Bring the Right Gear to the Maui Race Series!

Phil McGain - Jimmie Hepp

Phil McGain at Kanaha (photo credit: Jimmie Hepp)

By Phil McGain

Every summer, the Maui Race Series brings the best slalom racers in and around the Pacific Region to famed Kanaha Beach Park for fast and furious action around the buoys! We can’t encourage you enough to attend this long-standing series, with back-to-back events scheduled twice this summer to help you optimize your travel plans! MRS regular Phil McGain tells us what gear to bring to make the most of our trip.

Winds in Maui in the summer can range from 10 to 30 knots generally on race day. There are circumstances that races are run in lighter conditions but usually the race committee will wait for steady conditions over the entire race course. The water conditions are going to be some of the most challenging you have ever raced in. There is usually a steep chop at the outside jibe mark and sometimes gusty winds on the inside. At times the winds can be very strong, and when you add in the chop, you have some of the best slalom racing in the world!

MRS jibing action - harry wiewel

MRS jibing action at the first mark (photo credit: Harry Wiewel)

The course is a downwind 4 buoy course. The starting boat is outside (still inside the lagoon at Kanaha). There are 4 jibes you need to make and the two outside jibes are the most difficult, so it would pay off to come to Maui beforehand and get some practice at Kanaha.

  • Sail size: depending on the size of the sailor… you may need sails from 5.0m to 7.7m. You could get away with using 3 sizes for example: 7.0, 6.3 and 5.5. Smaller sailors would need down to a 5.0 and up to 6.2 as their biggest. The most used sails would be around 5.5 to 6.0.
  • Boards need to be from 90 to 120 litres. So something around 55cm wide ranging to 65cm wide. Again this is personal preference and it depends on your experience, size of the sailor and what sails you plan to use during the competition.
  • Fins can range from 28cm to 38cm. The most used fins would be around 30cm and 32cm.

Hope this information is helpful to make the best of your vacation to Maui this summer for the Maui Race Series!

MRS finishing mark - Jimmie Hepp

Finishing strong at the MRS (photo credit: Jimmie Hepp)

June 18 – BLUESMITHS Slalom Classic
June 25 – DAKINE Cup
July 23 – Meanline Fins Cup
July 30 – NEILPRYDE Hawaii State Championships

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