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 was his last year as Swiftsure’s Event Chair. Enjoy the read.
Swiftsure…. Always a Challenge