This year is the 75th running of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race. There will be a significant fleet of multihulls participating in the two multihull courses. There is the classic 101.9 nautical mile Cape Flattery Race for Multihulls, and new this year is the 78.7 nm Juan de Fuca Race for Multihulls. Both races will be well represented by yachts designed by the legendary Ian Farrier.
Multihulls have been an integral part of Swiftsure for over 20 years. Bill Conconi, Race Event Chair in the mid 1990’s, approached me as he had heard I was building an F9AX in my back yard in Victoria. He asked me if I could spread the word that Swiftsure would welcome multihull boats and would offer a race if enough signed on. We built it and they came.
Redshift, the original F9R built by Wayne Gorrie was one of, if not the first, to join in. He was known to sail in stealth mode. My boat, Sauterelle, was a couple of years later. Then came Cheekee Monkee, Flip Flop and Fly, Hi5, and Dangereaux (the first F33). All of these were Farrier designed boats. The fleet grew and attracted some well known multihull racers. Randy Smyth skippered an F25C and missed line honours by getting stuck in little to no wind less than a mile from the finish. Another F25C, Makika (now Elsie Piddock of R2AK fame) won many times. Adventurer Steve Fossett brought Stars & Stripes and set the still-standing record for the longest course of Swiftsure—the 138.2 nm Swiftsure Lightship Classic. There have been many more boats from BC and Washington that have become regulars. F27 Drum, F27 Dream Chaser, F9AX Dream Chaser (confusing eh?), F31 Freda Mae, F31 Son of Raven, F9A Ruf Duk, and so many more.
And what was the primary reason the multihull fleet grew and attracted such fine competitors? It was the design of the affordable, fast, and trailerable Farrier trimarans.
Ian Farrier passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in December 2017. He is missed by all of us who built, own, or sail the design he spent his entire life perfecting. Although he is gone, he has left not only a fleet of yachts in the Pacific North West, but also a community of multihull enthusiasts who, because of him, have become and will remain friends.
The Royal Victoria Yacht Club and the Swiftsure Committee have dedicated the two multihull races to the memory of Ian Farrier on this 75th running of the race.
Thank you Ian. You will not be forgotten.