Big Ben gets late start in Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race

Skipper bails for medical reasons mates take the helm

Big Ben and crew got off to a late start in the Vic-Maui race, and left without skipper Jim McLauchlan.

The Oak Bay Sailing School sloop left Friday morning in the cruising division of the Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race with first mate Tony Roberts subbing as skipper after McLauchlan was hospitalized last week.

“Tony Roberts is a good leader, a great leader and he’s been supported by two or three of the other crew. … He’s doing a grand job in building up the others,” McLachlan said, still in hospital undergoing tests. “I rely on him. If he hadn’t been on board I would have been dubious about letting them go.”

To make sure all still went smoothly, they delayed the Thursday start.

“They’ve had good training, and most of them are experienced people,” McLachlan said.

Everybody on board deserves congratulations on what they’re doing out there because it’s not easy.”

Search Facebook for Oak Bay Sailing School to follow the crew’s views during the race. Follow all the action at vicmaui.org.