Now that the fleet in the Transpacific race, that long slide from Los Angeles to Honolulu, is well under way, it can be revealed that at the helm of the 75-foot schooner Constellation is a woman skipper who considers herself purely a rookie in ocean racing. "Everybody knows and fears the Constellation," says her owner-skipper Sally Ames. "She came in first in Class A and second over-all in the '55 race, but nobody knows anything about me. We've tried hard to keep my inexperience a secret."
Sally Ames, the only woman skipper in this year's race, is a buoyant, energetic 29-year-old Bostonian who has spent a good part of her life sailing small craft. Like many another small-boat sailor, she had the urge to try something larger, and this spring acquired Constellation "by twisting the owner's arm." Maxfield Smith, from whom Sally Ames bought her, is aboard to counsel Sally and her crew but, even so, the big Constellation, with one of the severest handicaps in the fleet, is not given much chance to win. "Never mind," says Sally. "The prospect of eventually gliding past Diamond Head will be satisfaction enough for me."