Kettenburg Transpac Race Results 1949 -1971
By Neil Atwood

Transpac began in 1906 as a premiere west coast ocean race, and has remained at that level ever since. The race starts in Los Angeles, with a run down wind a distance of 2,222 miles to Honolulu. The race continually attracts the latest go fast yachts, as well as their world class yacht racing owners and crew. Yacht owners not only want to win first in class, and/or first in fleet, they want to beat the existing speed records.

While the hull shape of ocean racing yachts looked similar between late pre W.W.II and early post W.W.II, the yachts designed by George Kettenburg Jr. were lighter in total displacement. A yacht designer earns his reputation, and a ocean racing yacht design gains it's pedigree based on winning races. As the race results below show, Fred Lyon's Kettenburg PCC "Kitten" won first in class and first in fleet in the 1949 Transpac race. That fact speaks for itself.

In all, seventeen Kettenburg boats entered the Transpac race a total of twenty four times between 1949 -1971. Of which, a Kettenburg boat placed 4th or better in their class eleven times over this twenty two year period, or 50% of the time. An excellent result considering the advent of the lighter displacement Bill Lapworth designed Cal 40s, and the custom yachts of the 60s which took advantage of new and lighter hull designs using fiberglass.

Yacht Name   Design   Owners Name   Year   Finish Fleet   Finish Class
Akameri   K-50   Robert Alexander   1965   51   11
Elusive II   K-40   Milton W. Stratford   1965   37   9
Flare   K-50   Arnold D. Fenerstien   1967   13   3
Gossip   PCC   Dr. R. Phil Smith   1951   7   4
Irish Mist   K-50   John Holleran   1965   15   3
            1967   6   2
Kanaka Bug II   K-50   Charles S. Offer   1967   54   17
King Don   K-50   Donald E. Waters   1965   42   8
Kitten   PCC   Frederick W. Lyon   1949   1   1
            1951   11   6
Leslie Kae   K-50   Walter H. East   1965   16   4
Mammie   K-40   Milton R. Smith   1963   15   6
            1965   18   3
            1967       DNF
            1969   22   4
Nepenthe   K-41   Albert H. Allen   1969   46   10
            1971   48   10
Rascel   PCC   William H. Wilson   1961   38   7
Rascal   K-50   William H. Wilson   1963   13   6
            1964   13   6
            1965   3   1
Sea Urchin   K-50   Gordon S. Lacey   1967   56   19
Squall   PCC   A.C. Martin Jr,   1957   34   5
Undine   PCC   Norman L. Dawley   1975   22   6
            1977   13   3
Zephyrus III   K-40   Dr. Robert J. McNeil   1965   12   2