Countdown to Swiftsure


UPDATE: Swiftsure Skippers Series: #7 Doug Fryer and his Night Runner July 4, 2016

In the article below, published in July’s edition of 48 Degrees North, Doug Fryer writes of his 47 Swiftsure races.

Royal Victoria YC Swiftsure International Yacht Race: The Premier Northwest Sailing Event!

Doug always races to the Bank because “The Swiftsure Race, there’s only one of those.” Why go to the Bank? In my view, because it is a 25 mile round trip on the ocean, arguably the most difficult and challenging leg. Certainly the race of the longest tradition.              by Doug Fryer

Doug Fryer stands alone. He has raced more Swiftsure races than some of us are old. He’s seen the race grow from being small and little known beyond racing circles (75 entrants in 1963) to the heydays of the 80’s when over 400 race boats clogged Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Doug said “If I do it often enough, I might win.” And went on to do just that; Night Runner was the 2013 Swiftsure Lightship Classic Overall Winner.

Doug’s beautiful Night Runner, a 42 foot one off Perry design, is an illusion. She looks, for all the world, like a classic sailboat with all the comforts and warmth of times past. But she is slippery. And Doug makes her dance. You learn this through many, many Swiftsure races.

Doug is, as we speak, racing the 2016 Oregon Offshore Race, another true test of skill and wiliness – who better than this grey fox. And the legend continues…Night Runner

Q1: Name Doug Fryer

Q2: How many Swiftsure races have you done? 46

Q3: What year was your first Swiftsure? 1963

Q4: What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or your crew when racing in Swiftsure? Catching salmon on Swiftsure Bank back in the days when a fishing license was not required

Q5: What was the most exciting or interesting thing that occurred while you were racing in Swiftsure?

1976 Swiftsure; a southerly wind of maybe 30+ knots created a real sea on the ocean. On Ragtime, a 62 foot sled, it took us one hour from Cape Flattery to the Lightship and one hour back,. This was a distance of 25 miles reaching with #4 jib and 3 reefs in main.

1979; Dorade collided with Zuben Ubi IV just ahead and sank her in minutes. Her crew took to the life raft and we picked them up. The sinking was like a scene from Moby Dick.

Q6: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of racing Swiftsure for the first time? 
Get rest and stay sober the night before as the race can be won or lost when the winds lessen at night, and the ocean rollers come into the strait entrance.

Swiftsure & Vic-Maui 2016 June 21, 2016

Swiftsure International Yacht Race and Vic-Maui International Yacht Race have a long history of mutual support. Swiftsure is among the qualifying races for participating in Vic-Maui. The Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Swiftsure’s host club, assists with Vic-Maui race support in Victoria.

The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Lahaina Yacht Club co-host the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race.

David Sutcliffe, Event Chair of the Vic-Maui Race, will be skippering his newly acquired Kinetic V, a Transpac 52.He previously skippered Kinetic IV, a Beneteau First 47.7 in the 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014 Vic-Maui races, Following the 2006 Vic-Maui, Kinetic sailed onward to Australia, completed the 2006 Sydney Hobart race and then sailed home, a round trip of over 17,000 nautical miles. Kinetic’s 2010 Vic-Maui overall race-winning crew included five adults and four teens, and Kinetic’s 2012 Vic-Maui team earned another division win.

Kinetic V 2016 Maui-Vic 2014 Kinetic












Following is an excerpt from the Vic Maui Shackles and Cotterpins June 19, 2016 newsletter:

Vic-Maui Fleet Performs at Swiftsure!

• Nineteen of the twenty-two 2016 Vic-Maui boats sailed in Swiftsure this year. Congratulations to Longboard and Valkyrie for their overall wins in their respective races.

• In the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race:
o Longboard took First in PHRF division 1 and the Overall win
o Mountain took First in ORC division 1
o Alegria X also competed

• In the Hein Bank Race (ORC):
o Valkyrie took First in division 1 and the Overall win
o Kinetic V took Third in division 1
o CrossFire, Westerly, Kraken also competed

• In the Cape Flattery Race:
o Equus and String Theory took Second and Third in division 1 of the PHRF Heavy Class
o Starblazer, Salient, Red Sheilla, Miles, Amiskwi, Turnagain also competed

• In the Juan de Fuca Race:
o Rain Drop took Third in division 1 of the PHRF Heavy Class
o Ion, Canard also competed

Vern Burkhardt, Event Chair for Swiftsure, will again race Vic-Maui, the 50th year of the race event. This will be Vern’s 11th Vic-Maui raced and Maui-Vic return. Vern wrote the following in 2002 while in the Vic-Maui Race – equally relevant today as it was then:

Night is a time for reflection—
reflection of the
meaning of life, reflection on
how vast the ocean is and how
small we are by comparison, reflection on the real values and
priorities one should follow,
reflection on how wonderful it is
to be removed
from the crises of the world,
most of which cannot be fixed
within one’s lifetime.

Since 2011 the event chairs of both races have also instructed Sail Canada’s Offshore Personal Survival Course (Safety at Sea – Sea Survival) in British Columbia. It is for experienced sailors who are participating in distance and offshore races and passages.

Maui-Vic Return 2014








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