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Vic-Maui: Another One Bites the Dust

Published on July 18th, 2016

The 2308 nm Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race is hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club. The fleet of 22 entrants had four staggered starts on July 9, 10, 11, and 12. Here is a report from the race office on July 18…

Sheesh – What A Day
Race Committee’s day began very early with a note from Kinetic that they had just passed Longboard about 1 mile off. And Longboard had picked that time for a broach, followed by an accidental gybe. It is too bad the early morning murk prevented a photo but all’s well that ends well.

Then there were a few reports of gear falling apart. Not unexpected for a buster of a race with winds over 20 kts for days at a time, but you keep wondering what is going to break next. But all of the boats continue to rumble top speed and the wind predictor keeps looking better and better for the last 1000 miles to Maui.

Then Race Committee was notified that Travis McGregor’s Turnagain had suffered a failure of their steering quadrant and they decided to retire from the race and start using the auto-helm. Until they mentioned the upcoming lamb roast, Race Committee was almost feeling sorry for them.

Then Crossfire was approaching Neah Bay with only fumes left in the diesel tank. It turns out they made the fuel dock with very little to spare. Race Committee then facilitated their Custom’s clearance at Port Angeles to see them safety home.

Then the Race Tracker started indicating that 4 boats might break the Vic-Maui record and arrive a day ahead of the families planning to meet them. What could Race Committee do? I guess we could ask Valkyrie, Kinetic, Westerly and Longboard to slow down, but I don’t think they would listen.

Then Travis McGregor got thinking about joining the race in Cruising Class. That took some thought. (see related story)

Then it was time for Roll Call. It seems that Valkyrie is having satcomm issues and cannot participate. All is probably well aboard as they continue to literally fly towards Maui. But we did hear from Mountain, who is still making good progress toward San Francisco, now 370 miles away. But that does not stop Race Committee from fretting.

Then, the most recent update from National Hurricane Center indicated that ex-Tropical Storm Celia was lingering northeast of Hawaii and might cause some local high winds and that Hurricane Darby was still on path towards Hawaii. Good seamanship will see the competitors through, but it is a cause more fretting by the Race Committee.

Anyone want this job?

The Race is On – Cruising Style
Travis McGregor’s Beneteau 50 Turnagain suffered a failure of their steering quadrant today. Based on their available options, steering the last 1000 miles to Maui in 20 kts of breeze with a short emergency tiller did not seem like the best one. They decided to retire from the race and start using the auto-helm. Until they mentioned the upcoming lamb roast, Race Committee was almost feeling sorry for them.

But then the crew got thinking – sailing with lamb, mint sauce, and autohelm sounds just like the Cruising Class – a race currently with only 1 boat. Why couldn’t Turnagain just join Forty and make a 2 boat match race.

Forty replied “why not?” With the inclusion of reasonable conditions like a prize of fruity rum drinks they accepted.

Because Turnagain is 270 miles away from Forty, it is difficult to re-start together. But they have both agreed to a 1011.7 mile race that started at 1700 PST (1400 HST) today. Race Committee will take Forty’s time when Turnagain crosses the finish line and make the necessary handicap corrections to determine a winner.

That is unless Forty beats Turnagain to Maui. Now that Michael Boldt and his crew aboard the Tartan 4100 have a real race objective, who knows what they can make their boat do. The Race is On.

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Source: Vic-Maui Race

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