The biennial Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, co-organized by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club, is an unforgiving 2308 miles of open ocean racing that takes a toll on both crews and boats.
Teams set off around June or July from the city of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada, and proceed to navigate around the Pacific High Pressure Zone, dodging the occasional tropical storm whilst fighting fatigue and equipment failure, before arriving in one piece at beautiful Lāhainā, in Western Maui, Hawaii.
This year, teams will need to keep an eye out for a low pressure system in California that’s powering gale force winds on the Pacific High’s southeast. Early predictions for the race suggest a preference to a more southerly route, in the search for consistent wind that will aid teams’ passage towards the finish line. Check out the YB Tracking Race Viewer to see how different navigators approach this weather system.
Congratulations are in order for each and every team that takes part in the race - but Geminis Dream deserves special mention. They’re the second all-female crew to rise up to the Victoria - Maui challenge, while Skipper Shannon Rae is a cancer survivor who kept her promise to live each day to the fullest. After coming out victorious from her battle, Shannon and her sister Nicole Speckmaier got the largest boat they could handle and decided to sail the Victoria to Maui race - and that’s how Geminis Dream became a reality. The team is also hoping to raise $10,000 for cancer research so please support them.
The current race record holder is Valkyrie, a Transpac 52 skippered by Gavin Brackett that sailed for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club in 2016. It shattered the previous record, completing the race in 8 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds. Will anyone be able to beat this competitive Grand Prix Racer?
We wish everyone in the Victoria - Maui yacht race safe travels - YB Tracking is with them every step of the way!
All photos (c) Vicmaui.org