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New Swiftsure Committee Up and Running March 11, 2019

DH – In July 2018, after 9 years at the helm Vern Burkhardt stepped down as Event Chair of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race. It was a great time to go as Vern was offered the opportunity to spend 5 months cruising from the Caribbean through the Panama Canal and eventually back to Victoria. Being of sound mind, and an ocean sailing fanatic, he took it.

As is often the case, one change led to another and a number of the 2018 Committee members chose to move along as well. While the same crew remains on the Race Management part of the organization, many of the ‘shore-side’ members turned over.

While Vern is staying on as ‘Special Advisor’, Past RVYC Commodore (and former Swiftsure Principal Race Officer) Andrew McBride has taken on the role of Event Chair. Mike Cowley remains as Race Director, John Abel as Principal Race Officer and Dennis McMillan as Technology Coordinator. New members include Brian Shorter as Logistics Coordinator, Deb Tolman leading Sponsorship, Louise Alepin with Media Relations, Peter Testemale as Volunteer Coordinator, Ann Steele as Registrar and Guy Tyrwhitt-Drake with Trophies and Awards.

While things have been a bit slow getting off the ground for 2019, they are well under way. The ‘new blood’ on the Committee is working hard to introduce a number of changes to the ‘shore-side’ activities to streamline processes with the objective of increasing the positive experience for racers.

Register Now and join the Adventure! Swiftsure… Always a Challenge

Swiftsure 2019 Registration Open! January 2, 2019

Registration for the 76th Swiftsure International Yacht Race began with a bang!

Keith Climenhaga’s Dilligaf registered moments after the system opened. Keith has raced a number of Swiftsure’s double-handed and extends an invitation for others to join in racing Juan de Fuca Monohulls for 2019.

Next to register was Mata Hari. Current owner Jeff Blyth and previous owner Paul Walchenbach have raced Mata Hari in numerous Swiftsure races through the years and has won in the Cape Flattery Race.

Chuck Stephens’ Panic leads the pack of J105 boats, where they arrange to register and race at least 5 of the J105 fleet, establishing their own division in Cape Flattery, it’s a great way to race together and is possible for any design. There’s a very active racing schedule throughout the year in the J105 Pacific Northwest Fleet.

Darkside, the previously named and successfully campaigned Schock Therapy, will race her second Swiftsure in Cape Flattery Race. She is actively raced throughout the year under skipper Nicholas Leede.

Gusto, a Swan 441 will race Cape Flattery with Swiftsure’s first female skipper to register – Beth Miller. Gusto also raced Swiftsure, Pac Cup & RTC in 2018 as well as Seattle races.

Mephisto, Peter Mill’s C&C 29, is the first Royal Victoria Yacht Club boat to register to race Swiftsure. She will race the Inshore Flying Sails race with all-original equipment.

Register Now and join the adventure. Swiftsure – Always a Challenge

Swiftsure 2018 Report to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club November 21, 2018

Each year, as a standing committee of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Swiftsure International Yacht Race is required to provide a report to the club’s board of directors. In the report, much is acknowledged.

Racers from throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond reconnect with each other at Swiftsure. Being the largest race on North America’s West Coast, Swiftsure may be the one race each year when racers see each other and get great competition. About half of the yachts racing in Swiftsure are from the United States of America.


So much goes into making Swiftsure successful. Several levels of government, including U.S. Department of Homeland Security & the U.S. Coast Guard, Canada’s Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Coast Guard, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria. Plus the City of Victoria, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority. Volunteers from the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue auxiliary crews of units 33, 35, and 37.

Sponsors help us in so many ways, from donating funds to assist with the race costs, through allowing us the use of their assets such as UK Sailmakers Northwest RHIB and Prince of Whales Whale Watching’s Ocean Magic II plus a RHIB. Also contributing to Swiftsure’s Silent Auction. Through sponsors’ support, plus registration fees the racers pay and a few other sources, Swiftsure is financially self-funded each and every year.

Volunteers – almost 200 of them – help put the race together like a giant jigsaw with not a single piece missing. From the Event Chair right on through to the Soup Servers, every single one is a volunteer.

And yet, it’s nothing without racers and their yachts. The decision to race is made in the dark of winter. Skippers and crew work through the cold and bluster to ensure the boat is ready and meets the rather rigorous race requirements. Safety is top of mind for them, just as it is for the race organizers. Swiftsure can be anything – from light zephyrs, to ripping gales, and sometime during the race will be the perfect conditions for each boat to find her groove.

Here’s Vern Burkhardt’s final report to the RVYC Board of Directors – 2018 is his last year as Swiftsure’s Event Chair. Enjoy the read. 

 

Swiftsure…. Always a Challenge 

 

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Latest Registrations

Name Type Race
Freja Aerodyne CF
Different Drummer Wauquiez Centurion 40s CF
Sonic TP 52 HBO
Dragon Custom CFM
First Sight Beneteau 45f5 JDF
Ride the Wind Jeanneau 389 CF
Velocity J/42 CF
Credo III Catalina 36 standard rig ICN
New Beginnings I Bavaria 39 JDF
Belle-Ile Pacific Seacraft INF
Lodos J/109 CF
RIVA J 121 CF
Easy Lion Capital Yachts ICN
Akari II DUFR38C-1 CF
Abstract J105 CF
JAM J160 HBO
Ultraman III Seahorse S-40 CF
Rage Wylie 70 SLC
 

Downloadable Swiftsure 2019 Poster

 
 
2018 Final Race Results