We had some offline discussions about Cirrus' previous performances, and I thought that I might give Bill some relieve in posting and put this on our blog.
Cirrugator gave me a helping hand, and if you wish you can look up those numbers yourself at www.cirrugator.com. This covers all of Cirrus' races, and all deliveries (but not the returns from the earlier races). Keep in mind that the distance to travel on the Transpac is about 10% greater than in the Pacific Cup.
First the deliveries: You see a lot of variation between the three routes. Even the 2007 delivery to Los Angeles initially went further north than the 2006 delivery to San Francisco. The thin yellow line is the Great Circle between Hawaii and SF, which is the shortest distance between those two points on the globe. The thin white line is the Rhumb line, a straight line on a nautical map, but NOT the shortest distance between the points it connects!
Now the races: You find the tracks much closer together than for the deliveries, but still quite different. And none is on the Great Circle. The reason is that while this would be the shortest distance to travel, it would not necessarily be the fastest; the wind determines how far south you have to go.
The Great Circle between Los Angeles and Hawaii is not shown, but it would be north of a straight line between those points, the Rhumbline, and you see that Cirrus' route was way south even of the rhumbline, yet Cirrus made first place in her division during that race! It all depends on the wind.
Finally I am adding a table summarizing Cirrus' performances on the various passages. The fastest passage ever was the 1998 Pacific Cup (3rd place) with an hour less than 12 days, the longest was the 2007 Transpac delivery with over 19 days. The slowest was the 2000 Pacific Cup.
So, the benchmark is still unchanged: the 1998 Pacific Cup defines the performance to beat!