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.
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
What else is new? Plans are afoot to hold the Friday racers’ festivities right on the docks, with The Midnights performing while Spinnakers beer is served. Dockside festivities has been a long-held aspiration of Event Chair Vern Burkhardt which, with support from the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, the City of Victoria, and other sponsors, will now come to fruition.
What stays the same? The Thursday night dock celebration. Swiftsure is working with the team of Prince of Whales Whale Watching plus Spinnakers and Mount Gay Rum. A fun evening catching up with friends.
Swiftsure is not possible without tons of support from over 200 volunteers. Moreover, it comes through Swiftsure Sponsors’ deep commitment – many have supported Swiftsure for decades which is a tribute from this community to help ensure the long-standing maritime tradition of Swiftsure continue to thrive.