On Wednesday, May 20th 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! Check out Steamship’s  “Below Deck” restaurant menu while the “On Deck” patio and Lower Deck have more casual options.

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 2015 Swiftsure Schedule of Public Events.

EVENTS SCHEDULE

Thursday, May 21, 2015

  • 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
  • Lekwungen Cultural Centre display by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations will have information about their culture
  • The Swiftsure Lounge in Swiftsure Centre opens at 2:00 PM, with ‘The Midnights‘ performing from 8:00 to 11:00 PM

Friday, May 22, 2015

  • 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
  • Lekwungen Cultural Centre display by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations will again have information about their culture
  • The Ship Point Night 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 22nd, and all day and evening on Saturday, May 23rd
  • From  about noon to 4 PM, Captain Jack Sparrow will entertain dockside with Scarlett
  • At 3:00 PM the Awards for 2014 winners will commence at the Distrikt at Strathcona Hotel
  • At 4:00 PM the Skippers 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 ‘Younger Than Yesterday‘ 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 23, 2015

  • 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 at 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 the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Saskatoon 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
  • 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 23 and Sunday, May 24

  • 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 Steamship Grill & Bar of 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

Sunday, May 24 and Monday, May 25

  • Best viewing of finishing yachts is from the breakwater at Ogden Point – the Finish Line 
  • The time limit for completing all races is 6:00 AM on Monday, May 25

RACE SCHEDULE START SEQUENCE

 Race Sequence for Saturday, May 23 (see below for General and Individual Recalls)

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

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

On June 19 – 21, consider taking in the Aboriginal Cultural Festival 2015 in Victoria.