3rd Annual Swiftsure Technical Night Held March 22nd

The main lounge at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club was buzzing before and after the presentations. Swiftsure’s 3rd Annual Technical Night attracted sailors who came to hear about the care and feeding of propulsion and boat systems from Raven Marine’s John Nassichuk, while Todd Koroll, general manager of Vector Yacht Services spoke about engines and drives, and the inimitable Brent Jacobi, Blackline Marine’s Rigging & Metal Fabrication Manager charted a course through rigging and how to spot nasties before your stick falls off.

Don Prittie, general manager of Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard introduced these three gents, sharing some of their backgrounds which helped put credence in each presenter’s topic. 

These are experts in their fields who each shared inexpensive ways to prevent more expensive problems – not your typical sales approach. But they’re deeply immersed in life on the water and are practical.

Prior to working with Raven Marine, John Nassichuk worked with the legendary custom boat builder Schooner Creek Boat Works in Portland, Oregon where Tom Wylie-designed yachts are built, including the beloved 70’ Rage as well as proficient 43’ local race yachts Hana Mari and Magic Carpet. John recommends maintenance gems; do NOT use plastic through-hulls and LOOK at your boat fittings while cleaning – if they’re green, they need a closer look. 

With many years experience with engines and sail drives, Todd Koroll recommends keeping a close watch on your boat fluids. Vector Yacht Services is able to send your oil to Edmonton for testing; it doesn’t cost a lot and can show if there’s inappropriate inclusion of biotics, metals and water. And on the topic of biotics, Todd doesn’t recommend them as additives – what they kill in your fuel can personally hurt you (most of us don’t need extra appendages) and clump together making a bad problem worse.







Brent Jacobi always has highly practical recommendations you can personally apply. Winches – clean them regularly, lubricate lightly. Been up to check out your spreaders lately? It’s the #1 reason for spar failures. Can you reef your main in 1 minute? Practise it in good weather and analyse if yours functions smoothly. Goosenecks should NOT have play. Blackline Marine is a specialist and they work (and teach) to the highest standard. 

The key message from the three gents, remarkable in its simplicity, is to use your eyes and ears, read your maintenance manual, and set boat maintenance as a pleasurable necessity that will protect you when things get poopy. Remember – “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

Swiftsure greatly appreciates Canoe Cove Marine Community’s support; the Swiftsure Technical Night gives racers additional knowledge to make their boats race-ready. We also thank Commodore Gordon Wilkinson of race host Royal Victoria Yacht Club for his gracious closing remarks. 



Directions to Canoe Cove Marine Community: 2300 Canoe Cove Road, North Saanich, BC


Raven Marine: 250.655.3934 or info@ravenmarine.ca

Yacht Brokers; Yacht Shipping; Yacht Care & Maintenance


Blackline Marine: 250.656.6616 or info@blackline.com

Quadrant Marine Institute

Fibreglass & Gel Coat Repairs, Fabrications & Modifications

Painting & Refinishing

Seasonal Maintenance

Architectural Rigging

Metal Fabrication

Yacht Rigging


Vector Yacht Services: 250.656.5515 or sales@vector-yacht.com

Boatyard, Parts, Service for: Mercury Marine, Suzuki, Volvo Penta, Cummins Mercruiser, Yanmar Marine, Caterpillar, Vacuflush/Sealand, Webast, Espar, Zodiac Marine, Arneson Surface Drives, UltraJet, and ZF Marine


Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard; 250.656.5566 or info@canoecovemarina.com

In addition to the above businesses, Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard does:

Boat Haulouts, Short & Long Term Moorage, a Thrift Store, a Coffee Shop, a Pub Restaurant, a Manufacturer, Chandlery, Customs Dock,Yacht Sales, Fuel Dock, Laundry, Showers, Boat Builder, Canvas Shop, Marine Surveyor, Artist Studio, Boatshed Building/Maintenance, North Pacific Trawler Commissioning, Paddle Sport Rental, Lessons, Sales; Aluminum Fabrication; Vessel Maintenance; Water Taxi to Piers, Portland, Russell & Sidney Islands

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