Swiftsure’s 2015 Report – a Race Insight

Each year, the chair of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race submits a report of the race experience to the host of Swiftsure, Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s executive. This report is also included in the member’s annual where they can read of the accomplishments of members participating in Swiftsure through racing, partaking as volunteers, and the organising team. Plus many sponsors and donors, without whom Swiftsure isn’t possible.

Take a look at Swiftsure’s 2015 Annual Report – a terrific insight into the many aspects, people, resources, and the community support it takes to put on a race of this calibre.

Also please acknowledge the efforts of so many and of the incredible support of sponsors. This race is of a very high calibre and ‘it takes a village’ to put on Swiftsure each year.

Happy Arrival at Inspection Dock

Happy Arrival at Inspection Dock


Registration Opens for Swiftsure 2016

Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Organizing Committee for the Swiftsure International Yacht Race has issued the Notices of Race for the 73rd running of the race. The race will start on May 28th off the beautiful Victoria waterfront, with the gun sounding for the first of five starts at 0900.

The race is open to monohulls and multihulls. Skippers and crew can choose from five different race courses, either racing overnight or in a long day race. Monohulls may race under either a PHRF or IRC handicap while multihulls will race under the PHRF rating system.

Online registration for Swiftsure 2016 went live January 4th. Registration fees are the same as for 2015! When registering for the race skippers and crew can also book to have a buffet breakfast between 0630 and 0830 on race morning at Swiftsure Centre (located at the Steamship Grill and Bar in the inner harbour). The price for the buffet breakfast is also the same as for 2015.

Swiftsure Official Merchandise

Swiftsure Official Merchandise

Online ordering for Official Merchandise is also open. Skippers have the option of ordering specialty Swiftsure garments when they register for the race.

Vern Burkhardt, Chair

Swiftsure International Yacht Race

Royal Canadian Navy and Swiftsure International Yacht Race

There are age-old traditions around the Swiftsure International Yacht Race and likely the longest is that between the race and the Royal Canadian Navy.

HMCS Oriole IV (ships I – III were all posted in Eastern Canada) is the longest serving ship in the Royal Canadian Navy and enters the Swiftsure Lightship Classic each year. She arrived in Victoria from Nova Scotia in 1954, racing her first Swiftsure in 1955 where she placed 14th. Almost each year since, HMCS Oriole has valiantly competed, taking enthusiastic crew for an offshore racing experience. Continue reading

Dragonfly’s Account of Round The County 2015

We’ve all learned this – drilled into our heads over and over and over; Crew, Craft, Mission, in this order.

When things get weird, fundamentals of safety are top of mind and, in the following accounts, this is apparent.

Enjoy reading of Orcas Island Yacht Club’s Round The County 2015 and, for those of us having a very special relationship with Dragonfly and her incomparable crew, Richard Ackrill’s account of the weekend.

The crew of Dragon will Fly again.


Swiftsure’s TWO ISAF certified appointees; John Abel & Mike Turner

BC Sailing announced on November 12, 2015 that the International Sailing Federation now includes two appointments of members from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club in prestigious positions. They are both actively engaged with the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

  • John Abel, Swiftsure’s PRO, has been appointed as an International Race Officer. John is one of just 3 IRO’s in BC of the 7 in Canada, and of which there are only about 200 in the world.

Continue reading

Two Multihull Experiences from Cape Flattery 2015

Swiftsure has incredibly active multihull racers. Key to the success of the group is Royal Victoria Yacht Club Past Commodore John Green’s engagement; John has actively promoted multihull racing in Swiftsure for a number of years and 2015 was a pinnacle with 11 registered to race the Cape Flattery Multihull course. John and Marg Green host a Friday pre-race dinner at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club for the group, building terrific camaraderie in the multihull fleet – possibly the one time during the year all come together to share stories and tales.

Two well-written articles from competitive yachtsmen are shared here; that of Douggie Barlow with Aliikai experiencing his first Swiftsure race, and Vincent DePillis racing his Freda Mae for the fifth time in Swiftsure; Vincent is president of the Northwest Multihull Assocation.

Swiftsure is pleased to highlight these two well-written articles from the NWMA Swiftsure Log – you’ll feel the thrill as each multi approaches and blasts through Race Passage on their way to the finish.

Epic 2015 Race? Yup.

Ladies and Gents

Swiftsure 2015 had the best elements of a near-perfect race!  Good winds, smooth waters, incredible competitors from far and wide, the largest complement of racers in years.

First across the finish line was Dragonfly in 9 hours and 9 minutes. Continue reading

What’s New for Swiftsure 2015?

Swiftsure Week 2015 Banner

New Long Course – Hein Bank Race

This 118.1 nautical mile race is open to all PHRF and IRC handicapped monohull yachts.  It is a fourth “Long Course” option for racing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The course goes from a starting line at Clover Point, leaving a mark at Neah Bay to port, leaving to port the ODAS 46088 (located about 5 nautical miles bearing approximately 2380 M from Hein Bank), and crossing a finish line across the Victoria Harbour (at Ogden Point Breakwater).  See the Notice of Race for the Four Long Courses and the Safety Equipment Requirements for Monohulls on Swiftsure’s website under Race Info. Continue reading