The Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race, first contested in 1965, 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.
The first Vic-Maui was sailed in 1965. The race was a dream of Royal Vancouver Yacht Club member JG (Jim) Innes who at that time was a Captain for Canadian Pacific Airlines. Jim talked for years 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 the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club 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"
Three boats finished the race some 15 days later at Kahalui Harbour on the north coast of Maui. The fourth boat "Tatoosh", having used the iron spinnaker, greeted the three arrivals with Mai Tai’s.
Records have been broken many times since 1965. The current record holder is "Grand Illusion" skippered by James McDowell of the Lahaina Yacht Club 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 in 1996 by "Pyewacket" skippered by Roy Disney.
Each of the participating boats will be vying for breaking the record this year and you can follow their every twist and turn of this epic 2308 mile race. All yachts will have one of our trackers installed before approaching and crossing the starting line. The tracker will wake up periodically to transmit data such as GPS coordinates, speed and direction, to YB HQ. It is sent through the Iridium satellite network ensuring that no positions are missed, so freinds, family and arm-chair admirals can follow the fleet's progress in fifteen minute intervals.