Brown Cannon III
For Patricia Garfield, the Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii has the allure of a homecoming."I have a photograph of my dad holding me when I was about a year old," says Garfield. The photo shows father and infant daughter on a sailboat in Hawaii, where the family lived at the time, with Diamond Head and Waikiki in the background.
"You only see one or two hotels," Garfield says and laughs. "It was obviously a long time ago." Not so long, though, that all vestiges of island-girl identity have disappeared. Six years ago, after Garfield bought a yacht brokerage in San Francisco, she felt again the tug of Waikiki, the memories pulling at her as inexorably as the tide. "I thought, I'd love to be sailing in Hawaii," she says. "And that made me think of the Transpac. There's no better way to sail into Waikiki."
The Transpacific Yacht Race ― or Transpac, as it's more familiarly known ― may provide the greatest, most celebratory entrance into any harbor anywhere on earth. The race, held every other year, sets craft of all sizes on a ripping, sometimes blustery, always roistering downwind run for 2,225 nautical miles from the Palos Verdes Peninsula near Los Angeles to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor in Waikiki.