When Everything Goes Right

It’s now in the books, winds have subsided, and we’re on to summer adventures with the sweet taste of the 75th Swiftsure lingering.

This year of firsts was as close to perfection as one can get. Dry skies, from sunshine blasting down on the Thursday Racers’ Social at Prince of Whales Whale Watching’s Ocean Magic II, where the new Spinnakers Swiftsure Amber Ale and Mount Gay Rum Dark & Stormy cocktails flowed freely, through the last race boat to finish on Monday at 04:49:03, the all-women Geminis Dream. In between, Mike Turner presented the Swiftsure 2018 Race Start seminar in the Distrikt to a large crowd with great questions, with big plastic sailboats ready to sail around the dance pit, giving visuals some impact. The fast-paced Awards went smoothly, leading into the Skippers’ Meeting, where the combination of predicted strong westerly winds and flood tides had skippers strategizing their route toward and beyond Race Passage, considering starting with a reef. That evening, all the stops were pulled out as the first-ever Dock Party was held, Spinnakers beer sold and The Midnights performed well beyond their planned 9 PM.
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Swiftsure Through The Years

Marianne Scott has written numerous and varied articles for Pacific Yachting through the years. This May 2018 article shines a light on Swiftsure’s origins, going back to the first race in 1930, where the commodores of the Seattle and Royal Vancouver Yacht Clubs were sharing a drink at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with the commodore. The conversation wandered toward racing, a few drinks and chats later, they’d decided a race challenge should be held.

This was the birth of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

Enjoy Marianne’s article.

Take in the 75th Swiftsure International Yacht Race

For the public, there are many opportunities to experience the historic 75th running of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race – and it’s all free!

On Thursday, May 24th, at the Causeway Docks of Victoria’s Inner Harbour, watch as yachts begin to arrive in the afternoon, and chat with the racers on the docks.

Friday, May 25th until 6 PM, walk the docks and, later in the afternoon, have your picture taken with Captain Jack Sparrow & Scarlett as they swash buckles. Make this the year you participate, celebrate and purchase historic 75th Swiftsure memorabilia and clothing at the tent at the top of the Causeway Docks.

Alastair Chesson AC Design photo

On Saturday, make your way to Clover Point for 8 AM. There will be a pancake breakfast available from the Central Saanich Lions Club, while Swiftsure Commentators Michael Nusbaum and Daphne Goode share race information with the public over a PA system.

At 9 AM, a large gun blast and puff of smoke from the bow of HMCS Nanaimo will signal the first of six race starts. Each 10 minutes, a new race start is announced in the same way.

Once all races are underway, a Royal Canadian Air Force 442 Squadron will deploy a Cormorant helicopter for an over-the-water Search and Rescue demonstration in coordination with the Canadian Coast Guard. This is an actual demonstration of their expertise in executing a recovery of a body in the water – though for this exercise, a 180-lb OSCAR water training rescue dummy will be used. The Cormorant helicopter’s pilot and, from the bridge of HMCS Nanaimo, RCAF Major Justin Olsen will be speaking with Mike & Daphne over a VHF radio, which will be publicly broadcast during the SAR exercise. Continue reading

Shaw TV South Vancouver Island Makes Swiftsure History

Today, Shaw TV South Vancouver Island released the video they created and produced over the past year with a devoted group from Shaw TV’s production crew and Swiftsure International Yacht Race volunteers.

We are very excited to present this historic video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Swiftsure show will air on Shaw TV and Blue Sky the following times starting May 7th – May 27th.

Mondays 8 am & 6 pm

Tuesdays 11 am

Wednesdays 8:30 am & 8 pm

Thursdays 7 pm

Fridays 12 pm

Saturdays 2 pm

Sundays 2:30 pm

If you want to know the key people from Shaw TV that made this happen, you can look to Daphne Goode and Orlando Carillo. Without their dedication and persistance, this video would not be what it is. A wonderful chronicle of the proud history of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

The Legendary Katie Ford

by owners Barry Goss and Donna Silverson

Katie Ford was designed and built by Mr. Heine Dole at Astoria Marine Construction in 1946. During the Second World War, Astoria Marine was given the right to accumulate all the old growth timber they could get to build ships for the US Navy. When the war ended, there was a lot of timber left, so Heine decided to use some of it to build Katie Ford.

He was a brilliant Engineer/Designer, earning a scholarship to Stanford and graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1929. He designed Katie Ford in every detail, and fabricated all of the original bronze fittings on the boat himself. The highfield levers used for the running backstays are good examples of these. In fact, all of the original bronze fittings are still in use today. Continue reading

Exclusive – Swiftsure’s 75th from Marianne Scott

Writer and mariner Marianne Scott has created this informative article about Swiftsure through the years.

Marianne brings to life the Swiftsure race of days gone by, contrasted with the experience of yacht racing today.

Technology has changed, Victoria’s Inner Harbour has changed, the boats and sails have changed. What has not changed is the challenge of racing Swiftsure. Currents, winds, tides still bedevil the most experienced yacht racers. They return again and again, testing their mettle against the elements, competing for coveted trophies and creating a lifetime of memories.

Vern Burkhardt Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWIFTSURE – ALWAYS A CHALLENGE

Pacific Yachting’s 50th is Swiftsure’s 75th

Two significant celebrations in the same year. Amazing to share a common thread.

Pacific Yachting began its life in July 1968 by reporting about Swiftsure. Editor Dale Miller shared his perspective in his May column “The View From Here“. Fifty years of Pacific Yachting magazine and ever prominent.

And from page 46, Marianne Scott takes readers from 1930 and the first Swiftsure race, through the decades to now, where so much has changed, and yet so little. True, the technology has grown by leaps, as has the gear, the clothing, the hull shapes.

What has not changed – the many challenges of the winds, the twisting currents, the incredible competitive spirits that bring racers back for years, decades, and in a few cases, over half a century! 

Not just a local annual race, Swiftsure’s reputation remains “Always A Challenge” with the 75th race ahead.

Thank you, Pacific Yachting, for being with Swiftsure each and every year. You’ve reached middle age as Swiftsure moves into deep maturity and we’re still together.

Swiftsure Technical Night held March 28th at Royal Victoria Yacht Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a blustery March night, the 4th annual Swiftsure Technical Night was presented by 4 Canoe Cove Marine Community companies; Vector Yacht Services, Raven Marine, Blackline Marine, and Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard opened the evening’s speakers.

Don Prittie, Canoe Cove Marina’s General Manager, shared remarks about the unique nature of the Canoe Cove Marine Community, where any marine problem can be addressed by the over 20 businesses that work cooperatively. The setting is well worth the drive – the ‘secret’ is becoming rather well known. This night instructed on various aspects of boat maintenance and organization for sailors and racers, and even boaters would learn something they didn’t know.

Swiftsure wholeheartedly recommends the four companies – Swiftsure’s Platinum Sponsors:

  • Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard – Don Prittie, General Manager
  • Blackline Marine Inc. – Brent Jacobi, Co-owner and Rigging & Metal Fabrication Manager
  • Raven Marine – Gavin Johnstone, Electrical/Electronics Technician
  • Vector Yacht Services – Todd Koroll, General Manager

 

 

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

This year, Gavin Johnstone, Electrical/Electronics Technician with Raven Marine, spoke about NMEA 2000 systems. This approach to setting ones’ boat electronics so they each communicate relatively seamlessly, even though they may not have a direct link to each other, was enthusiastically received. After Gavin finished his presentation, the questions continued for some time. Gavin, who has had a lifelong fascination with electronics, is a remarkably young man to have developed such deep expertise in his field. It was a privilege to have him present this timely topic. Continue reading

Prevailing Westerly

Joy and Stuart Dahlgren of UK Sailmakers in Sidney BC own the Santa Cruz 70, Westerly. With an overall length of 68 feet, beam of 15 feet, and draft of 10.5 feet Westerly is an eye catcher when at the Victoria Inner Harbour dock or on the Swiftsure racecourse. A displacement of only 24,000 pounds enables the experienced crew to sail fast and smart.

Stuart Dahlgren Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dahlgrens are the fifth owners of this boat, which was originally called Mongoose, built for Paul Simonsen of San Francisco. At the age of 10, Mongoose was acquired by Robert Saielli who campaigned her on the west coast and Great Lakes until about 2005. Dennis Conner owned the boat for about two years and subsequently sold it to a family team in Newport Beach, California. It appears this Santa Cruz 70 was a bit more boat than this family team could adequately campaign and maintenance waned. Joy and Stuart purchased the boat, now called Westerly, in 2011 and had it transported by truck to Victoria, unable to make the uphill trip under sail. This decision to ship rather than sail turned out to have been a wise decision as the mast collar and chain plates were severely damaged from corrosion and galvanic interaction with the deck.

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Shaw TV South Vancouver Island’s Swiftsure 2018 Volunteer Promo

Each spring for many years, the team at Shaw TV South Vancouver Island have created a video promoting Swiftsure to locals. This year they include a new perspective – Swiftsure Volunteers; it takes over 200 volunteers to put on Swiftsure, the largest international yacht race on North America’s West Coast.

Swiftsure is excited to share the  Shaw TV SVI’s Swiftsure 2018 YouTube video. If this intrigues you, come join the thrill of Swiftsure. Go to Swiftsure’s Volunteer Contact web page and sign up to be a part of history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key production arrangments were lead by Daphne Goode and Orlando Carillo of Shaw TV SVI, shown here setting up Event Chair Vern Burkhardt and Finish Line Lead Dave Trace for their closeup in the Main Lounge of Swiftsure’s host, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Thank you to Shaw TV SVI for again creating a polished video showcasing Victoria in her glory during Swiftsure. Thank you Daphne – you were awarded the Humphrey Golby/James McVie trophy in 2012 for your over 25 years of outstanding contribution in building connectivity and communication for Swiftsure, and here we are 6 years later and you’re still among the strongest of Swiftsure’s race promoters. 

The Shaw TV SVI video about Swiftsure will also air on the Access Point programming through May 5th. Here’s the Access Point schedule:

Shaw TV South Vancouver Island’s Access Point Program through May 5, 2018
AM Monday PM
6:30 Tuesday 1:00
8:00 Wednesday 9:00
9:00 Thursday 12:30
12:01 Friday
10:30 Saturday 12:30