Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Vic Maui 2014 is in the books

by Vic-Maui Yacht Race on 24 Jul 2014
Vic-Maui -
Vic Maui 2014 is in the books. It is easy to report the final standings and who won which trophy. What is not easy to report are the feelings and memories that all boats will take away from this year’s race.

And this race had everything. Fifteen boats sailed off into the murk off Victoria on two separate days to promptly struggle with the tides in Juan de Fuca Strait. Both starting fleets rounded the corner of Cape Flattery and into lengthy open ocean calms off the Washington coast as the weather tried to figure out what it wanted to do. Then the weather gods decided the fleet needed a good blast, and so came three days of heavy weather reaching off the Oregon Coast. This blast was too much for the recently rebuilt Anduril who suffered a steering failure and Greg Harms and crew retired from the race to make for San Francisco under emergency gear.

Just when the other boats were figuring out how to sail in heavy weather and what was the best course to Maui, the dreaded Pacific High decided to wake up, move, and sit on the fleet. For a couple of days, Anduril was the only boat making progress. The calms were frustrating, only broken by the occasional tuna on the fishing line and the 'zen' of being the only thing in your part of the ocean (except for vast quanities of the garbage which is a whole other story). With the No Wind zone covering the whole offshore California area, Passepartout, Turnagain, Turicum, String Theory and Alegria decided to split from the fleet and took the high risk gambit of sailing into headwinds on the west side of the High.

Boats on the east side of the Rhumb Line eeked out what wind they could find, or in JAM’s case went back towards the coast to chase the earlier strong coastal winds. The others went for swims and focused on the fishing rods. The five boats on the west side had jibs up and were pointed towards Guam.

Eventually the trade winds came. On the east side, the rich got richer as the trades got to the boats furthest south earliest. Longboard and New Haven started legging out, followed by Kahuna and JAM. Picking up the wind a little later were Kinetic and Family Affair, then later still Avalon, Losloper and Bedlam II.

What followed was five or six days of perfect blue water broad reaching for Hawaii at top speed. Unless you were one of the brave five on the west side who still had their white sails up, and while enjoying a shorter course we neverously hoping the wind would back to the east and let them get in on the speed game.

As all boats got closer to Maui, the navigation of numerous squalls, too many days of stressing the sails and rigging with higher winds, and the onset of crew fatigue became the storyline as all boats started to see minor and major failures.

Longboard and New Haven rode the strong winds to the finish, and an improving sailing angle allowed String Theory to take charge of the five renegades and make good time as well.

But Poseidon, or Pele the Hawaiian goddess of wind and volcanoes, or whatever god out there that does not like sailors, was not finished. Boats were now getting discarded fishing nets and ropes and other garbage stuck on their keels, rudders and props; sails started fraying or disintegrating, halyards started breaking, and Kahuna lost their mast overboard. John Leitzinger and his crew were able to quickly clear the wreckage and get moving under jury rig with the loss of only an hour - Remarkable. And this was all before the remnants of Tropical Depression Mali delivered an unforecast punch of storm-force winds of 35 -50 kts right on the kisser of Passepartout, Turicum, Kinetic, Family Affair and Alegria. They used every seamanship skill they had to survive this and then blast to the finish. Then the wait was on for the smaller and heavier boats (Losloper, Avalon and Bedlam II) to the ride the steady trade winds to the finish.

All crews were joyed upon arrival in Lahaina by the enthusiastic and generous welcome put on by the volunteer LYC Welcome Parties. And the the greetings of waiting loved-ones were very emotional for many. Then they were off to enjoy the shore delights of new port: a Mai Tai, a shower, a sleep in a real bed, and some fresh food – in different order for different people.

It was a very memorable Vic-Maui. Conditions ranged from frustrating calms to perfect blue water sailing to survival. Boat types went from the venerable Bedlam II built with long-gone design ideas and returning to Maui after 32 years, to the custom designed flyer Longboard, to everything in between. And there was the incredible display of seamanship required to deal with broken spars, broken rigging, and broken sails. These are the things sailors will remember for a lifetime.

All attention now turns to the Awards Banquet on Saturday Night at the Sheraton Maui at Black Rock. An impressive array of silverware and Polynesian Sailing Canoe model trophies still needs to be handed out. And the last opportunity for all boats and crews to share stories, have fun with each others' triumphs and foibles, and to share one last Mai Tai together.

Last time, that is, until July 2016 and the 50th Anniversary Edition of the Victoria to Maui International Yacht Event website
Wildwind 2016 660x82T Clewring - GenericZhik Isotak Ocean 660x82

Related Articles

Could blistering progress slow as fleet prepares to head north
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. It has been another fantastic day’s progress in the North Atlantic. 30 knots of wind from the south-southwest, sun, and current has seen teams blast reaching and reporting record runs of approximately 300NM VMG in the past 24 hours, but that could end today as teams approach the edge of the Ice Box and prepare to head north into the light winds of the Azores High.
Posted today at 11:15 am
Two international teams added to Newport Bermuda Race
The Newport Bermuda Race’s international race course has long attracted sailors and boats from many countries. The Newport Bermuda Race’s international race course has long attracted sailors and boats from many countries. The 185-boat entry list in early June included sailors from 23 countries and 21 boats with non-US sail numbers. Fifty-five of the crews included sailors from outside the USA.
Posted today at 10:38 am
Clouds part for Day 1 of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week
Like parting of Red Sea, overcast skies opened just long enough for Ullman Sails LBRW to pull off the first two races 2016 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week - Like the parting of the Red Sea, the overcast skies opened just long enough for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) to pull off the first two races of the annual three-day event. With the sun came the breeze: a modest six to 10 knots, but enough for lively and competitive racing.
Posted today at 10:13 am
RORC IRC Nationals - Round two FAST40+ Race Circuit - Day 1
Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for Second Round of FAST40+ Circuit, held at RORC IRC Nationals. 2016 RORC IRC National Championship - Girls on Film showed guile and skill to come out on top for the Second Round of the FAST40+ Circuit, held at the RORC IRC National Championship. Invictus showed impressive downwind speed to lead the class after three races but a problem in the last race cost Invictus the overnight lead. Seven of the eleven Fast40+ fleet made the podium on the first day.
Posted today at 6:36 am
RORC IRC National Championship - Mike Greville in action
61 crews competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta today RORC IRC National Championship - 61 crews competing in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship were eased gently into the regatta today initially with sub-10 knot conditions. However by the time the fourth and final race was held, the breeze had built to 20+ knots in the gusts. This, combined with a short, sharp chop kicked up by a building flood tide, led to numerous wipe-outs.
Posted today at 6:04 am
470 Junior Worlds - Don't get stressed!
Patience and the ability to read the wind shifts were important at third race day of the 470 Junior World Championship Patience and the ability to read the wind shifts were important at the third race day of the 470 Junior World Championship at the Kiel Week. 'It wasn't easy today', said race director Fabian Bach, since the classes could only be started in shifts on the inner race courses due to a thunderstorm warning.
Posted today at 5:41 am
2016 Bacardi® Newport Sailing Week – Action will begin on Friday
Looking forward to great weather and great sailing conditions, one-design sailing boats will be on Narragansett Bay 2016 Bacardi® Newport Sailing Week – Looking forward to great weather and great sailing conditions, one-design sailing boats will be on Narragansett Bay to compete sixth Bacardi Newport Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG.
Posted today at 5:00 am
Superyacht Cup - Day 2 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 Superyacht Cup and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2016 Superyacht Cup and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:14 am
More spectacular sailing on race day two at Palma's Superyacht Cup
The Superyacht Cup's social scene, known to rival the insane on-the-water action, has already lived up to its reputation The Superyacht Cup's social scene, known to rival the insane on-the-water action, has already lived up to its reputation as last night's après-race partying went on long after the sails had been packed away. Apart from a lively atmosphere and full dance floor, this year's '20 Years of Rock' theme showed some sailors' hidden talents of playing air guitar and being able to rock back-combed hair
Posted today at 3:57 am
Picture perfect conditions for day one of racing at the Clagett
Newport turned on the charm for day one of racing for 22 sailors at C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta. Newport turned on the charm for day one of racing for the 22 sailors at the 14th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta. After a slight delay waiting for the breeze to settle, the race committee, led by Principal Race Officer (PRO) Tom Duggan (East Sandwich, MA) provided four races for the two classes taking part, the 2.4mR's and the Sonars.
Posted today at 3:28 am