Race Records

Over the years, thousands of boats have participated in the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.  For many, just being in the event is a personal triumph and a long-standing memory.  For others, it is an annual rite as many skippers and crews come back to face a new challenge.

Each year, new yachts appear, sometimes with first-timers, sometimes with hardened Swiftsure veterans at the helm.  In other cases, boat names are very familiar but have changed hands.

A summary of certain Swiftsure records has been developed – both the fastest elapsed and corrected times for the various races and the winners that took the longest to gain their achievements.  Other records, such as the last to finish are of mixed distinction but still show that the Swiftsure International Yacht Race requires stamina, endurance and concentration.  It is about personal challenges as well as vying with other yachts.

Swiftsure Detailed Race Records through 2015

Swiftsure Lightship Classic

Fastest Elapsed Times for First Boat Home (Multihull)
14:35:29 Stars & Stripes  1997
Fastest Elapsed Times for First Boat Home (Monohull)
15:08:02 Braveheart  2007
Slowest Elapsed Times for First to Finish
50:19:50 Diamond Head 1958
Slowest Last Swiftsure Boat to Finish the race – Elapsed Time
58:18:16 Sannu Sannu 1984

Neah Bay / Cape Flattery Multihull

Fastest times for winner- Elapsed
9:03:00 Dragonfly 2001
Last Boat to Finish- Elapsed
38:16:06 Crazy Ho 1992

Cape Flattery

Fastest Elapsed Times for First Boat
12:51:13 Flash  2007
Slowest Elapsed Times for First to Finish
34:42:08  Wy’East 2010
Slowest Last Boat to Finish – Elapsed Time
40:14:35  Class Act  1992

Juan de Fuca

Fastest Elapsed Times for First Boat Home
9:18:53 Yummy 2005
Slowest Elapsed Times for First to Finish
36:09:50  Jellybean 1969
Slowest Last Boat to Finish – Elapsed Times
43:06:29  Sirocco 1989

Interesting Participating Yachts

Biggest

Extra Beat from the Seattle Yacht Club is the largest yacht to date at 120 feet.  She was the sole entrant in the 1997 Swiftsure Exhibition Race.  The Frers 120 was not eligible to compete with other yachts as the International Sailing Federation Racing Rules of Sailing do not permit boats with movable ballast.

Smallest

For the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, it seems Aida has been the smallest ever competitor, entered in 1960 and 1961.  This 26-foot boat was a Spitzgatter, a Danish design, owned and skippered by Hunter Vogel of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.  On her first time out, she won among the seven yachts in “B” class and placed 31 out of 36 overall.  Aida then switched to the shorter Juan de Fuca course in 1963 and took first place overall, racing out of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

In more recent years, the smallest Swiftsure entry has been Giant Slayer, a Santa Cruz 27 skippered by John Knudson from the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club.

The smallest boats in any of the races were probably the group of Cal 20s, based at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, in some of the early Juan de Fuca races (1966 and 1967). The first was likely Galenaia, owned by George and Pat Dufour.  Upgraded safety rules in later years meant these solid yachts could no longer compete in the long courses.

 Oldest

HMCS Oriole is the most likely candidate as she was 76 years old in her 1997 Swiftsure appearance. Her first time in Swiftsure was in 1955.

Ray Cooke in Circe, the winner of the 1934 Swiftsure, was still sailing her in the 1963 race and J. Seaborn from Seattle also entered her in 1965 and 1966.  Her last Swiftsure was in 1969.  Now, she often comes to Victoria for the annual Classic Boat Festival.

Cresset, a competitor in the second Swiftsure in 1931, has come back to visit from time to time.  Her last race was a special appearance in 1980 to help mark Swiftsure’s 50th anniversary. Read more about Yacht Cresset

Most Unusual

  • Buchan’s daggerboard vs keelboats in 1978
  • Stars & Stripes ‑ 60 foot long with 60 foot beam  – America’s Cup vs New Zealand
  • Endless Summer and Weatherly – ex 12 Metres
  • Gometra ‑ the gold ship
  • Glory- The fastest rated boat to ever enter Swiftsure with a rating of -126

From Afar

The first yacht from beyond the local waters of Puget Sound, Georgia Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait was Mischief from Portland in 1955.  Skippered by R. Smith, she was 28 feet 7.5 inches long.

The first visitor from California was Tasco II, a 48.6 foot “A” class yacht from the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, skippered by T.R. Short.