Sunday, May 27, 2018

Swiftsure International Yacht Race Preview

J/160 sailing Swiftsure Race (Victoria, BC, Canada)- The third Memorial Day classic has to be the premiere offshore race in the Pacific Northwest- the world-famous Swiftsure International Yacht Race!  Starting on May 26th off the waterfront park in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, 171 yachts will be doing their best to achieve fame and fortune on one of the three races- the classic Swiftsure Lightship Race of 138.2nm, the Hein Bank Race of 118.1nm, the Cape Flattery Race of 101.9nm, and the Juan de Fuca Race of 78.7nm.

Cape Flattery Race
By far the most popular choice for the thirty-five J/crews participating (20% of the fleet) in the overall event is the Cape Flattery Race, twenty-six in total going the 101nm sprint around the Juan de Fuca Straits!  Six of them are J/105s, with most of the top teams sailing, such as Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT, Doug Schenk’s FREE BOWL OF SOUP, Chuck Stephens’ PANIC, Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, Chris Phoenix’s JADED, and the 2017 Fleet Champion- Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILEE.

Swiftsure race coursesSimilarly, there are five J/109s racing, including Mike Picco’s WILD BLUE, Jim Prentice’s DIVA, Tolga Cezik’s LODOS, Mark Hansen’s MOJO and Tom Sitar’s SERENDIPITY.

Sailing in one big division will be some very experienced offshore crews, such as Alex Smyth’s J/111 65 RED ROSES II, three J/120s (Bob Brunius’ famous TIME BANDIT, Justin Wolfe’s SHEARWWATER, & Chris Johnson’s WITH GRACE), two J/122’s (Tom Kelly’s ANAM CARA & John Murkowski’s JOY RIDE), Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION, and Scott Campbell’s J/46 RIVA. 

J/120 sailing Swiftsure RaceFinally, in this race will be a fleet of classic J’s, including three J/35s (George Leighton’s TAHLEQUAH, Jason Vannice’s ALTAIR, & Andrei Vassilenko’s AORANGI), Willie Wong’s J/36 HARWAR, Tom Keffer’s J/42 VELOCITY, Ron MacKenzie’s J/37 FUTURE PRIMITIVE, and Phil Wampold’s J/92 ZAFF.

Hein Bank Race
There is only one J/team that will be participating in the second longest race, the 118.1nm Hein Bank Race; that is the famous navy-blue J/160 JAM sailed by John McPhail’s race-winning crew from Seattle and Gig Harbor YC.

Juan de Fuca Race
There will be four J/crews sailing in the 78.7nm Juan de Fuca Race.  Two of them are J/30s (John Collins’ SPUD and Colin Bishop’s REDUX) and others are Adrian King-Harris’ J/33 “J” and Walt Meagher’s J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL.

Inshore Racing
Finally, in what amounts to some fun and frolic along the buoys that skirt the pretty Victoria Harbor waterfront will be three J/teams; Tom Kerr’s J/105 CORVO, Ed Pinkham’s J/109 JEOPARDY, and Bart Blainey’s J/30 LIMELIGHT.  For more Swiftsure Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.