For Solana Beach’s Second Wind, first attempt at Transpac race yields victory

On the 13-member crew were Jim Kirkpatrick, Jay Davis, Jim Smith, Alex Jacobs, Cole Fargo, Dave Gould, Dean Fargo, Chuck Skewes, Steve Harvey, Erica Swensson, Zac Schramm, John Chamberlain and Rod Salazar. Photo courtesy Sharon Green/

Although the Solana Beach yacht “Second Wind” has competed in several races, it didn’t truly hit its stride until co-owners Dean Fargo and John Chamberlain took home a trophy from the 48th annual Transpacific Yacht Race.

Fargo and Chamberlain’s Swan 651 was the Division Six winner of the Transpac, a biennial offshore yacht race that was established in 1906.

“We entered it with a goal of finishing. To win is unbelievable,” said Chamberlain, a Solana Beach resident since 1979. “This is the first time we’ve done Transpac. To be a rookie and to win is pretty remarkable.”

Originally named Lady Godiva III, Second Chance was built in 1984. The yacht placed third in the Whitbread Round the World Race the following year. Now called the Volvo Ocean Race, the race spans thousands of miles and takes about nine months to complete.

In July, Second Wind got a second chance with the Transpac, a 2,225-mile voyage from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

“This is like the second go-around and race program with this boat,” Fargo said. “It’s a second chance, a second wind for this boat to win a big race.”

“We’ve continued the legacy,” added Chamberlain, president and chief executive officer of American Assets Trust, a San Diego-based real estate investment trust. “It’s in the record books once again.”

A Del Mar native, Fargo began racing when he was 16 years old. He and his family purchased Second Wind in 2005.

As captain, Fargo headed the 13-member crew for the Transpac. Co-owner Chamberlain served as cook. Chuck Skewes, a world champion sailor, served as skipper. He had previously participated in two Transpac races, placing second twice.

“The efforts from the crew were just exceptional,” said Fargo, co-owner of Four by Four Construction, a La Jolla-based general contracting firm. He has lived in Solana Beach since 1998. “Having a talented crew was key.”

Other crew members were Jay Davis, Jim Smith, Alex Jacobs, Dave Gould, Erica Swensson, Zac Schramm and Rod Salazar, as well as Solana Beach residents Steve Harvey and Jim Kirkpatrick.

The final crew member was Cole Fargo, Fargo’s 19-year-old son. The 19-year-old is a member of UC Berkeley’s sailing team.

“It was very emotional and a great experience to win this race with him,” Fargo said. “It’s a great experience we can share forever. I’ll never forget it.”

With the intent of reintroducing the yacht to racing, Chamberlain became co-owner in 2008. The crew started racing around 2010, competing in a number of offshore races in Southern California.

The crew began preparing for the Transpac three years ago, participating in preliminary races around San Diego, as well as a Cabo race and a Puerto Vallarta race.

“It’s a complete experience,” said Chamberlain, noting that the race took a little over 12 days. “You get the highs and the lows, the ins and the outs. All in all, by the time you reach the finish line, its quite a thrill.”

“All of our hard work paid off,” added Fargo. “This is by far the most prestigious win.”

For more about the Transpac, visit