Countdown to Swiftsure 2017

Online registration for the 74th running of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race opened January 2nd.  The Notices of Race and online registration are on the Swiftsure 2017 website. 

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club has extended a cordial invitation to monohull and multihull yacht owners to come to Victoria for Swiftsure 2017.  The race starts at 9:00 am on May 27th

Monohull yacht racers can choose from four long (overnight) courses and two shorter one-day races.

  1. The Swiftsure Lightship Classic for PHRF and ORC handicapped yachts starts in Victoria, goes to Swiftsure Bank, and returns to Victoria – a 138.2 nautical miles course giving a taste of racing in the Pacific Ocean.
  2. The Hein Bank Race for ORC handicapped yachts starts in Victoria, goes to Neah Bay in USA, then to Hein Bank, and returns to Victoria – a 118.1 nautical mile course.
  3. The Cape Flattery Race for PHRF handicapped yachts starts in Victoria, goes to Neah Bay, and returns to Victoria – a 101.9 nautical mile course.
  4. The Juan de Fuca Race, for yachts rated 40 or >40 PHRF, starts in Victoria, goes to Clallam Bay in USA, and returns to Victoria – 78.7 nautical miles.
  5. The Swiftsure Inshore Classic’s Flying Sails Race for PHRF handicapped yachts, which starts in Victoria and finishes at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
  6. The Swiftsure Inshore Classic’s Non Flying Sails Race for PHRF handicapped yachts, which starts in Victoria and finishes at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

Multihull yacht racers can choose either a long overnight course or a one-day race. 

  1. The Cape Flattery Race for Multihulls starts in Victoria, goes to Neah Bay, and returns to Victoria – a 101.9 nautical mile course.
  2. The Swiftsure Inshore Classic’s Multihull Race, which starts in Victoria and finishes at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

We look forward to welcoming racers from near and far to enjoy the happenings at the docks in Victoria, spin yarns about past race accomplishments, party, and compete in this year’s running of Swiftsure.

Swiftsure…Always a Challenge


Vern Burkhardt

Event Chair

Swiftsure International Yacht Race

UPDATE: Swiftsure Skippers Series: #7 Doug Fryer and his Night Runner

In the article below, published in July’s edition of 48 Degrees North, Doug Fryer writes of his 47 Swiftsure races.

Royal Victoria YC Swiftsure International Yacht Race: The Premier Northwest Sailing Event!

Doug always races to the Bank because “The Swiftsure Race, there’s only one of those.” Why go to the Bank? In my view, because it is a 25 mile round trip on the ocean, arguably the most difficult and challenging leg. Certainly the race of the longest tradition.              by Doug Fryer Continue reading

Swiftsure & Vic-Maui 2016

Swiftsure International Yacht Race and Vic-Maui International Yacht Race have a long history of mutual support. Swiftsure is among the qualifying races for participating in Vic-Maui. The Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Swiftsure’s host club, assists with Vic-Maui race support in Victoria.

The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Lahaina Yacht Club co-host the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race.

David Sutcliffe, Event Chair of the Vic-Maui Race, will be skippering his newly acquired Kinetic V, a Transpac 52.He previously skippered Kinetic IV, a Beneteau First 47.7 in the 2004, 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2014 Vic-Maui races, Following the 2006 Vic-Maui, Kinetic sailed onward to Australia, completed the 2006 Sydney Hobart race and then sailed home, a round trip of over 17,000 nautical miles. Kinetic’s 2010 Vic-Maui overall race-winning crew included five adults and four teens, and Kinetic’s 2012 Vic-Maui team earned another division win.

Kinetic V 2016 Maui-Vic 2014 Kinetic












Following is an excerpt from the Vic Maui Shackles and Cotterpins June 19, 2016 newsletter:

Vic-Maui Fleet Performs at Swiftsure!

• Nineteen of the twenty-two 2016 Vic-Maui boats sailed in Swiftsure this year. Congratulations to Longboard and Valkyrie for their overall wins in their respective races.

• In the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race:
o Longboard took First in PHRF division 1 and the Overall win
o Mountain took First in ORC division 1
o Alegria X also competed

• In the Hein Bank Race (ORC):
o Valkyrie took First in division 1 and the Overall win
o Kinetic V took Third in division 1
o CrossFire, Westerly, Kraken also competed

• In the Cape Flattery Race:
o Equus and String Theory took Second and Third in division 1 of the PHRF Heavy Class
o Starblazer, Salient, Red Sheilla, Miles, Amiskwi, Turnagain also competed

• In the Juan de Fuca Race:
o Rain Drop took Third in division 1 of the PHRF Heavy Class
o Ion, Canard also competed

Vern Burkhardt, Event Chair for Swiftsure, will again race Vic-Maui, the 50th year of the race event. This will be Vern’s 11th Vic-Maui raced and Maui-Vic return. Vern wrote the following in 2002 while in the Vic-Maui Race – equally relevant today as it was then:

Night is a time for reflection—
reflection of the
meaning of life, reflection on
how vast the ocean is and how
small we are by comparison, reflection on the real values and
priorities one should follow,
reflection on how wonderful it is
to be removed
from the crises of the world,
most of which cannot be fixed
within one’s lifetime.

Since 2011 the event chairs of both races have also instructed Sail Canada’s Offshore Personal Survival Course (Safety at Sea – Sea Survival) in British Columbia. It is for experienced sailors who are participating in distance and offshore races and passages.

Maui-Vic Return 2014








There’s Still Time for Swiftsure Official Merchandise

Skippers, racers, family and friends – there’s still time to order Official Swiftsure Merchandise! Take a look and place your order here. STGE will continue to fill orders and deliver through June 27th.

The garments are terrific quality Stormtech pieces; Swiftsure Committee members ordered these. They look sharp, wear like iron, fit smoothly and are great for our wet west coast weather.

XSJ-1W Jacket Front

XSJ-1W Jacket Front

XSJ-1W Jacket Back

XSJ-1W Jacket Back

IPS-4 Polo Shirts and PL-2 Pullover

IPS-4 Polo Shirts and PL-2 Pullover

Swiftsure 2016 Results are up!

The 2016 Swiftsure International Yacht Race provisional results are now posted.

Why ‘provisional’? Results require approval by Swiftsure’s Principal Race Officer, IRO John Abel (International Race Officer). But we’re sharing these with you now – final approved results will come soon.

Why do they take a while to post? Well – the race only officially finished at 6 AM on Monday, May 30. With over 200 boats, if even one has a gap in information (missing rounding times) these must be resolved before we can post any race results.

Who crossed the line first (Line Honours) in Swiftsure Lightship Classic? Rage, a Schooner Creek Wylie 70 – she now has the record for most Line Honours of any boat in the history of the race. Rage raced with new owner/skipper Dave Raney AND previous owner/designer Steve Rander. Steve and Dave’s wives, Nancy and Denise, were aboard the Prince of Whales Ocean Magic to observe Rage and others making their way through Race Passage.

Rage near Race Passage

Rage near Race Passage














Who finished last within the timeline of 6 AM, Monday? Tessana, a JJ Taylor Contessa 32 from Cascadia Yacht Club skippered by Warren Kimmitt. Why is it usually a Swiftsure Lightship Classic boat that’s the last to finish? It’s the longest course and by far the most challenging. Tessana finished at 04:44:35 on Monday morning.

Who won the Swiftsure Inshore Classic Overall? Dennis Woodward’s Zephyr, a Cal 29 from Swiftsure’s host Royal Victoria Yacht Club.










Though no records were broken with the race, every racer we heard from told us it was a fantastic race. Some light winds, some biggish winds, some holes, great spinnaker runs, calm seas, very little rain. Seabirds, whales, harbour dolphins, porpoises, elephant seals and sea lions.

Swiftsure – Always a Challenge

The Race Tracker – what happened Saturday at the start?

Just as the race starts for the 73rd Swiftsure International Yacht Race were about to get underway, the Swiftsure Race Tracker stopped functioning.

Everyone wants to know why.

Right before the start, over 20,000 people tried to access the race tracker at once, taking down the server that provides the information about locations of all long course boats. Everything functioned as it should – the massive interest in the race caused the jam at the server and it stopped traffic. Continue reading

Race day is here!

image.cgiGood morning and welcome to the 2016 Swiftsure International Yacht Race. The forecast looks good, despite a bit of rain, and we are hoping for a quick race. As usual, you can watch the race live on our Race Tracker, or come down to Clover Point to watch the start live. First warning goes off at 08:51!