Vic-Maui: Record Breaker, People Smasher

Published on July 21st, 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 21…

Vic Maui Record is Smashed
Keeping the pedal to the metal all the way to the finish, Valkyrie, a TP-52 sailing for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and skippered by Jason Rhodes and Gavin Brackett, has smashed the record which has stood for 16 years. They finished at 5:17 local time for an unofficial new record of 8 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds.

Described by the tired crew as a people smasher of a race, there was no sign of let up as Valkyrie passed Hawea Point and onto the Finish and a totally unexpected huge Welcome Party. While there was the usual collection of broken halyards, ripped sails and broken bits, nothing serious was broken and the whole crew was stunned by their achievement.

The Valkyrie party carried on a bit as some of crew were so stoked after completing the adventure they stayed up to welcome fellow Royal Van member David Sutcliffe and his crew aboard the other TP-52 Kinetic which finished at 10:16 pm local time. Kinetic herself also beat the old mark of 9 days and 2 hours set by James McDowell on Grand Illusion in the 2000 Vic-Maui.

Westerly Comes in to Complete the Trio
After Valkyrie’s smashing run to the Finish and a new elapsed time record and Kinetic chasing her all the way in to be in position of a possible Overall win, Westerly completed the trio of boats beating the old record with a finish at 1:32 am HST. Stuart Dahlgren’s Santa Cruz 70, sailing for Royal Victoria Yacht Club completed the course in 8 days, 17 hours and 32 minutes, about 5 hours ahead of Grand Illusion’s 2000 run. In a year without TP-52s, the whole story would be on Westerly great race to Maui.

It was nice to the the family and local LYC greeting party enthusiastically welcome Westerly into Lahaina harbour about 2:30 am. But it was a nice touch for some of the crew from Kinetic and Valkyrie – Brothers & Sisters in Adventure – staying up to greet the Westerlies and share the stories of the shared wild ride of 2016.

Tropical Storm Darby Update
Boats have been sent the latest information from the National Hurricane Centre about Darby, and Race Committee has allowed competitors to seek outside help with routing around the storm. The routing forecasters (Eric Holden, Brad Baker and Commander’s Weather) have been kind enough to share information on storm routing with Race Committee and this has been passed to the whole fleet. Boats appear to be employing 3 strategies to deal with the tropical storm.

The leading boats which include String Theory, Equus, Rain Drop, Expresso, Kraken and Alegria X all appear to be pushing hard to get into Maui prior to the arrival of Darby sometime this weekend.

A middle group of boats that includes Turnagain, Miles, Salient, Ion and Canard have adjusted course to the south and are working to pass behind Darby.

The third group of boats that includes Amiskwi, Red Sheilla, Starblazer and Forty are counting on being far enough back for the storm to pass in front without having to adjust course.

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Source: Vic-Maui Race

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