 70s.

For the first time Saturday, Silver Bullet was projected to beat those boats to the Diamond Head finish line at 8:42 tonight, Hawaii time, with Persuasion only 27 minutes behind in the battle for the coveted first slip on Transpac Row in Ala Wai Marina.

Otherwise, trophies in 10 classes will be determined by corrected handicap times.

Bonnie Gibson's all-female crew aboard the old Cal 40 Antara continued to lead IMS-C class, while the 102-foot, 72-year-old Canadian Navy training ketch HMCS Oriole moved up to second place in PHRF-C with a 176-mile day.

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