Bruce’s Brief for Tough Vic Maui Start
This will be a fast start for the Vic-Maui group and will have the effect of quickly sorting out who’s ready and who’s not. There will be strong onshore flow with 25-30 knots of westerly coming down the Straits tomorrow. You could see 12-18 in the starting area building to 15-20+ at Race Rocks. Combined with a five knot ebb in Race Passage, seas will be quite lumpy taking a toll on boats and crews. The wind will ease slightly after Clallam Bay only to build again from the NW once you clear Cape Flattery. The course out will be just like sailing a Swiftsure. With the big ebb and plenty of time to make it through the Race, it will pay to sail the short course. After the Race head to the US side and beat your way out the Straits. At Cape Flattery you’ll want to hold a course that will get you offshore and away from area of light air that develops along the coast after sunset.
As you can see from the surface charts, the Pacific High is building nicely but note the low pushing across from the west. This will provide a challenge to navigators who most certainly will be trying to get south as fast as possible but then trying to figure out how to avoid beating while still getting to the west and into a strong area of tail winds that should hold all the way to the Islands as this high will continue build and stabilize. How much? This high could be a 1040MB monster centering at 40N and 160W. This would provide a 28MB gradient difference from the center of the High to the Islands. Plenty of breeze and plenty of squall action. This will keep crews plenty busy keeping spinnakers, halyards, sheets and guys intact.
Good luck, stay safe and enjoy what will certainly be a great adventure.
(Ed. Note I’m off in the Midwest right now and I’ve got limited leeway to get things posted. I’ll be back in about a week and will catch up with both Vic-Maui and Pacific Cup. -KH)