Vic Maui 2, Darby Still No Score
by Race Committee, July 24th, 2016
Eberhard Heinzemann’s Alegria X, a Dufour 45e from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, finished just before midnight last night. Earlier forecasts had pegged the arrival of the front edge of Tropical Storm Darby at the same time – clearly Race Committee had concerns. But in reality, Alegria X ghosted through the Finish Line in fading wind and perfect night conditions and joined other boats inside Lahaina Harbour.
The decision to push on and not join the other boats that headed to the safe Waypoint provided by Brad Baker and Commander’s Weather was an interesting one. Alegria X had already shredded their main sail when the slugs pulled out of the mast track and the crew spent considerable energy dragging it back on board. The crew confidence was further weakened by strange noises coming from the chainplates.
But Eberhard and Navigator Tom Wahl were used to Alegria X’s ways and regularly teach offshore sailing classes on heavy weather at home in winds as strong as Darby was showing. A vote was taken and it was 7-2 for bailing out. But the Skipper has an unlimited number of votes and so Alegria X pushed on in what was the right decision.
The welcome party celebrated the non-arrival of Darby as it was blasted apart and turned by the impact on the Big Island. And they toasted Westerly and Valkyrie who lead Darby away from Maui and towards Oahu. But the party was wrong. Maui was spared a big hit, but the winds trailing the storm arrived at 06:30 and a strong surge from SE made the roadstead very uncomfortable for the anchor watches aboard Atalanta and Kinetic V. Winds as high as 35 kts were reported and choppy 3-4 foot seas. But Darby moved on and as of 1700 local time, the wind was down to 15 kts and blue sky was appearing and Hawaii weather was returning.
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(is it a coincidence that the end of Darby concerns coincides with Navis being the sponsor of the day)