Countdown to Swiftsure


Let Me Tell You a Story About… November 27, 2014

Many will already know Swiftsure’s new Principal Race Officer very well. His wife, Judie, is Swiftsure’s Volunteer Coordinator. Judie is incredibly talented at attracting and sustaining relationships with Swiftsure Volunteers, and we know she worked her magic with John.

From age 12, John has raced in such diverse sailboats as Laser, Star, Lightning, Soling, C&C 37, J80 and Melges 24. Since 2005, he has been a member of BC Sailing Association Board and is the current president as well as being a member of Canadian Yachting Association.  John is a Certified Canadian National Race Officer and soon will be a certified International Race Officer.  He’s certified as a Race Management Course Conductor, has acted as Senior Officer in 34 events since 2011, including CORK, Miami Sailing World Cup, Australian Hobie National Championship, Melbourne Sailing World Cup, Canadian Youth National Championship, 29er North American and World Championships, Canada Games, Canadian Kiteboard Championship and innumerable other regional and national racing events.

So when Judie sounded John out on becoming Swiftsure’s Principal Race Officer, and Vern Burkhardt – Swiftsure’s Chair – approached him to join the team, the Swiftsure Committee was utterly thrilled when John enthusiastically agreed.

John is deeply respected and Swiftsure is very proud he has accepted this crucial race role.  It keeps the Swiftsure race calibre at the very highest level with John’s deep knowledge and broad experience.

John is a very serious guy.  At Swiftsure’s Volunteer and Sponsor celebration in June 2014, John created the winning limerick:

Our volunteer coordinator Judie,

Said, “Please help,” but not rudely.

But as she’s my wife,

Apparently I have no life,

So I just shuts up and does my duty.

            John Abel


The many other fine and funny limericks from that day follow:


White Noise wins FREE entry into Swiftsure 2015 October 5, 2014

On Sunday, October 5th at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Thermopylae Regatta signaled the end of the 2014 Vancouver Island Racing Series of 12 races held throughout the year.

Vern Burkhardt, Chair of Swiftsure, provided a gift certificate for a free entry to Swiftsure 2015. At this event, Liane Kern and Alex Fox of Trotac Marine, V.I.R.S. presenting sponsor (also a Swiftsure sponsor!), randomly drew from among the names of yachts present at the regatta for one lucky boat.

White Noise, a Martin 242 owned by Kirk Westergaard, was drawn.  His crew were on hand to receive the gift certificate, pictured here.  Congratulations to Kirk and his crew.

Crew of White Noise, including Marri Todd, gladly receive the free entry gift certificate for Swiftsure 2015 from Charlotte Gann.

Crew of White Noise, including Marri Todd, gladly receive the free entry gift certificate for Swiftsure 2015 from Charlotte Gann.

Thursday’s Child – First Ever Swiftsure – a Winner! September 18, 2014

Benjamin Rummen’s Hotfoot 31, Thursday’s Child share the account of team Thursday’s Child first Swiftsure experience, including the excitement of discovering they’d won the Juan de Fuca Light Class, Division 2!  A great team that kept their heads throughout the race, even helping with a man overboard situation.  Way to go Thursday’s Child!

Thursday's Child

Brenda Jacques Photography

Brenda Jacques Photography

Charlotte Gann, Swiftsure Committee

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Swiftsure could not take place without the generous support of our sponsors and volunteers