Swiftsure’s Safety and Technical Night on March 18th was held at race host’s Royal Victoria Yacht Club to a full house.Full House on March 18

The crowd heard from Swiftsure’s Chair, Vern Burkhardt about the culture of safety Swiftsure has enhanced year-over-year.  Vern spoke of the fundamentals of safety preparations, the key players – Racers, the Swiftsure Organising Authority and the many Agencies involved to keep the fleet safe.  Safety is a primary focus for Swiftsure and we are recognized among the local races as a leader in this field.

Vern’s presentation is well worth checking out.

Brent Jacobi of Blackline (1)Brent Jacobi, manager of Blackline Marine’s Rigging Shop, covered many ‘gotchas’ of standing and running rigging, sharing samples of failures around the room.  Lots of gasps were expressed at the possible risk points on sail rigging – with the key message to check aloft regularly and get your rig pulled and inspected each 10 years.  BustedSeeing the busted bits and hearing how they failed was pretty shocking. Keeping your rigging sound through scheduled maintenance isn’t just a safety concern, your boat insurance may not fully compensate for a claim if you haven’t kept up maintenance – just ask Navis Marine Insurance, Swiftsure’s exclusive marine insurance provider.

Alex Fox, manager of The Sailing Shop at Trotac, walked us through the Swiftsure Race Start.  Alex Fox for The Sailing Shop at TrotacEverything from the principle of creating the start line length through to insights about racing with a furling jib (clue – in bigger winds, first reef the main not the furler). Check out Alex’s article on Swiftsure race starts.

The Q&A sessions were, um, vigorous.  Many questions were raised and all were addressed.

Vern Gary

Throughout the night, Gary Davis, Swiftsure’s Media & Promotions dude, tweeted the events live.  Charlotte Gann organised the evening.

And racers that travelled from as far as Point Roberts, USA and Schooner Cove YC in Nanoose Bay were thanked for their presence and rewarded with pints of Swiftsure Session Ale brewed by Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub.

Here’s a secret for you – check out Dr Richard Dewey’s page about Currents during Swiftsure 2015 – the race starts with a big ebb.

This evening was made possible by Swiftsure sponsors Blackline Marine of Canoe Cove’s Marine Community, Trotac Marine and West Marine.  West Marine provided attendees a $15 discount coupon good until April 1st.

And at the end of the evening, at least 2 skippers said they wanted to experience Swiftsure for the first time and were provided information about the Notices of Race, the Courses and how to West Marine's Coupons for attendeesRegister online.  Since then, several have followed through and registered to race.

A successful night and we thank our rock star presenters and Swiftsure Sponsors.

Richard Hudson from Schooner Cove Yacht Club shared this the following day – and registered to race Swiftsure “Thanks all of you for staging the safety and technical evening.  The “Freewind” crew from Schooner Cove Yacht Club agreed this was a very valuable experience and we are looking forward to our participation in Swiftsure again.” Thanks to you, Richard.