The Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, first contested in 1968, is the pinnacle of Pacific Northwest ocean racing. Vic-Maui runs every second year, starting in June or July off Victoria, British Columbia and finishing near Lahaina, Maui, a distance of approximately 2308 nautical miles.
Vic-Maui challenges navigators to demonstrate their weather routing and navigational skills. Success depends on the navigator's skill in predicting where the Pacific High pressure zone and trade winds will be, nearly a week into the future. The adventure includes sailing around the Pacific High and surfing downwind in the trades. The days pass quickly with the fleet surrounded by dolphins and albatross, spectacular sunrises, sunsets and brilliant starlit nights. Teamwork gets the boats to the finish line near Lahaina, where each arriving boat is greeted with an outstanding Hawaiian welcoming party. Family and friends meet the racers to celebrate the accomplishment with hugs, leis and mai-tais. Many crew stay to spend more time enjoying Maui with their families before heading home.
Sponsoring Yacht Clubs
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club
The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club is located at 3811 Point Grey Road on the south shore of English Bay on Vancouver's waterfront. Established in 1903 and renovated in 1978 and 1997, the club has 4400 members and is known as the "sailing capital of Western Canada". RVYC has a long history of hosting regattas and an international reputation for excellent race management and on-shore activities.
The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club web site offers complete information about the club.
Lahaina Yacht Club
In 1965, at the old Anchor Cove on Front St, a small group of sailors got to drinking & talking (as sailors will) and the Lahaina Yacht Club was born. Soon a fleet of sunfish were purchased and races were taking place off of the beach next to the Lahaina Broiler. In 1967 an all-volunteer group of LYC members took a building (an old laundry) that was tumbling into the ocean and built the clubhouse at 835 Front St. There have been several renovations over the years most of the work being done by members. LYC is host to two major events. Annually we hold the Lahaina Jackpot Fishing Tournament where we have had as many as 150 boats competing for more than $20,000. Bi-annually we host the finish of the Vic-Maui Race, known around the Pacific as having the best dock parties for each yacht that completes the race.
Please visit the Lahaina Yacht Club web site for more information about the club.
The first Vic-Maui race was sailed in 1965. The race was a dream of RVYC member Jim Innes who at that time was a Captain for Canadian Pacific Airlines. Jim apparently talked incessantly about the idea of such a race originating in Victoria and ending some 2308 nautical miles away in Maui. He convinced three other skippers to start with him off Brotchie Ledge in 1965. With Jim in his Lapworth 36' "Long Gone", there was Lol Killam of RVYC with the 45' sloop "Velaris", Ron Ramsay of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with the 45' ketch "Norena of White" and Boo Paskel from Seattle Yacht club with his 73' ketch "Tatoosh". The race and the weather were typical for most of the races to follow. Westerlies in the Juan de Fuca Strait, left turn down the coast to about the latitude of San Francisco followed by a right turn with the northeasterly trade winds filling spinnakers and the downhill sun run to Maui. Three boats finished the race some 15 days later at Kahalui Harbour on the north coast of Maui with the fourth "Tatoosh", having used the iron spinnaker greeting the three arrivals with Mai Tais. During their stay in Maui they met up with the originators of what would become the Lahaina Yacht Club. Upon returning to BC waters both Jim and Lol proceeded to convince the RVYC and the newly organized LYC to jointly sponsor such a race and thusly the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race was born. The first official race was in 1968 with some 14 boats entered. Bill Killam's Porpoise III swept the fleet first to finish and first on corrected time. She took 17 days, 6 hours and 50 minutes. The race, heralded as a FUN RACE has encouraged both the ardent racer and the cruiser racer. It has been held every even year since 1968 with 2010 being our 22nd race. The number of entrants has ranged from 9 to 37 boats. Records have been broken many times since the first official race in 1968. The current record holder is "Grand Illusion" skippered by James McDowell of the LYC who completed the race in 9 days, 2 hours and 8 minutes in 2000 beating out the previous record of 9 days, 19 hours and 36 minutes set by "Pyewacket" skippered by Roy Disney in 1996. Jim Innes passed away on November 9, 2001 but the race goes on as part of his legacy.
Previous Race Info
Programs and other information from previous races is available here.