When Terry went a year and a half ago to ask her boss for a leave of absence so she could sail in a singlehanded race to Hawaii, his response was, "That's a damn fool thing to do!"
"But," says Terry, "he got me the approval."
McKelvey makes no bones about being a 'junior' member of this year's race. She has been sailing only eight years, has never even been to Hawaii, and jokes that her conservative approach to singlehanding may allow her "to celebrate Christmas before I get to Hanalei."
Growing up in Death Valley, McKelvey says she was a real desert rat until she came north. Then, in the late '80s, "a friend at work took a bunch of us out for a sail and I was hooked." After a couple of seasons learning the ropes in local women's sailing groups, she bought Sensei, and has been sailing actively in shorthanded events ever since. The experience has started to pay off recently - last year, she took first in division in both the Drake's Bay and Great Pacific Longitude Races (the latter, aka the "Longpac", is a qualifier for the Singlehanded TransPac). That latter race featured weather extremes of 30-knot winds and 8-foot cross seas for 30 hours, versus so little breeze at the end that some boats took 15 hours to cover the final 12 miles!
For the SSS TransPac, Terry says she'll likely follow the 1020 Mb line "unless the voices tell me otherwise." She plans to reserve the mornings for her main sleep times and sail the boat hardest at night.
Terry extends a special thanks to friend Heli Rasher, who will help her sail the boat home, "and to all the TransPac veterans who have given me advice and encouragement."
Navigation: Traxar and Garmin GPSs, sextant backup; Steering: Monitor windvane, Autohem 2000 autopilots (2); Food: Canned food, backpack rations and power bars.
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