Calgary Sailor to compete in TransPac Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii

For Immediate Release
June 19, 2017

Calgary Sailor to compete in TransPac Yacht Race

On July 3, veteran Calgary sailor Christopher Lemke will be competing in the 49th edition of the prestigious TransPac Yacht Race.  Joining Skipper and Navigator Lemke is a multinational crew including Watch Captain Brad Lawson from Denver CO, Alan Carley from Victoria BC and Andrew Nelson from Tacoma, WA.
The TransPac is a classic test of seamanship and teamwork, attracting the top professional crews from around the world.  Yachtsmen cross 2300 nautical miles (4140 km) of open ocean from Long Beach, CA to Honolulu, HI.  This year’s entries range from Lemke’s Hobie 33 to the 100’ maxi yacht “Comanche” from the New York Yacht Club who will be aiming to smash the course record.

“We’re proud to represent Calgary and the Glenmore Sailing Club on the international stage”, says Lemke.  “Although we’re the smallest boat in the race, if the conditions are right we’re hoping to pull off a strong performance.  The boat is made for a downwind race like this.  It really takes off when we hoist that big spinnaker and start surfing those beautiful Trade Wind swells.”

A competitive sailboat racer, Lemke has over 24,000 ocean racing miles spanning three decades and several oceans.  Since moving to Calgary in 1992, he’s been a part of many significant ocean racing campaigns, all with local roots.   In 2000 he and a crew of dinghy sailors from Glenmore Sailing Club entered the Vic Maui International Yacht Race from Victoria BC to Lahaina, HI.  They were leading their division until they lost their rudder halfway to Hawaii and sailed the remaining 1,500 km under their emergency rudder.  In 2008 and 2014 he was Navigator and Watch Captain aboard a 40’ race boat in the Pacific Cup from San Francisco to the north shore of Oahu.  In 2012 Chris and a crew of Glenmore sailors took first place in the annual Swiftsure International Yacht race hosted by Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

This year while Dad is preparing for the TransPac race, he’s passed the helm of his family’s local boat in Calgary down to his 13 year-old son, who has been successfully campaigning it with other junior sailors from the Glenmore Sailing Club against a fleet of adults with decades of experience!

“I moved to Calgary from Ontario to study Architecture at U of C,” say Lemke.  “Every other school to which I’d applied was on the ocean.  The presence and reputation of the Glenmore Sailing Club was one of the key factors I considered when actually deciding where to study, and the club has been a huge part of my family’s life since then.  It’s such a great group of people who are passionate about the sport, and it’s been a launch pad for so many incredible adventures.”

Updates about Dark Star’s (4) progress during the race to Hawaii can be found at

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Media Opportunity to meet Chris Lemke

Christopher Lemke will be at the Glenmore Reservoir June 21 for the Wednesday Night Racing series. If he can’t wrestle the helm of his own boat  away from his son, he’ll be crewing for another boat in the fleet!  


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Christopher Lemke
Co-owner and skipper of Dark Star
Cell phone 403-701-7268

Tim Griggs
Commodore, Glenmore Sailing Club
President, Alberta Sailing Association
Cell phone 403-483-3028

Contact while Chris Lemke and Dark Star are racing between LA and Hawaii
Nollind van Bryce
Class Captain, Fleet 28
Glenmore Sailing Club
Cell Phone 403-560-3532