Thursday, June 18, 2009

Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race

J's Win, Place and Show Again Across the Fleet

(Victoria, BC- May 29-31)- Just a 139 mile race from Victoria, BC to Swiftsure Bank mark and return. Over 150 boats compete in five race courses. But, it's anything other than an easy race. Rugged, exacting, colourful and international in competition. Or a boring "Driftsure", sometimes accompanied by fog and drizzle. Every year, the Swiftsure International Yacht Race is a major community event - the premiere long distance sailing race in the B.C. and US Pacific Northwest area and a festival on shore. It is a race in which cruising yachts capable of adventure in exposed waters are encouraged to compete and crews to test their skills.
Swiftsure has drawn boats and sailors from California, Hawaii, New Zealand and even Russia. The nature of the course and the potential variety of sailing conditions provide an exacting review of good seamanship. Swiftsure is now actually six different races over four separate courses, plus the unofficial "Sookesure" start. Therefore, it offers wide appeal to the experienced amateur sailor who takes pride in his or her boat, big or small. The skipper and crew must be willing to test their collective knowledge and sailing experience to maximize their overall performance.
The races may look glamorous, especially if there is a downwind spinnaker start, but the Swiftsure International Yacht Race demands a combination of a great deal of hard work, and a bit of luck. One needs endurance but strategy is also a major factor. Yacht racing is not only about going as fast as possible; it also requires much thought about how to take the most advantageous course, given the wind and the tides, and lots of concentration, especially in light airs and at night. The winners in each race are often the skippers who guessed best where to sail in order to pick up the most useful winds.
The roster of J/Boats' owners is legendary that have taken on this classic over the course of time. Nevertheless, J's sailing in the 2009 event included a: J/30, J/32, J/33, J/35, J/105, J/37, J/124, J/125, J/42, J/109, J/122 and J/160. The outcomes were pleasing for most of these owners who prevailed in this northwest classic.
In Class 1B PHRF- John McPhail raced his J/160 JAM to 2nd overall. In Class 3I, Bob Brunius took his J/120 Time Bandit to third overall. In Class 3J PHRF, William Wong won with his J/109 Harwar and just off the pace was Don Leighton in his J/35 Tahlequah. In Class 3K, Mike Pearson sailed his J/105 BiFrost3 to first overall. For More info.