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A Marathon Not a Sprint

by Race Committee, July 15th, 2016

The wind continues to blow and all boats are sailing in perfect Vic-Maui conditions. With winds over 20 kts, all boats have the spinnakers up and are broad reaching at top speed. Each boat seems to have picked a lane and all are pointing more or less at Maui.  The trick will be staying in the correct lane, picking the right time to gybe and keeping the pieces together. 

The wind predictor says wind conditions will stay good for the next few days, if you are in the right lane. Brad Baker, the Guru and winner as navigator on multiple Vic-Mauis, says that it will be fast sailing all the way to Maui. I cannot question his expert insight, but things could start to get “scoogy” a few days out as the boats work their way through the remnants of Hurricane Darby. If the boats can get west fast enough, they might outrun the changes coming from the right side.

As of Roll Call (3:00 pm local), the leaderboard was quite volatile. Crossfire’s retirement has made the Div. 1 battle between Kinetic and Valkyrie very interesting. At present Valkyrie is slightly ahead and appears to be in a faster lane.  But Atalanta has picked up time as the bigger winds push on her massive sail area and 70 ft of waterline. And do not count out 2014 champion Longboard – while smaller, she was purpose-built for this type of racing. I will not make any comments on predicted finish times as I mentioned Crossfire yesterday. Am I to blame for daring to challenge Neptune?

In Div. 2, the battle for lanes is even more volatile. Kraken, Miles, Equus, Salient, String Theory, and Turnagain all close together and trading places on the Leaderboard hourly.

And the battle for Div. 3 is anyone’s game. While Rain Drop currently has a slight advantage, Expresso, Canard and Ion are not far behind. The 2 double-handed boats must be exhausted by now – the conditions are tough on a full crew, imagine being by yourself on the midnight watch. Mountain has a nice lead over Amiskwi.

As Brad pointed out in his analysis, the sailing is about as fun as it gets but it may turn into a war of attrition. As Crossfire found out, the speed adds a lot of stress to boat parts and constant attention is needed to maintain the edge between max speed and breaking things. This is a marathon, not a sprint.


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