Swiftsure updated: Not so speedy Gonzales

A kayaker paddles close to shore while sailboats make the most of light winds off the coast of Gonzales Bay during the start of the Swiftsure international yachting race

A kayaker paddles close to shore while sailboats make the most of light winds off the coast of Gonzales Bay during the start of the Swiftsure international yachting race

Light Saturday winds slowed the start of the Swiftsure International Yachting Race but did little to dampen another successful event.

Boats competing in the short-course Inshore race eventually packed it up Saturday. They were able to return to improved sailing conditions Sunday.

“It wasn’t until the (long-course) sailboats made it out to the race passage on Sunday morning that the wind filled in,” said Swiftsure chairman Vern Burkhardt.

“The boats racing the Cape Flattery, Juan de Fuca and Swiftsure Lightship Classic races

all had a great ride back home from the rounding mark,” Burkhardt said, “just as the Inshore racers got a good day in Sunday.
“Still, (the lighter winds) are challenging and bring out the best in our racers.”

A total of 155 boats sailed over the weekend, down 19 from last year. One reason for the drop is the upcoming Van Isle 360, on June 4. Many Swiftsure regulars also race the two-week long race around Vancouver Island, but some out-of-towners can’t do both, Burkhardt said.

Nonetheless, the race committee is happy with this year’s turnout.

“We’re not concerned at all about entrants, some of the regulars couple of boats didn’t make it into town.”

“It can be tough for all boats to commit to both, taking two weeks off (for the Van Isle) can have an effect on our entrants and their crews.”

Also successful was the May Oregon Offshore Race, a feeder race for boats two weeks earlier.

“We had another great turnout of Oregon boats as well as all over the Pacific North West, from greater Seattle and Anacortes, one from Kelowna, and of course Vancouver and up-Island to Campbell River,” Burkhardt said.

“There were 80 sailors dining at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club after party for the Oregon Offshore.”

One of those boats, the Anam Cara out of Portland Yacht Club, was among the victorious at Swiftsure, winning the Cape Flattery.

Schools in session

New this year for skippers and crew was a seminar by the University of Victoria’s Dr. Richard Dewey on the challenging currents of the straight, which are tricky especially for people coming in from out of town.
“It was very well received, feedback was highly positive and we’ll be doing both seminars again next year,” Burkhardt said.

The other talk was from David Jones of Environment Canada on interpreting weather changes and lessons learned from races past. The “lessons” included a focus on storm force winds, which, when racers didn’t understand what the forecast meant, were troublesome.

Whale vs. L’Orca

Portland’s L’Orca and crew didn’t make it to Victoria as breaching whale dismasted the vessel en route, nearly drowning the entire boat and crew.

 

 

Just Posted

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

A multi-building residential development on Erskine Lane in View Royal was approved by council on June 15. (Courtesy Town of View Royal)
Dire shortage of three-bedroom apartments, says View Royal mayor

New development to feature wide range of rental units, amenities for tenants

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read