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.







Swiftsure Skippers Series: #7 Doug Fryer and his Night Runner

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.

Deadline May 16 for Swiftsure Custom Embroidered Garments

Skippers, racers, family and friends – Monday, May 16th is the deadline to place your order in time to pick it up at Swiftsure. After looking over the Official Merchandise page, you can place your order here.

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.

Check out these images of the waterproof jacket, the polo shirt & the 1/4 zip pullover.

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


Shaw TV’s Lisa Pysmenny Captures Race Fever

During Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s T.H.R.A.S.H Regatta (Thank Heaven Racing And Spring’s Here), Lisa Pysmenny of Shaw TV South Vancouver Island and her cameraman went aboard Jackrabbit to shoot a video showcasing the upcoming Swiftsure. Chad Grice of the Swiftsure Committee guided them through understanding the fundamentals of racing.

The video can be viewed on Go! South Vancouver Island; ‘Preparing for Swiftsure 2016’ or on YouTube.

Thank you to Shaw TV, a long-time supporter of Swiftsure – they help share the excitement of the race with the public.


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. Continue reading

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