Menlo Siblings Plan to Sail to Hawaii


Sophomore Sammie Floyd and freshman William Floyd will start a 13 to 16 day sail race from California to Hawaii on June 29. Photo Courtesy of Sammie Floyd.

Laynie Sheehan, Staff Writer

On June 29, sophomore Sammie Floyd and freshman William Floyd will start a 13 to 16 day sail race from California to Hawaii. The race is called the Pacific Cup and around 60 boats are registered. Starting in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge, the siblings will arrive in Kaneohe Bay on the northeast side of Oahu. Their father, Ryan Floyd, and two family friends will also be aboard the boat. 

Their preparation for the race started in May 2019, which includes sailing almost every weekend in the San Francisco bay and safety and preparation seminars. Aside from sailing locally, the family travels to the southern hemisphere. “We’ve [sailed in] La Paz Mexico, Costa Rica, Caribbean and the Galapagos,” Sammie Floyd said. 

Ryan Floyd has sailed for over 25 years and participated in college crew. He bought his first boat in 1998. “Sailing came naturally to me at the time, as it was a great way to be outdoors.” Although sailing a boat can be simple, “there are also so many dimensions to it like electrical navigation, celestial navigation, diesel engines, rigging, sails, wind patterns, weather prediction, ocean cruising, buoy racing, etcetera,” Ryan Floyd said. 

The family will sail the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 to Hawaii and meet their mom and wife, Julie Floyd. Julie Floyd also loves sailing but does not like racing. “Not to mention the days without a shower and cramped quarters with freeze-dried food,” Ryan Floyd said on his wife’s behalf.

The family races the boat and enjoys working with others on the crew. In 2004, Ryan Floyd double-handed raced to Hawaii — meaning just two people operated the boat —and has done some other offshore races. The family sails about every other weekend and casual Friday night races will start in April, intended to prepare them for the race to Hawaii. Other than the sail to Hawaii, Sammie Floyd aspires to race in the Henley Women’s Regatta, an all-women crew, her senior year of high school.