Magnolia resident Shawn Dougherty is sharing this year’s Transpacific Yacht Race victory with his crew, who joined him for the nine-day voyage from Los Angeles to Honolulu last month.

The six-member crew of the J/125 sailboat Hamachi not only bested teams in its division, but also won Transpac overall, finishing the 2,438-nautical-mile race in eight days and 52 minutes.

“This win is also for the local sailing community,” Dougherty said. “It’s really the local sailing scene that made us better racers.”

Dougherty grew up in Queen Anne and sailed as a kid. He raced locally, and then during a stint in Hong Kong while working for Weyerhaeuser. He took a break after starting a family, he said, and bought a house in Magnolia back in 2000.

“My parents also live in Magnolia, and so during my college years and after that we’ve been in Magnolia,” Dougherty said. “It’s a great community, and before that we lived in Queen Anne.”

Dougherty met his co-skipper Jason Andrews eight years ago through their children, who went to Evergreen School.

“He was in boating and I was looking to get back into boating, so we got into it,” Dougherty said.

They purchased the 40-foot Hamachi three years ago, upgrading from a family-sized J/36 sail boat.

“The previous owner of the boat is Greg Slyngstad, and he worked for Microsoft in Japan, and was subsequently CEO of, and that got bought up by Booking,” Dougherty said, adding Slyngstad has a penchant for giving his boats Japanese names. “I think that’s kind of his theme, so we kind of bought into his program.”

The carbon-fiber sailboat is light and, with 26 sails, meant to run fast.

“When we saw Hamachi, we skipped a couple levels in our sailing experience to step into Hamachi,” Dougherty said, “and it was like a playbook, and it was ours to screw up, if you will.”

Wanting a seasoned offshore sailor, Dougherty and Andrews invited Frederic Lafitte to join their crew, followed by his 28-year-old son, Lucas. Matt Pistay grew up competing against the Lafittes. They also brought on David Rogers, who Dougherty said is not only a great driver but also an exceptional navigator.

“We didn’t want to have issues 1,200 miles offshore with 1,200 miles to go,” he said.

The J/125 sailboat is expensive, and only 16 were ever made, Dougherty said. Four competed in the Transpac race.

“We were in Division 3, and it was a very competitive division. There were a lot of great boats,” he said, including three J/125s. “For us, coming in as the amateurs, it was, ‘Let’s just go in and beat the other J/125s.’”

They passed the other J/125s and were nearing first in their division by the second day of the race.

“On Day 3, [Rogers] said we should see where we’re at overall, and he came back and said, ‘I did the calculation, and we’re first overall,’” Dougherty said. “And we said, ‘That can’t be right. Go back down and do the numbers again.’”

They set their sights on winning Transpac after that, but also remained focused on being safe and having fun.

“The driving was better, the trimming was better, the discussions around navigation were kind of more open and fluid,” Dougherty said.

It was wet, loud and tight accommodations for the six-member crew, which fueled up over eight days with a mix of freeze-dried and premade meals they’d frozen for the journey. Freeze-dried food isn’t great, and if not enough water is added, they can cause dehydration, Dougherty said.

“Everybody loved it,” Dougherty said of the premade, boil-in-bag meals, “and then we served a couple meals of the freeze-dried, and then you saw everyone’s faces, like, ‘I’m not sure about that.’”

Andrews also captured footage of the Hamachi during the race using a drone, which added its own challenges. The first one he tested before the race got caught between the sails and spinnaker, and took a fatal drink. The second one held up better, but drones are meant to launch and return to a fixed position, Dougherty said.

“We were racing in some of that footage, and he was like, ‘Slow down, I need to get my drone,’ and we were like, ‘We’re racing. No, we’re not going to slow down.’”

Following their Transpac victory, the Hamachi crew received the King Kalakaua Trophy at an awards ceremony at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu. In honor of this being the 50th Transpac race, a local artist created a special wooden boat trophy.

“We’re discussing putting it on loan with the local yacht clubs,” Dougherty said. “This win is also for the local sailing community.”

The Hamachi crew had also made a side bet with the other J/125 crews, each putting $125 into the purse. They told the other competitors to put the money into a GoFundMe account for Kerry Sherwin, who was seriously injured in a July 1 hit-and-run collision while on his way to work at North Sail near Gas Works Park. Sherwin had been there for the Hamachi crew, to help them get ready for the race, Dougherty said.

“He was always right there ready to help us,” he said, “and he was super excited for us, and he’s gone out sailing with us before.”

People can follow the Hamachi crew’s journey on their Sail Hamachi Facebook page.