Sunday, June 25, 2017

Van Isle 360 Race Midway Regatta Report

J/122E JOYRIDE sailing off Seattle, WA(Vancouver, BC, Canada)- Taking place from June 10th to 24th has been the famous Pacific Northwest truly massive “Round Island Race”, one of the world’s longest at 600nm+ (only Round Britain & Ireland is longer!).  In this year’s event, there have been thirty keelboats participating in the infamous race, of which seven of them are J/teams (23% of the fleet!).  There are nine individual point-to-point races that comprise the entire score for the Van Isle 360, your basic circumnavigation of Vancouver Island!  Here is the breakdown for each leg:
  • Date    Start    Finish    NM
  • 10-Jun    Nanaimo    Comox    37.4nm
  • 11-Jun    Comox    Campbell River    27.6nm
  • 12-Jun    Deepwater Bay    Hardwicke Island    24.2nm
  • 13-Jun    Hardwicke Island    Telegraph Cove    41.0nm
  • 15-Jun    Telegraph Cove    Port Hardy    28.7nm
  • 16-Jun    Port Hardy    Winter Harbour    69.1nm
  • 18-Jun    Winter Harbour    Ucluelet    138.1nm
  • 21-Jun    Ucluelet    Victoria    98.2nm
  • 23-Jun    Victoria    Nanaimo    59.9nm
To give you a taste of what it has been like to sail the event, here is a description from one crew’s blog of what has been happening to the fleet:
J/133 Constellation offshore“Day 6 - Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy: Winds up to 40 knots, 10 foot rolling waves, hail and rain, multiple blown spinnakers, round ups, a blown main, a lost rudder, broken spreaders, bent spinnaker poles... and a quick trip to Port Hardy for most! It was sketchy out there to say the least, but everyone made it back to port safe! Resting in Port Hardy till tomorrow's race to Winter Harbour!

Day 7 & 8 - Port Hardy to Winter Harbour: Just about every type of wind condition you can get, ruled this 80 nm race. Started off slow, some nice winds before hitting Nahwitti Bar and a nice run until winds died again at the finish. We had amazing sunset, despite the challenging conditions!

Day 9 & 10 - Winter Harbour to Ucluelet: That was a brutal leg. Winds starting in the 30 knots, waves up to 12 feet tall... crazy cold and bumpy, 138nm race took us over 33 hours to complete. Winds and surf lightened up towards the finish. Thank the universe I can fall asleep anywhere, or I'm not sure how I'd make it through that leg of the race!”

So far, the John Murkowski’s J/122E JOY RIDE ( has been leading her fleet.  However, the duo of Jason Andrews & Shawn Dougherty’s J/125 HAMACHI ( have been catching up fast on the “ocean” legs versus the “straits legs” that JOY RIDE seemed to enjoy!  Through leg six, JOY RIDE was leading, with Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION in third and HAMACHI in fourth place overall in the entire fleet.

J/125 Hamachi- off Seattle, WAThe HAMACHI blog commented on their experiences so far: “we just crushed Leg 5 of the Van Isle 360. Winds were 30 plus kts at the start and averaged 15 to 25 with peak of 35 kts. We started under reefed main and J4, and then set the A3. We covered 29 nm in 2.5 hours taking line honors for the fleet (ahead of Smoke who split their main at the start) and allegedly set a course record. We saw 20.5 kts of boat speed and averaged high teens. The boat beautifully handled 4-6 ft seas. We could do this every race!  It was a great couple of days racing around the north end of Vancouver Island and through the Johnstone Strait. Beautiful vistas, fast currents (5-6 kts helping and hurting) and good fleet. Its been all upwind so far in 4-20 kts and Hamachi has held her own, although we don’t understand ORC scoring. Hamachi took division line honors on Day 4.

The two J/109’s (Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY and Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO) were 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in ORC 2 division after six legs.  And, Mardy Grossman & Scott Shaw-MacLaren’s J/30 NATURAL HIGH that have been sailing Doublehanded Division and were in first at the sixth leg point in the race. In other words, an amazing performance by the intrepid adventurers aboard the J/Boats in this tough, but spectacular event.  For more Van Isle 360 sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.