Vic-Maui teams prepping for race

Published on March 24th, 2022

(March 24, 2022) – This July, fifteen boats will race from Victoria, Canada in the Pacific Northwest to paradise in Lahaina, Maui in the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, a monohull race competed biennially since 1965, this being the 28th running. Throughout the years, almost 550 boats have raced to Maui.

Through intense race preparation, Vic-Maui skippers and crew have bonded this past winter, ensuring their boats meet the requirements in the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations, the Notice of Race and appendices.

There are two classes in the race; the Lahaina Class, with more flexible racing requirements, and the Racing Class, with some competitive yachts coming a fair distance to race, such as Doug Baker’s Kernan 68 Peligroso, from Long Beach, California and, from Kaneohe Yacht Club, Gib Black’s Tripp 47 Lurline from Honolulu, Hawaii.

A record-breaking race is always possible – the Elapsed Race Record, set in 2016 by Gavin Brackett’s TP52 Valkyrie is 8 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes, 50 seconds – and there is at least one 2022 challenger gunning to beat this.

Vic-Maui boats will dock in the heart of the historic port city of Victoria, Canada. The race fleet begins arriving July 1. The 2 race starts for the different divisions, will take place near Brotchie Ledge on Victoria’s waterfront, with fine shoreside viewing from Ogden Point Breakwater.

Distinct from many offshore races of typically 600 nautical miles, the 2,308 nautical mile Vic-Maui race is a unique offshore experience, two races in one. The race starts with the challenge of the Juan de Fuca Strait with its fog, strong tidal currents, while avoiding incoming shipping traffic.

Boats then leave Duntze Rock off northern Washington to port, passing Tatoosh Island, then a long reach down the west coast until making a right turn around the North Pacific High, with navigators choosing their “slot” to the trade winds for the final gybe and warm winds, while avoiding approaching the center of the North Pacific High with its light winds centered near 45N; it’s huge, the potential influence may be felt from 30N to 60N.

The 2,308 nautical mile race will test the boats and crew. Shoreside watchers can follow the tracker; a transponder affixed to each boat will report the actual ongoing location and speed, and read the adventures via Daily Reports on the Vic-Maui home page. A daily Roll Call check-in with the Race Committee is done by each boat at a predetermined time.

This is an ORC Category One ocean race where safety requirements are very high, but the requirements don’t dissuade new racers from the challenge. At least two-thirds of the crew, including the Person in Charge, must hold a valid certificate for a World Sailing approved Offshore Personal Survival course. On-board satellite systems have become standard equipment, which also allows boats to maintain a connection to their ‘shore support’ to monitor their crew and boat.

When boats arrive in Lahaina, crew are greeted with leis, kisses from loved ones, a welcome banner, and a party is hosted for their arrival and amazing achievement of sailing to this isolated Pacific island. After the race officially ends on Friday, July 22, a Gala celebration will follow for the racers, with trophies awarded and stories shared, this possibly being the last time the entire fleet will be together.

The Vic-Maui race is co-hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club and couldn’t take place without the engagement of both clubs and dedicated, skillful volunteers.

All Vic-Maui competitors are winners; it’s a marathon race. Why this race? Vic-Maui is an offshore yacht race, one of the few great challenges and adventures still possible for amateur yachtsmen, with teamwork on a sailboat in the world’s largest and deepest ocean teaching skills carried throughout life. Then they arrive in paradise, as captured in 2018 by Kraken. Competing in Vic-Maui is the pinnacle race for many, and decades of proud stories to share of ‘Challenge, Adventure, Teamwork’.

While it’s too late to enter the 2022 Vic-Maui, if this adventure speaks to you, now’s a perfect time to consider the 2024 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, as some are already considering and inquiries coming from as far as Europe.

Preliminary race dates:
Start dates July 2-8, 2022
Finish Time Limit July 22, 2022
Awards Banquet July 23, 2022

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Source: Event Media

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