Swiftsure Droning the Race Starts & Clover Point Events

Pacific Yachting Magazine’s May edition has a super article in the Currents section, written by Marianne Scott about Swiftsure having a drone to record the race start and events ashore at Clover Point.

From 8 AM on Saturday, May 28, spectators can hear the live commentary of Swiftsure starts from two experienced racers, host Royal Victoria Yacht Club members Heather Seaman and Ralph Lapp. Take in a pancake breakfast, observe Songhees and Esquimalt Elders conducting a Blessing of the Fleet (Swiftsure starts & ends on traditional Lekwungen territory) and, after the 5 race starts are complete, watch the Royal Canadian Air Force conduct an over-and-on-the-water Search And Rescue Demonstration from a 442 Squadron Cormorant helicopter.

Swiftsure Celebrates 2016 Sponsors at a Luncheon


Swiftsure International Yacht Race celebrates our richly engaged sponsors each year. One event we hold in the spring, just before the race organising becomes frenetic.

The 2016 Swiftsure Sponsorship Luncheon was held at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club on April 13th, where we feted sponsors, recognising their contributions to the success of Swiftsure and introducing them to each other. This year, we enjoyed the company of RVYC’s Commodore Dunnery Best, Vice Commodore Gordon Wilkinson and several members of the Swiftsure Committee. Event Chair Vern Burkhardt engaged the guests with an outline of the race, what’s new and exciting for 2016, and an invitation to join in upcoming VIP festivities such as experiencing the start of Swiftsure from aboard either a Royal Canadian Navy Kingston class vessel, HMCS Whitehorse this year, or Swiftsure sponsor Prince of Whales’ Whale Watching’s Ocean Magic – both exceptional experiences.

Swiftsure Event Chair Vern Burkhardt

Swiftsure’s sponsors are very engaged in their enterprises, and still they find it in their heart to continue to support the race, understanding that without their generosity in so many ways, this race could not happen.

And so, it is with deep gratitude, Swiftsure thanks our committed sponsors. Some have been with us since the 1950’s and all are amazing to know – we gladly ask you to support their businesses.

Below are photographs of some of our incredible sponsors!

Raven Marine's Anthony Utley & John Nassichuk with Don Prittie of Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard

Raven Marine’s Anthony Utley & John Nassichuk with Don Prittie of Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard


Steamship Grill & Bar's Mark Fenner, Jim Rohmer & Hanif Mamdani

Steamship Grill & Bar’s Mark Fenner, Jim Rohmer & Hanif Mamdani

L-R; Shaw TV's Lisa Pysmenny, Chad Grice of Swiftsure, Spinnakers' Sasha Laurin, Charlotte Gann of Swiftsure & Shaw TV's Daphne Goode

L-R; Shaw TV’s Lisa Pysmenny, Chad Grice of Swiftsure, Spinnakers’ Sasha Laurin, Charlotte Gann of Swiftsure & Shaw TV’s Daphne Goode

GVHA's Kirsten Denham

GVHA’s Kirsten Denham




IRIS The Visual Group's Lynn Reiter and Roxy Beswetherick

IRIS The Visual Group’s Lynn Reiter and Roxy Beswetherick

AC Design's Alastair Chesson

AC Design’s Alastair Chesson






Charlotte Gann of Swiftsure with Roy McKenzie of CHEK News

Charlotte Gann of Swiftsure with Roy McKenzie of CHEK News












Pacific Yachting's Kathy Moore

Pacific Yachting’s Kathy Moore

















Thanks you Swiftsure 2016 sponsors!




























































Swiftsure Technical Night with Canoe Cove Marine Community

An informative Swiftsure Technical Night was held Wednesday, March 30 at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. With presentations from knowledgeable and entertaining fellows from Blackline Marine and Raven Marine Services, and Vern Burkhardt, Swiftsure Event Chair, Don Prittie of Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard kicked off the evening, telling the assembled crowd of a secret spot beyond Sidney with protected moorage, a sailing club, complete marine services and 2 restaurants. Don also reminded us of the upcoming Maritime Museum of BC Massive Marine Sale on Saturday, May 23rd at Ogden Point.

Don Prittie with Vern Burkhardt and Charlotte Gann

Continue reading

Press Release: Tritium Determined to beat Race Record

Press Release; Swiftsure International Yacht Race Proudly Hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club

The Biggest Fastest Boats come to contest the Premier Yacht Race in the Pacific Northwest

Victoria, BC 15 April, 2016: John Sangmeister from Long Beach, California, and his 77 foot trimaran “Tritium”, has entered the 2016 Swiftsure International Yacht Race in hopes of breaking the almost two decades old race record.

In 1997, ex-America’s Cup catamaran “Stars & Stripes” set a lightning-fast elapsed time record of 14 hours 35 minutes and 29 seconds over the 138.2 nautical mile course to Swiftsure Bank and back to Victoria. Tritium is a VPLP 73, with an overall length of 77 feet and a beam of 60 feet. Tritium’s name comes from John’s first boat “Hydrogen II” as homage to his father’s Little America’s Cup entrant “Hydrogen.” Tritium is H3 and is the radioactive isotope of Hydrogen, which seemed fitting. The boat has been raced previously as “Bonduelle” for Jean Le Cam and more recently Artemis Racing modified the boat as a test platform for the 2013 America’s Cup. The VPLP design is created by a French naval architecture firm formed in 1983 and responsible for designing some of the world’s most innovative racing boats. Their designs presently hold many of the World Speed Sailing records.

So far this year, Swiftsure has attracted the best fleet of offshore racing yachts ever gathered in the Pacific Northwest. There are 4 boats 70 feet or over as well as 3 Trans Pac 52’s and a Reichel/Pugh 55, all with the potential to break the existing records. Registrations are well ahead of prior years and easily on track for over 200 race yachts participating in 5 racecourses. Continue reading

Want to get up close & personal to a race yacht?


Ever wondered how a racing boat looks after she’s raced hard? Here’s your opportunity to find out and also help with Swiftsure.

Swiftsure Inspection Volunteers needed:

– to inspect each race boat after finishing to ensure compliance with safety requirements

– collect race cards from all competitors

– collect and record the return of SPOT transponders from each race boat

– 6 hour shifts beginning at 1800 Saturday, May 28 until all boats are finished or 0600 Monday, May 30

– no experience necessary – training sessions available May 3 or 5,


Please contact Swiftsure Volunteer Coordinator, Judie Abel, at volunteer@swiftsure.org


Swiftsure Skippers Series: #5 The J Boat Skippers

#5 in the Swiftsure Skippers Series – J boat competitors, Bob Brunius and Tom Kelly.Bob Brunius

Bob Brunius, when he’s not organizing races out of Orcas Island Yacht Club – that little thing called ‘Round The County’ – he’s putting his Time Bandit J120 and crew through their paces. His boat has won their Swiftsure division 6 times! Ask Bob how much he likes Race Passage.


tom kelly anamTom Kelly will tell you he’s raced a lot in the Pacific Northwest. And he has. At least 7 Oregon Offshore Races on his J-122 Anam Cara, and bringing her to compete in Swiftsure. In 2014, Tom’s Anam Cara placed first in division, first in class (Cape Flattery Light), and FIRST OVERALL for the Cape Flattery Race. Phew! Continue reading

Swiftsure Skippers Series: #4 Vancouver

#4 in the Swiftsure Skippers Series brings us 2 skippers from Vancouver.


Peter Salusbury is returning to race the Swiftsure Lightship Classic and possibly retain his 2015
First Overall bragging rights. Peter has raced
41 Swiftsure races!

string theoryJohn Mortimer is developing a unified theory of the universe while he races in Swiftsure’s Cape Flattery race and Vic-Maui in 2016. He competes hard and prepares very well! Continue reading

V.I.R.S. Year FIVE!

VIRS 2016

Welcome to year FIVE of the VIRS (Vancouver Island Racing Series)! This year the number of scoring races has been increased to lucky thirteen, with the inclusion of the GIN (Gulf Islands Nanaimo) Race. The season kicks off, as always, with Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club’s Patos Island Race…or does it? West Van’s Southern Straits race, two weeks earlier this year, could be used as a Wild Card scoring race in the VIRS as in previous years. How about that! Continue reading

Swiftsure ORC Announcement


The organizing authority for Swiftsure has issued Amendment #2 to the Notice of Race for the Four Long Courses. This amendment replaces the IRC handicap classes for the Swiftsure Lightship Classic Race and the Hein Bank Race with ORC handicap classes. PHRF handicap classes will still be offered for these two courses.

This means the Four Long Courses now are:

1. Swiftsure Lightship Classic for monohulls (138.2 nautical miles) – PHRF and ORC classes

2. Hein Bank Race for monohulls (118.1 nautical miles) – PHRF and ORC classes Continue reading