Perfect weather to start an international yacht race. A great pancake breakfast by Central Saanich Lions Club. Two skilled racers sharing with the assembled crowd the finer details of yacht racing and the yachts arrayed in view. Upon the WesternOne cranes above, US and Canadian flags snapped in a breeze perfect for sweeping the yachts through each start. HMCS Nanaimo stood on as the mark boat from which the Race Committee for Swiftsure did countdowns and a gun signaled each start with a puff of smoke. After each race successfully started, the RCAF 442 Squadron Cormorant helicopter team put on an incredible Search and Rescue demonstration over the water, with the Canadian Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue vessel standing by. Did you see the flashing blue light just beyond, on the water? The Victoria Police intercepted a vessel attempting to interfere with the SAR demo – and stood between the interloper and the rescue vessels. The demonstration came together like clockwork, the ‘body’ in the water successfully retrieved and deployed to safety.
This describes just the race start! Swiftsure begins on Wednesday with setting up the tents on Ship Point. On Thursday and Friday, race yachts and crew pour into Victoria, check in for their respective race courses (there are 4) then get down to the serious business of catching up with each other, meeting the new yachts in town, enjoying the many questions from the public and guests to Victoria and taking in some great bands and rums ‘n beers. More