On Wednesday, May 25th competitors yachts begin arriving in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The Swiftsure Centre will open Thursday, and from then through Friday it will be filled with sailors checking in for their races. With the Swiftsure Centre now located in and by the Steamship Grill & Bar, there will be great food options right there!

Saturday the races begin! Clover Point is the best location for those interested in viewing the start. The yachts will jockey for the best starting position in the area off Clover Point and it will be quite a sight. The races continue through the weekend with yachts in the long distance courses crossing the finish line off the end of the Ogden Point Breakwater during the night of Saturday and continuing all day Sunday and into that evening.

The Swiftsure Race Tracker system will be in the Swiftsure Centre from Saturday throughout the race and will show the positions of the competitors as they make their way along the race courses.

Here’s the 2016 Swiftsure Schedule of Events.

EVENTS SCHEDULE

Thursday, May 26, 2016

  • Swiftsure Centre in the Victoria Inner Harbour will be open between 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM for skippers to check in with the Race Committee and collect their race packages
  • Walk the docks and watch the boats arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour through the afternoon and evening
  • The Swiftsure Lounge in Swiftsure Centre opens at 2:00 PM, with ‘The Midnights‘ performing from 8:00 to 11:00 PM

Friday, May 27, 2016

  • Swiftsure Centre in the Victoria Inner Harbour will be open between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM for skippers to check in with the Race Committee and collect their race packages
  • GVHA’s Harbour Days Market, with about 28 stalls and food vendors, will be located on Ship Point in the Victoria Inner Harbour. Arts and crafts and other goodies will be available from noon on Friday, May 27th
  • From about noon to 4 PM, Captain Jack Sparrow will entertain dockside with Scarlett
  • Walk the docks and watch the boats arrive in Victoria’s Inner Harbour through the afternoon and evening
  • At 3:30 PM the Awards for 2015 winners in the Four Long Courses will commence at the Distrikt at Strathcona Hotel
  • At 4:30 PM the Skipper’s meeting will commence at the Distrikt in the Strathcona Hotel on Douglas Street, followed by a weather, tides and currents briefing. The latter will include technical briefings on expected wind conditions and any forecasts of heavy winds expected during the race
  • The Swiftsure Lounge in Swiftsure Centre opens at 2:00 PM with Consenting Adults playing from 8:00 to 11:00 PM
  • A Silent Auction will take place throughout the late afternoon and will close at 9 PM

Saturday, May 28, 2016

  • The day starts with Central Saanich Lions Club serving a Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 AM at Clover Point, while racers begin leaving the inner harbour about 7:00 AM
  • Songhees and Esquimalt elders will bless the Swiftsure fleet from Clover Point about 8 AM
  • Race start sequences commence at 8:51 AM.  The first race starts at 9:00 AM with four subsequent starts to follow every 10 minutes.  Starting sequence may vary due to changes in weather, as described in the Sailing Instructions
  • The Start Line will be located between a flag flying on Clover Point to a Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class MCDV which will be at anchor
  • After the last race starts, the Royal Canadian Air Force will conduct a search and rescue and safety demonstration over the water in front of Clover Point using a Cormorant SAR helicopter from 442 Squadron, Comox
  • Two Swiftsure hosts will broadcast live at Clover Point explaining the race start procedures and tactics
  • GVHA’s Harbour Days Market, with about 28 stalls and food vendors, will be located on Ship Point in the Victoria Inner Harbour. Arts and crafts and other goodies will be available all day and evening on Saturday, May 28th
  • The Swiftsure Inshore Classic will finish in Cadboro Bay near Oak Bay and celebrate the day’s racing with a barbecue, awards ceremony, wind-up party and Silent Auction starting 4:00 PM

Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29

  • Swiftsure Centre is open from 10:00 AM on Saturday through to 6:00 PM on Sunday for race tracking
  • Free computerized access to the Swiftsure Race Tracker, complete with an expert resource to explain the race and relative positions of competitors, will be available to the public in the Swiftsure Centre
  • From Saturday at 10:00 PM until the race is over, the inspection dock at Ship Point will be open for safety inspections of finishing yachts – watch from the dock above

Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30

  • Best viewing of finishing yachts is from the breakwater at Ogden Point – the Finish Line
  • GVHA’s Harbour Days Market, with about 28 stalls and food vendors, will be located on Ship Point in the Victoria Inner Harbour. Arts and crafts and other goodies will be available all day and evening
  • The time limit for completing all races is 6:00 AM on Monday, May 30

RACE SCHEDULE START SEQUENCE

 Race Sequence for Saturday, May 28 (see below for General and Individual Recalls)

  •  First Race: The Swiftsure Lightship Classic and the Hein Bank Races
    • 8:51 AM Warning
    • 9:00 AM Start
  • Second Race:  The Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race for Multihulls and the Cape Flattery Race for Multihulls
    • 9:01 AM Warning
    • 9:10 AM Start
  • Third Race:  The Cape Flattery Race
    • 9:11 AM Warning
    • 9:20 AM Start
  • Fourth Race:  The Juan de Fuca Race
    • 9:21 AM Warning
    • 9:30 AM Start
  • Fifth Race:  The Swiftsure Inshore Classic Race
    • 9:31 AM Warning
    • 9:40 AM Start

Included are full details about the 2016 Swiftsure Race Start Sequence.  This is what Swiftsure racers need to know to prepare effectively for the race starts.