The Royal Victoria Yacht Club has presented Swiftsure since 1951. Prior to that, hosting was shared by the Seattle Yacht Club, the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and Royal Victoria Yacht Club under the aegis of the Pacific International Yachting Association, right back the race’s origin in 1930.
Did you know Swiftsure International Yacht Race is the biggest yacht race on the West Coast of North America? And among the longest-standing in the world? Be proud to compete in a yacht race with such deep roots.
Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018 race registration opened right on schedule on January 2nd and the Notice of Race for the Four Long Courses and the Swiftsure Inshore Classic is available online.
MARTHA 2015 Transpac
In preparation for opening registration for the 75th Swiftsure Race, some final effort was put into beta-testing the process. Swiftsure stalwarts worked on the evening of January 1 to ensure a smooth and successful launch the next morning. As we watched, an unexpected record showed up that had not been created by the team! What the heck? Turns out the schooner Martha was super-keen to register and found the wormhole created by the development team. After a quick phone call to Robert d’Arcy, skipper of Martha, a chuckle was shared and he confirmed that the Swiftsure registration process was indeed smooth and robust. Martha became the de facto 1st to register for this historic running of Swiftsure. Robert wished to share: “It’s great to have MARTHA race in the 75th edition of Swiftsure and appreciate the history and heritage of such a fine event, we wouldn’t miss it for the world! Kind regards and a thanks to the Swiftsure Race Crew for such good work!”
What’s new with Swiftsure 2018? Three additions to the Swiftsure Inshore Classic races, focused on attracting some racing history:
- Legends of Swiftsure race; No current PHRF rating? No problem, one will be assigned
- a) Boats that have previously competed in a Swiftsure long course race (Swiftsure Lightship Classic, Cape Flattery, Juan de Fuca), but have not competed since 2010; and
- b) Boats built prior to 1967.
- Six Metre Class race; these will race as a One Design
- Cruising race; there will be a Flying Sails and Non-Flying Sails class and again, No current PHRF rating? No problem, one will be assigned
- For the Legends of Swiftsure, Six Metre Class and Cruising races, the safety equipment requirements of the regulatory authority of their country of residence (e.g.; US Coast Guard, Transport Canada) will apply
Why is Swiftsure writing about a boat racing in the 2017 Rolex Sydney – Hobart race?
Shes a fine yawl with classic lines, built in the early 30’s and has competed all over the world.
Including in Swiftsure! 1947-57, Dorade competed and finished typically in the leaders pack, though never a winner.
Read about Dorade from ‘Swiftsure – the First 50 Years. Then check her out on the Sydney-Hobart Race Tracker.
A Swiftsure Legend
There’s a well-known racer of some repute that has many, many Swiftsure’s under his PFD.
Marianne Scott, a regular contributor to Pacific Yachting articles, ran Ron MacKenzie to ground and captured some of his Swiftsure race adventures aboard his Future Primitive.
A good read, shared with permission from December’s issue of Pacific Yachting; Ron MacKenzie Future Primitive, PY Dec 2017. Editor Dale Miller had neat personal stories to share in his ‘View From Here’ editorial – you’ll need to get the December issue but it’s well worth the effort.
Pardon My French epitomises the Swiftsure Spirit. This video captures their first ever Swiftsure and they’ll be back!
Hunger, Sleep Deprivation and Chill could not dull the thrill.
Skipper and crew of Pardon My French, Frederick Savoye’s Hunter-Legend 40.5 from Sloop Tavern Yacht Club, decided to make Swiftsure their first big race and they have the heart, the spirit and the stamina to go the distance. When others pulled out, they dropped their hook in Race Passage for 8 hours, determined to stay the course. Everything they did was spot on for preparation of the boat and crew with a focus on safety. Swiftsure is pleaseed to have Pardon My French and her crew show us commitment gets results. Fifth in her division – a fine result for a first-ever Swiftsure. And 12-year old Alec on the helm – a proud moment.
Skipper: Frederick Savoye
Crew: Eric Maffre, Antoni Kew, Toby Willis, Alec Savoye, Antoine Deux, Shannon Dean
See you in 2018, PMF – until then, bonne chance.
In 1961, Winsome III from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club became the first Canadian boat to win the Swiftsure Lightship Race since 1931. Bonar Davis was skipper as owner Ches Rickard was away. In this year, 62 race yachts were registered for the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, and this was the last year Jack Gann was the Swiftsure Race Chair. The following year saw the creation of the Juan de Fuca Race but in 1961 there was only the single course – to the Swiftsure Lightship.
In the spring of 2017, from the annals of Swiftsure history, a reel of 16 mm film was discovered by Charlotte Gann. The retrieved canister of cellulose film, marked ‘1961 Swiftsure’ had survived well and, after consulting with Swiftsure Chair Vern Burkhardt, a skillful studio was sought to take on conversion of the 16 mm film reel; the film was reviewed, quality confirmed and conversion completed.
What follows is the result of this discovery.
Just in time to celebrate the 75th running of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, a piece of history is presented.
What follows is a photo essay from Stephanie Campbell Schwenk as she raced aboard Denny Vaughn’s Bravo Zulu.
Takes you from the start to the thrill of the hunt, into the dark, the fog, the morning sun and happy faces, and to the finish, including that ever-welcome bowl of soup – using the Swiftsure poster as a coaster. Continue reading
Jill Fitz Hirschbold, Swiftsure’s Photography Lead, has organised the best group of photographers yet.
Jill, herself, is a professional photographer, honing her skills on the water and ashore.
Watch this page as more and more official Swiftsure photographers’ work arrives. Including shots from Stocksy United, plus the return engagement of Swiftsure photographers over a number of years.
Check the list of Swiftsure 2017 prize winners. Congratulations, all. Well earned.
If you’ve ever been curious to know more about the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, host of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, here’s your opportunity.
On June 17 from 11 AM to 3 PM, drop in to the Club’s Open House at 3475 Ripon Road. Hear about membership opportunities.
There will be information booths, prizes, games for children and much more.
For more information, call the Club Administration Office at 250-592-2441 or just come by on June 17th.
Ballad, a Cal 43 from Anacortes Yacht Club, finished at 2:24 AM.
And Cinderella, an Ericson 35-2 from Sloop Tavern Yacht Club, found her way home, slipping across the finish line at Ogden Point at 3:05 AM, making Cinderella the final boat of the 2017 Swiftsure International Yacht Race to finish within the time line of 6 AM Monday morning.
The crew were met with smiles and hugs from Swiftsure Race Chair Vern Burkhardt while soup from Volunteer Coordinator Judie Abel was presented. The Principal Race Officer John Abel congratulated the crew on a fine finish. For one of the crew, Catherine Terrana of Bayville, NY, this was not only her first race but also her first time ever sailing.
In the wee hours, Cinderella’s crew talked about the fog. This was heard of a lot during the Swiftsure race.
Congratulations to Cinderella and crew on finishing within the 6 AM Monday deadline and becoming the 2017 recipient of the Lanterne Rouge.