Swiftsure had a slow start thanks to light winds – which ultimately resulted in a number of boats withdrawing from the race. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Light wind sends half of Swiftsure yacht fleet back to shore early

Many racers return overnight in unusual race conditions

The sun was beating down on the inner harbour Sunday as the final Swiftsure yachts sailed in, but conditions on the water were less than ideal during the multi-day race.

Low wind forced about half of the 2019 Swiftsure competitors to withdraw, including a number that returned Saturday night.

READ ALSO: Slow start to 76th annual Swiftsure Race Saturday morning

“When it’s a light wind, what comes into play is the currents,” said Keith Beange, Swiftsure safety inspection dock lead. “If you have a current against you with a light wind, you’re almost going backwards.

So right off the start a number of boats – especially the ones trying to do the longest distance race out to Swiftsure Bank – realized that they probably weren’t going to make it. So we had a lot of withdrawals.”

Dale Gann was one of two skippers on the Clallam Bay Mark Rounding Boat. He said there were only 14 mark rounders out of 42 boats in the Juan de Fuca race.

As the rounding boat, they were first into the Race Rocks area.

Dale Gann and Connie Ahern were skippers on the Clallam Bay mark rounding boat and said their night out on the Strait of Juan de Fuca was a rough one. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

“We started to feel the [wind from] days before … had built a significant sea state,” Gann said. “For the vessels in the race, having to deal with a current that was favourable in the morning but then turned against them … and then the wind dying but still that sea state – the boats would have rolled and rolled and flopped and flopped all night long.

[It’s] really a challenge to keep your mental game, your enthusiasm … your stomach.”

READ ALSO: 76th annual Swiftsure sets sail Saturday

Kiva, a Finngulf 41, was one of many forced to abandon the race early Sunday morning.

“When it’s light wind like this you’re always trying to see where the next wind is going to fill in from,” said skipper Julien Sellgren. “And often times it’s whoever can get to the new wind first will get a significant advantage. That’s when the skill really comes into play.”

Sellgren has participated in 10 Swiftsure Yacht Race’s and said this is only the second he’s had to withdraw from.

He said Kiva is a heavy boat and needs strong gusts to get going.

“We were very happy with how we did, we just would have liked a little more wind,” he said.

The first boat to finish the Juan de Fuca race – a 78.7 nautical mile distance – was the Kahuna, an Aerodyne 38 from Seattle, that came in at just over 26 hours. The My-Tai and the Gladiator – both from the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club – followed.

However with corrected times – the Gladiator won the race, the Kahuna came in second and the My-Tai in third.

Results are still coming in as the final boats cross the finish line.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Kiva had to withdraw from Swiftsure due to a lack of wind, but the crew is still pleased to have made it halfway. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Just Posted

PHOTOS: BC Children’s lottery offers luxury downtown Victoria home as a prize

The Choices Lotto has luxury homes across the province

Island teen climber seizes last opportunity to qualify in 2020 Olympic games

Brennan Doyle, 16, heads to L.A. for Pan American Climbing Championships

University of Victoria profs take home prestigious national teaching award

Brent Mainprize and Edōsdi–Judy Thompson recognized as a 2020 3M National Teaching Fellows

Victoria modular housing complex built to house homeless Indigenous women

Spa’Qun, or ‘Flower House’ will provide shelter and cultural support

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay Victoria man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Alleged shoplifter caught on camera at Sidney boutique

Staff at Cameron Rose Gifts seek the public’s help locating woman

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read