Riding Out Darby
by Race Committee, July 23rd, 2016
There is some interest in how the boats plan to ride out Tropical Storm Darby. Everybody (still racing and those ashore) are on tender-hooks waiting to see what happens as the storm front approaches. At 1700 HST it is reported to be entered on the SE corner of the Big Island and heading toward the south side of Maui at 10 kts. The forecast is for arrival and nasty weather overnight.
There are 11 boats remaining at sea. Most are mostly NE of Darby's path and now proceeding directly to Maui in Darby's wake. They are all in good shape, with some wishing for more wind. Alegria X is pushing hard to reach the Finish prior to Darby becoming an issue. at 1730 HST they were 57 miles away and expected to arrive around 10:30 pm tonight. Expresso is sailing parallel to the Finish Line about 200 miles away and waiting for Darby to pass, then gybe and lead the rest to the Finish on Sunday night/Monday morning.
The boats who have finished have different strategies. While there appears to be a calm before the storm in Lahaina (the weather is actually perfect at 1700 HST), so have people on storm anchor watch seems a little silly. But Kinetic, Atalanta and Longboard are too deep to come into Lahaina Harbour and crew will be on board all night ready to bail out of the Lahaina Roadstead for safer conditions (probably Ma'alaea) if necessary. Westerly and Valkyrie bailed out and are safe in Ali Wai basin in Honolulu. And the rest are packed like sardines inside Lahaina Harbour with every other vessel that can find a spot. Hopefully they are packed so tight and roped and rendered that they can weather the weather that may come.
Some of the local believe that Darby will blow up on the Big Island and not be too big a deal on Maui. The Vic-Maui boats are listening, but not taking chances. Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best.
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