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Vic-Maui dates announced

By Staff | May 17, 2012

LAHAINA – Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Lahaina Yacht Club last week announced plans for the 2012 Vic-Maui International Yacht Race.

The 23rd edition of this ocean racing classic will start from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and finish near Lahaina.

The cruising division will start on July 5, and the racing division classes will start on July 7.

Racers attempt to follow the great circle route and finish near historic Lahaina at least 2,308 nautical miles later.

Vic-Maui challenges navigators to demonstrate their weather routing and navigational skills, as understanding the weather is critical when making decisions on navigating out of the Straits of Juan De Fuca and then along the Washington, Oregon and Northern California coasts to get into the tradewinds.

Success depends on the navigators’ skill in predicting where the Pacific High Pressure Zone will be.

The 2012 race will boast 14 entries, representing a 50 percent increase from the 2008 and ’10 races. Ten boats are entered in the racing division, and four are entered into the new cruising division.

Nine of the entries are Canadian and five are American. The boats range in length from 35 to 50 feet.

The first Vic-Maui race sailed in 1965 was the dream of RVYC member Jim Innes, who spoke incessantly about the idea of a race originating in Victoria and ending on Maui.

Innes persuaded three other RVYC members to make the first race, and upon arrival some 15 days later on Maui, they were met with residents who became the founders of the Lahaina Yacht Club.

The two clubs joined forces and sponsored the first official race in 1968 with 14 entries.

The current record holder for the race is “Grand Illusion” skippered by James McDowell of Lahaina Yacht Club, who completed the race in nine days, two hours and eight minutes.

Upon arrival on Maui, racers and their friends and families will be greeted by dockside celebrations, a Waiting Wahine Luncheon and an Awards Banquet on July 28 hosted by members of Lahaina Yacht Club.

For information, contact Bob Graybosch of Lahaina Yacht Club at bobgraybosch@gmail.com or (808) 268-5770.