Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

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
NaiadBakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr