FASTRACK: AN EPIC VOYAGE
The first impact was at the bow of the boat, which smoothly rode over the whale. However. when the keel made contact with the whale's body it violently pitched the bow into, and the stern out of the water. The sleeping crewmen were tossed forward in their bunks and able to hear the friction of the whale and boat sliding past each other. Seconds later a second impact was heard. This was the repercussion of a blow from the fleeing animal. The boat immediately heeled again in the 15 knot head wind and accelerated up to speed once again. It was obvious to everyone on board that a collision had occurred but with what we were not sure.
The Vic-Maui is the longest offshore sailing race off the west coast of North America. It is the pinnacle of Pacific Northwest ocean racing. First contested in 1968, the Vic-Maui runs in even-numbered years, starting in June or July off Victoria, British Columbia, Canada and finishing near Lahaina, Maui, United States, a distance of approximately 2,308 nautical miles (4,274 km). Recent race winners completed the trip in a little over nine days, with an average speed of over 10 knots (19 km/h).
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