The first seven boats of the 2016 Vic Maui fleet started their journey to Maui in a light easterly at 0930 local time in Victoria.
The weather forecasters were saying light winds today and they were, unfortunately, correct.
But there was enough wind to get away from the start line and sail in a direct line for Race Passage before the tide turned making passage difficult. Mountain, a J 109 from Seattle, clearly won the start being right at the line as the horn sounded. The double-handed team of Reed Bernard and Brian VanderZanden immediately hoisted their blue asymmetrical kite trying to hang onto a tight beam reach. The rest of the fleet crossed the line bunched together, but a minute behind.
Roll Call at 1200 Hawaiian time (1500 Pacific) saw Mountain continuing to lead the boats just west of Sooke. All were hugging the Canadian shoreline to get out of the flood. Winds were still light, but at least it was raining. Things will improve tonight as the wind is expected to start filling in. But as a westerly wind builds in strength, it will certainly favour the nine boats that start Sunday morning.
Watch for the next start on Sunday, July 10th.