Saturday, May 25, 2013

Swiftsure Race Preview

J/120 sailboat- sailing the Swiftsure Race(Victoria, BC, Canada)- For Pacific Northwest sailors the start of their offshore sailing summer is marked by the rituals associated with preparing for the premiere offshore race, "the Swiftsure."  Hosted by Royal Victoria YC, the race takes place over the Memorial Day Weekend, starting May 25th and finishing May 27th.

The Swiftsure's a rugged, exacting, colorful, and international competition. Or, it can be quite the boring "Driftsure," sometimes accompanied by fog and drizzle.  Every year, the Swiftsure becomes a major community event and is the premiere long distance sailing race in the Canadian/ American Pacific Northwest. It's a race in which yachts, both racing and cruising, and crews capable of adventure in exposed waters are encouraged to compete and test their skills. Swiftsure has drawn boats and sailors from California, Hawaii, New Zealand and even Russia.

J/122 sailing Swiftsure Race- Straits of Juan de FucaThe nature of the course and the potential variety of sailing conditions are a significant test of good seamanship. Swiftsure is now actually five different races over three separate courses, plus an inshore regatta. The "classic" Swiftsure Lightship Classic course goes out to Swiftsure Bank and return for 139nm.  The Cape Flattery Race goes to Neah Bay and return for 103nm and the Juan de Fuca Race sails to Clallam Bay and return for 80nm.  The inshore race courses are determined based on wind/ weather conditions the day of the race.

Leading the J's into the Straits may be John McPhail's J/160 JAM in the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Division, the only J/Team participating in that division.  And, nipping at their heels sailing the Cape Flattery Unlimited Class will be Tom Huseby's J/145 DOUBLE TAKE.

J/105 sailing offshore in Swiftsure RaceIn the Cape Flattery Division, it will be a duel for line honors with Tom Kelly's J/122 ANAM CARA, Lynn Adkins J/111 ADALGISA and Scott Campbell's J/46 RIVA.  Giving them a run for the money on handicap honors will be the J/120 TIME BANDIT (Bob Brunius), the J/109 ILLUSIONIST (Dave MacLean), the J/35 TAHLEQUAH (Don Leighton), the J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE (Ron Mackenzie), the J/42 VELOCITY (Tom Keffer) and two J/105s-  ALLEGRO VIVACE (Lorenzo Migliorini) and FREE BOWL OF SOUP (Doug Schenk & Eric Hopper).

Sailing the Juan de Fuca Race will be the J/109 TIPPY (Peter McComb) and two J/30s- CONRAD J (Geoffrey Wolf) and IMPULSIVE (Ulf-Georg Gwildis.

Finally, doing the day-sailing portion of the event, the Inshore Flying Sails Division will be the J/35 INTREPID skippered by Bob McClinton and the J/33 CORVO sailed by Tom Kerr.  Sailing photo credits- Brenda Jacques ( Andrew Madding (  For more Swiftsure Yacht Race sailing information