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Ahoy Victoria, Lahaina Awaits You

The Victoria-Maui race finishes in beautiful Lahaina, Maui. With a bustling town and harbor, perfect weather, fun surf and crystal-clear waters, Lahaina is the perfect place to rest and relax after a long and strenuous yacht race from Canada. The finish is hosted by Lahaina Yacht Club.

© 2018 Ronnie Simpson

While many Bay Area sailors are busy preparing for this summer’s Pacific Cup and the Singlehanded TransPac, it’s easy to forget that there is another race to Hawaii that begins farther up the West Coast. Back for its 27th edition is the Victoria-Maui International Yacht Race, originating in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, and sailing 2,308 miles to the rustic old whaling port of Lahaina on the island of Maui. After a big fleet of 22 yachts took on the “half-century” edition of the race in breeze-on record-setting conditions in 2016, signups are off slightly with just 11 entries for this year’s edition. While the fleet may be smaller this year, it’s still plenty interesting, unique and diverse, ranging from the requisite fleet of racer/cruisers to a TP52 and an old Whitbread/Volvo 60 vying for line honors.

The current record holder Valkyrie, skippered by Gavin Brackett and sailing for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, completed the 2016 race in 8 days, 9 hours, 17 minutes and 50 seconds, crushing the previous record of 9 days, 2 hours, 8 minutes and 27 seconds, was set in 2000 by Grand Illusion, skippered by James McDowell of the Lahaina Yacht Club.

© 2018 Vic-Maui Race

At the pointy end of the fleet is likely to be Peter McCarthy’s Reichel Pugh-designed TP52 The Shadow II and Chris Stanmore-Major’s new-to-him Whitbread/Volvo 60 Charger. Formerly known as Yamaha and skippered by Ross Field, she won the Volvo 60 class in the 1993-1994 Whitbread Round the World Race. Now in Stanmore-Major’s hands, she has been dusted off and re-fit after a long time in storage to begin embarking on an ambitious regatta and delivery schedule as a pay-to-play charter operation similar to J World’s Santa Cruz 50 Hula Girl or the Clipper Round the World Race.

As is generally the case in the Vic-Maui, the bulk of the fleet comprises of performance cruisers and racer/cruisers in the 40- to 50-ft range. Clayton Craigie’s Beneteau First 40 Anjo is the sole California entry in the race, representing Richmond Yacht Club. She should have her work cut out for her against a couple of Beneteau First 40.7s from Vancouver. The Beneteau contingent is strong in the race, but one of the boats we’re most excited to watch is the J/122E Joyride; a design that both rates and sails brilliantly.

With the Vic-Maui start and the Race to Alaska stopover, Victoria, BC, will be the place to be this summer. Known for the picturesque setting and fun, lively ambience, the Vic-Maui race village and docks will open on June 28. The start is hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

© 2018 Vic-Maui Race

The 27th Victoria-Maui International Yacht Race kicks off with its first start on July 1 in Victoria and concludes with the awards ceremony on July 21 in Lahaina. Follow the race and the fleet at

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Gale Force Winds
On Monday’s ‘Lectronic Latitude, we asked the West Coast about their weekend. Last Saturday in San Francisco, we had gnarly, gale-force winds offering both glory and carnage for sailors.
Richmond Yacht Club will host the new and improved Lipton Cup on June 15-17. RYC Staff Commodore Dick Loomis explains how the regatta was reimagined: In the fall of 2016, a small group of commodores got together for lunch at Encinal Yacht Club.