Swiftsure Registration Opens January 2, 2017

Thanks for showing early interest and asking! On January 2nd, 2017 the Swiftsure Registration for the 2017 race will open. Who will be first to register?

2017 race dates are Saturday, May 27 through Monday, May 29 at 0600.

At the present time, the Swiftsure Race Registration page remains inactive.

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

Doug Fryer stands alone. He has raced more Swiftsure races than some of us are old. He’s seen the race grow from being small and little known beyond racing circles (75 entrants in 1963) to the heydays of the 80’s when over 400 race boats clogged Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Doug said “If I do it often enough, I might win.” And went on to do just that; Night Runner was the 2013 Swiftsure Lightship Classic Overall Winner.

Doug’s beautiful Night Runner, a 42 foot one off Perry design, is an illusion. She looks, for all the world, like a classic sailboat with all the comforts and warmth of times past. But she is slippery. And Doug makes her dance. You learn this through many, many Swiftsure races.

Doug is, as we speak, racing the 2016 Oregon Offshore Race, another true test of skill and wiliness – who better than this grey fox. And the legend continues…Night Runner

Q1: Name Doug Fryer

Q2: How many Swiftsure races have you done? 46

Q3: What year was your first Swiftsure? 1963

Q4: What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or your crew when racing in Swiftsure? Catching salmon on Swiftsure Bank back in the days when a fishing license was not required

Q5: What was the most exciting or interesting thing that occurred while you were racing in Swiftsure?

1976 Swiftsure; a southerly wind of maybe 30+ knots created a real sea on the ocean. On Ragtime, a 62 foot sled, it took us one hour from Cape Flattery to the Lightship and one hour back,. This was a distance of 25 miles reaching with #4 jib and 3 reefs in main.

1979; Dorade collided with Zuben Ubi IV just ahead and sank her in minutes. Her crew took to the life raft and we picked them up. The sinking was like a scene from Moby Dick.

Q6: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of racing Swiftsure for the first time? 
Get rest and stay sober the night before as the race can be won or lost when the winds lessen at night, and the ocean rollers come into the strait entrance.

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!

Swiftsure 2016 Photos through Artbox Event Photography

Swiftsure has Artbox Event Photography establishing a professional platform for Swiftsure 2016 photographs. Through their suite of carefully selected photographers, an ever higher quality of photography will be Swiftsure’s bounty.


Check out Artbox Event Photography at their booth in the Swiftsure Centre at Steamship Terminal.  Order your favourite photos direct.

Or follow their photographs online through Swiftsure. Here’s a link to 2016 Swiftsure photographs from Artbox Event and a link for 2015 Swiftsure photographs.

Throughout the Swiftsure events, you’ll see Artbox Events Photography covering every aspect of the race, from  Captain Jack Sparrow on the docks, through the Swiftsure Awards Presentation & Skipper’s Meeting and, on race day, Clover Point – both on the water and ashore. Then capturing the boats as they cross the finish line near Ogden Point and on to the Inspection Dock at the Inner Harbour where cold, tired and hungry racers will be served hot soup (thank you SYSCO Victoria) and exchange their wild tales.

“Swiftsure, Always A Challenge.” Proudly hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.