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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Vic-Maui boats are readying for the July 2022 Race start

by Charlotte Gann, Vic-Maui 24 Mar 2022 14:55 PDT July 2-8, 2022
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Aloha! At the entry deadline, fifteen boats have registered for the 2022 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race to paradise.

The preparation, the qualifying races

Throughout this past winter, the fleet of skippers and crew have bonded through intense Vic-Maui hosted courses to prepare them for the upcoming race: Offshore Preparation Seminar, 2-Day Offshore Personal Safety Course, Offshore Weather & Routing Seminar, and Offshore First Aid.

With the West Vancouver Yacht Club's Southern Straits Race during Easter, and the other official Vic-Maui Qualifying Races this May (Pacific NW Offshore Race and Swiftsure Race) boat crews will mesh their skills in overnight challenges, sorting out watches and watch captains. Skipper and crew are ensuring their boats to meet the requirements in the World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations, the Notice of Race and appendices. A common question 'How many crew are needed on the race boat?' has the answer varying from as few as 4 on a Lahaina Class boat to over a dozen on the speedster Racing Class boat Peligroso.

The start, the finish, the celebration

Vic-Maui boats will dock at Victoria's Causeway Marina in the heart of the city. The race fleet will begin arriving July 1, with a dock party held for race crews prior to each of the 2 starts (with support from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club) then each fleet will start near Brotchie Ledge on Victoria's waterfront.

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. Right off the start is the challenge of racing up the Juan de Fuca Strait with its fog, strong tidal currents, possible katabatic winds, and incoming shipping traffic. Once the boats leave Duntze Rock to port off northern Washington, they'll pass Tatoosh Island, then power reach down the coast until the North Pacific High signals them to turn right. Navigators will each choose the best "slot" to the trade winds for the final gybe, while avoiding approaching light winds close to the centre of the North Pacific High.

The 2,308 nautical mile race will test the boats and crew, while thousands ashore will follow on the tracker, reading of the adventures throughout the race via Daily Reports on the Vic-Maui home page; a transponder gets affixed to each boat to report the actual ongoing location and speed. Communication and boat safety has come an extraordinarily long way since 1965. Now, a daily Roll Call check-in by each boat with the Race Committee is done at a predetermined time. Safety requirements for racing in the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race are very high; this is an ORC Category One ocean race, but the requirements don't dissuade new racers from giving it a go. 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. And on-board satellite systems have become standard equipment, plus allowing boats to maintain a connection to their 'shore support' team, some of whom will fly to Lahaina and take in the Lahaina Yacht Club's Waiting Wahine luncheon and other fun activities while they monitor their crew and boat.

Why race in July? The North Pacific High is usually hooked in to latitudes north of California. By July the High shifts to be centred near 45N; it's huge, with its potential influence felt from 30N to 60N - plus it's warm! Paradise awaits.

The Vic-Maui race is co-hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club - it could not take place without the deep cooperation and engagement of both clubs and dedicated, skilful volunteers. When boats arrive in Lahaina, crew are greeted with leis, kisses from loved ones, a hand-crafted welcome banner, and a party hosted for their arrival and fantastic achievement of sailing to the most isolated populated centre in the world. 1000 HST on Friday, July 22, 2022 will mark the official end to the race and on July 23rd, a Gala will be held for the racers, trophies awarded, stories shared at what will likely be the last time the entire fleet will be together. Boat and crew will have been tested to their limits, will have encountered adventures never dreamt of, and will have become a well-oiled team with a lifetime of stories. Legends will live on for each racer's lifetime. Competing in Vic-Maui will be the pinnacle for many racers, generating decades of proud crew stories of 'Challenge, Adventure, Teamwork' in completing the race.

All Vic-Maui boats are winners; this is a marathon race, not a sprint. Why do this race? For possibly breaking the record, as at least one boat registered this year has stated. But mostly it's the challenge of racing offshore, the adventures at sea, the teamwork developed on a small boat in the largest and deepest ocean in the world, then arriving in paradise. Kraken in 2018 captured this perfectly.

While it's too late to enter the 2022 Vic-Maui, if this adventure speaks to you, now's a perfect time to consider putting the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race on your radar; already in the crosshairs of some, with boats inquiring from Europe about the 2024 Vic-Maui. Contact Jim Innes, Vic-Maui Event Chair for RVYC, .

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