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Embracing the madness for Mai Tais

Published on June 21st, 2022

With staggered starts to commence on July 4, 5, 7, and 8, the 2070 nm Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Kaneohe is getting real. After the biennial race was sidelined along with most everything else in 2020, the 21st edition is ready to write its history.

Now is the time the 66 remaining entrants need to make crucial decisions: freeze-dried or canned or frozen meals? Spend time practicing or installing something new? Which sails to carry or leave behind?

Most importantly, of course, is the beginning of strategizing around weather. The weather at the start is now beginning to come within range of somewhat reliable forecasting. Some are starting to stare at weather charts while others are consulting routing professionals (forbidden during the race, but okay before). It’s still too early to put pen to paper, but dock talk is ripe with theories.

As is always the case, the entry list has suffered attrition over time. The dropout reasons have been as varied as the entrants themselves, ranging from the mundane job duties to insurance to the poignant family medical issues.

There were a few cases of boat damage, one or two instances of new boats delivered too late, and a few cases of boats going out for the mandatory overnight test sail and concluding that “no, this is not for us.”

It’s often said that the wisest, and hardest, choice a skipper can make is the decision not to depart at all. It’s an act of prudent seamanship that deserves respect.

As for the three Moore 24s still on the entry list, no words can explain the madness they are embracing for the rewards of a finish line Mai Tai.

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