Swiftsure Technical Night held March 28th at Royal Victoria Yacht Club










On a blustery March night, the 4th annual Swiftsure Technical Night was presented by 4 Canoe Cove Marine Community companies; Vector Yacht Services, Raven Marine, Blackline Marine, and Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard opened the evening’s speakers.

Don Prittie, Canoe Cove Marina’s General Manager, shared remarks about the unique nature of the Canoe Cove Marine Community, where any marine problem can be addressed by the over 20 businesses that work cooperatively. The setting is well worth the drive – the ‘secret’ is becoming rather well known. This night instructed on various aspects of boat maintenance and organization for sailors and racers, and even boaters would learn something they didn’t know.

Swiftsure wholeheartedly recommends the four companies – Swiftsure’s Platinum Sponsors:

  • Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard – Don Prittie, General Manager
  • Blackline Marine Inc. – Brent Jacobi, Co-owner and Rigging & Metal Fabrication Manager
  • Raven Marine – Gavin Johnstone, Electrical/Electronics Technician
  • Vector Yacht Services – Todd Koroll, General Manager












This year, Gavin Johnstone, Electrical/Electronics Technician with Raven Marine, spoke about NMEA 2000 systems. This approach to setting ones’ boat electronics so they each communicate relatively seamlessly, even though they may not have a direct link to each other, was enthusiastically received. After Gavin finished his presentation, the questions continued for some time. Gavin, who has had a lifelong fascination with electronics, is a remarkably young man to have developed such deep expertise in his field. It was a privilege to have him present this timely topic. Continue reading

Prevailing Westerly

Joy and Stuart Dahlgren of UK Sailmakers in Sidney BC own the Santa Cruz 70, Westerly. With an overall length of 68 feet, beam of 15 feet, and draft of 10.5 feet Westerly is an eye catcher when at the dock in front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel or on the Swiftsure racecourse. A displacement of only 24,000 pounds enables the experienced crew to sail fast and smart.

Stuart Dahlgren Photo













Dahlgrens are the fifth owners of this boat, which was originally called Mongoose, built for Paul Simonsen of San Francisco. At the age of 10, Mongoose was acquired by Robert Saielli who campaigned her on the west coast and Great Lakes until about 2005. Dennis Conner owned the boat for about two years and subsequently sold it to a family team in Newport Beach, California. It appears this Santa Cruz 70 was a bit more boat than this family team could adequately campaign and maintenance waned. Joy and Stuart purchased the boat, now called Westerly, in 2011 and had it transported by truck to Victoria, unable to make the uphill trip under sail. This decision to ship rather than sail turned out to have been a wise decision as the mast collar and chain plates were severely damaged from corrosion and galvanic interaction with the deck.

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Shaw TV South Vancouver Island’s Swiftsure 2018 Volunteer Promo

Each spring for many years, the team at Shaw TV South Vancouver Island have created a video promoting Swiftsure to locals. This year they include a new perspective – Swiftsure Volunteers; it takes over 200 volunteers to put on Swiftsure, the largest international yacht race on North America’s West Coast.

Swiftsure is excited to share the  Shaw TV SVI’s Swiftsure 2018 YouTube video. If this intrigues you, come join the thrill of Swiftsure. Go to Swiftsure’s Volunteer Contact web page and sign up to be a part of history.










Key production arrangments were lead by Daphne Goode and Orlando Carillo of Shaw TV SVI, shown here setting up Event Chair Vern Burkhardt and Finish Line Lead Dave Trace for their closeup in the Main Lounge of Swiftsure’s host, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Thank you to Shaw TV SVI for again creating a polished video showcasing Victoria in her glory during Swiftsure. Thank you Daphne – you were awarded the Humphrey Golby/James McVie trophy in 2012 for your over 25 years of outstanding contribution in building connectivity and communication for Swiftsure, and here we are 6 years later and you’re still among the strongest of Swiftsure’s race promoters. 

The Shaw TV SVI video about Swiftsure will also air on the Access Point programming through May 5th. Here’s the Access Point schedule:

Shaw TV South Vancouver Island’s Access Point Program through May 5, 2018
AM Monday PM
6:30 Tuesday 1:00
8:00 Wednesday 9:00
9:00 Thursday 12:30
12:01 Friday
10:30 Saturday 12:30


Ian Farrier and the 2018 Swiftsure Multihull Races

This year is the 75th running of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race. There will be a significant fleet of multihulls participating in the two multihull courses. There is the classic 101.9 nautical mile Cape Flattery Race for Multihulls, and new this year is the 78.7 nm Juan de Fuca Race for Multihulls. Both races will be well represented by yachts designed by the legendary Ian Farrier.

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Invitation to Legends of Swiftsure

The 75th Running of Swiftsure                                                     

How many major, annual, North American sporting events have been contested at least seventy-five times? Let’s see there’s Lord Stanley’s Cup, the World Series of Baseball, US Open Golf Championships, the Boston Marathon,..after that the list gets a bit thinner. 2018 is a milestone year for the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club would like to extend a heartfelt invitation to all the racers, volunteers, fans, followers and supporters of this iconic race to join in a celebration of sailing, with the 75th running of Swiftsure!  






As part of this years’ Inshore Classic Race, there will be a Legends of Swiftsure division. The idea here is to welcome back past generations of competitors, showcasing boat types and design, both on the docks and on the water, all representing Swiftsures’ storied history. Any sailboat built before 1967 will be eligible for this division, plus any modern legends that have raced in any of the Swiftsure long courses prior to 2010…and you thought you were done with your racing?! Pass the good word, let’s make this an event to remember!    
– Check out the NOR, and we’ll see you all there!

Alex Fox

Swiftsure Multihull Racers – A Choice of Long Course Races

Through vigorous expressions of interest from the multihull racing community in the Pacific Northwest and diligent efforts by Swiftsure’s Multihull representatives John Green and Tim Knight, plus others, there is now a choice of Swiftsure Multihull races.

Cape Flattery Race for Multihulls (PHRF handicapped boats), the longer course at 101.9 nautical miles, turns at Neah Bay before heading to the finish line at Victoria.

Juan de Fuca Race for Multihulls (PHRF handicapped boats) is a 78.7 nautical mile course which turns at Clallam Bay and heads back to the finish line at Victoria.

Both multihull races are set as fully crewed and both offer good competition with, if conditions are right, the possibility of finishing before last call in Victoria.

All multihulls will be in the same start.

Here’s Amendment #1 to the Notice of Race for the Four Long Courses on this addition.

Register Now.

Pacific Yachting Coastal Characters – Trotac’s Campbell Thomson with Marianne Scott

Trotac Marine, the name combines Trolling and Tackle, has a deep and storied marine history on Vancouver Island. And owner Campbell Thomson, a well-known character on these salty shores, is ever smiling, deeply respected and with a prodigious memory.


Pacific Yachting’s February issue has writer Marianne Scott interview Campbell, learning more about him than any of us knew. Starting fresh from high school, Campbell worked alongside his father Pete, who started the family business in 1972. Now the third generation is taking the lines, with Jessalyn and Ben doing as their father has done.

Two faces familiar in the fraternity of racing work with Trotac; Alex Fox as the sailing and rigging specialist and Liane Kern leading the company’s marketing and promotion.

Trotac has continuously sponsored Swiftsure International Yacht Race through the decades.  

Swiftsure 2018 Registration is now OPEN

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

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