With the safe return of Salient and her crew to Vancouver the final chapter in the 2018 Vic Maui campaign has been written. What remains is a look back and a heartfelt thank you to all that helped to realize a successful Vic-Maui campaign.
It all started when we acquired Salient late in 2016 for advanced sail training and adventure tours for Simply Sailing with an eye on the 2018 Vic Maui. In the summer of 2017 we put a core team of Vic Maui veterans together and hoped to have a full team by the fall and start training.
Salient was very well prepared for the 2016 campaign yet the rig, engine and some electrical systems needed attention. With some issues on the rig that had to be addressed much of the fall training did not happen. By year-end 2017 we also had one open crew spot.
By the end of the winter the race team was complete and training started in earnest including Southern Straits, a training weekend, the Oregon Offshore race and our performance workshops with Roger Friesen. It was not until we arrived in Maui that I realized how short the campaign really was. Would you believe, that the first time the entire crew sailed together through the night was day 1 of the Vic Maui race?
From the time we started boat prep with the removal of the mast in October 2017 until race start, less than nine months passed. This would not have been possible without a tremendous team effort and I would like to thank all of you who made the success of the Salient Racing Team possible. This is an attempt to express my sincere thank you to all involved:
First and foremost I want to thank my family Andrea & Leonardo who fully supported my dream and did not see much of me this year. My parents who supported me from afar in Switzerland. The race team put much effort into prepping the boat, sailing hard and most of all supported each and every member when the going got tough be it in the boat yard or a thousand miles from shore in a challenging race: Gunnar Jonsson (Navigator & Watch Captain), Dan Tresa a.k.a. Chef Pierre (Bosun & Crew Director), Suze Cummings (Trim), Renee Duprat (Pit & on board doctor), Tim Mastel-Marr (Foredeck), Bryan Ekman (Main) and Matt Dahabie (Trim and deck inspector). Vital to the race team’s success was Roger Friesen our performance coach. His thoughts and words were with as all the way to Maui, notably: “We trained for hard, not easy”. And hard it was.
The return team for a save and fun passage back to Vancouver: Jonathan Hitchings (watch captain), Peter Stange, Neil Greckol, Ian Kerr, Jeff Goszulak, Lior Drory and Andrea Damascelli.
Both teams were supported by their partners, family and friends who all deserve a special thanks to let their loved ones pursue their dreams and for all the supportive notes, emails & cheers.
Incredible shore support by Susan Tresa (provisions & administration of race entry), Vanessa Rienau (social media), Riaan Windt (on shore doctor), Jim Prentice (medical kit) & Andrea Sepulveda (shore communications).
Salient was well prepared and a solid offshore racing platform. That would not have been possible without much support from the following people:
Brad Marchant and his Team at First Yachts Services namely Adam Thompson, Alex Smyth, Pat Thompson, Steve & Sarah Tomlinson and Rod Embley (Prop Speed!!). Thank you also to Steve White who assured the rig was up to the task. Despite the incredible loads we put on the rig, I never had the slightest doubt it would not withstand the punishment it went through. Dennis LeFeaux of North Sails was always there to discuss sail plans, fix sails we damaged during training on the shortest possible notice and coached us during a sail trim session. And no, we don’t hold a grudge for “talking us out” of A-sails before the race. Drew Mitchell, North Sails, for “Black Magic”.
Thank you also to: Philip Hagerty and Phil Baron who helped us navigate the ORC measurement and rating. Sandy of Metal by Design who helped us with all the steel fabrication
David Sutcliffe and John Mortimer for sharing their past experience and technical expertise with boat prep. Marie Mortimer for the “Halfway Cafe”.
A big shout out to all the Vic-Maui volunteers both in Canada and Maui for putting on such a great event. Namely I want to say thank you to Gaylean Sutcliffe who did an amazing job behind the scene administering the race registration, David Sutcliffe as the Event Chair and Rich Ballantyne as the Principal Race Officer. Great work you all!
Thank you also to all my staff in the office for keeping Simply Sailing going: Colin Denton who managed the school, Juliane Kunz, Marnie Bragg & Kara Keam who looked after the administration, clients and finances and all our instructors.
Last but not least: All the friends and supporters not mentioned by name above, for their support, messages, both during the race and the return. We enjoyed your comments & cheers on social media. You too helped us to keep pushing when the going was tough.
See you all in 2020. There is no better time to start the 2020 Vic Maui campaign than right now!
Aloha & Mahalo.