Cliff Thompson, owner and skipper of Super Gnat is also the father of three of the Transpac crew members.
If Cliff Thompson
wanted to restrict his
sailing to the coastal waters between Marina Del Rey and San Diego, there would have been no reason to trade in his
Schock 35 sloop Super Gnat.
"But I wanted to do more distance racing" Thompson
"And to do that, I needed to jump up to a bigger boat."
Last June, Thompson
third boat to carry the distinctive Super Gnat logo - a Beneteau 40.7.
recently won the first 40.7 Southern California Championships, beating four other San Diego-based sloops.
has bigger plans for his
newest - and largest - boat.
plans to enter the centennial Transpacific Race next summer, then sail the boat in San Francisco's annual Big Boat Series.
Then off to a Mexican resort in SDYC's biennial long-distance race.
"They are great all-around boats," Thompson
said of the Bruce Farr Design.
"They are cruisers that are racers.
What I wanted was a larger boat with an interior that I could sail comfortably in longer races.
"You can buy an all -out race boat with no interior, but that doesn't work so well when you are taking the grandchildren to Catalina."
A 66-year-old widower and retired civil servant, Thompson
got into sailing at age 29 when he
purchased a Columbia 22
name Agnes III.
It was the first of eight boats to be sailed by the Thompson family.
"You're going to ask me to name them all?
joked yesterday of the lineage of the Thompson fleet.
The Columbia 26 Pixie followed Agnes III and was followed by a Cal 27 also named Pixie.
then briefly owned a Thunderbird sloop before buying the Ranger 29 Lone Rangere.
is not exactly a boat jumper.
Schock 35 for 13 years.
"When I bought that boat, the Schock 35 was a great fleet," said Thompson
"There were 30 boats in Southern California and 13 or 14 in San Diego.
By the time I decided to get the Beneteau, the local fleet was down to about five boats."
hasn't had to look very hard for a crew over the years.