Scuttlebutt newsletter 3989 has an article about putting on a good spectator show and raising awareness of yacht racing. Swiftsure is among the races mentioned.
Did you know Swiftsure’s race start off Clover Point was chosen as the best position for yachts AND for spectator visibility? True. Swiftsure Inshore Classic uses Brotchie Ledge, off Ogden Point, as a turn mark so spectators have another spectacular view – and the Inshore racers are visible from shore throughout MUCH of their race.
Factoid: Swiftsure has one more race under its belt than Sydney Hobart. Truly the granddaddy race.
Scuttlebutt Dec 17, 2013 edited article is reproduced here.
How to put on a good show and raise awareness of our sport
When the 628nm Rolex Sydney Hobart Race begins on December 26, it will be doing so in Sydney Harbour, in front of hundreds of spectator craft, hundreds of thousands of people that line the shore, and amid major television and print media coverage.
All this attention is largely due to the cozy start location. Here are a few other races that have leveraged the excitement of the start to promote their races…
From Scott Boye – Friday Harbor:
In the Pacific Northwest, there are a few races where the start is easily viewed.
* Swiftsure, the granddaddy of sailboat races in the Northwest starts off Clover Point, Victoria, British Columbia. From the starting line I’ve seen hundreds (thousands?) of spectators lining the shore, visiting the food booths and cheering the boats. I’ve been told that spending Memorial Day weekend in Victoria is quite fun. Looking at flowers at the Butchart Gardens, High Tea at the Empress Hotel and shopping on Government St. I wouldn’t know, I always seem to be sitting on the rail heading out the Strait of Juan de Fuca into the Pacific Ocean.
* Southern Straits of Georgia race starts along the shore in North Vancouver, B.C. Good Friday is a holiday in Canada so there are ample spectators watching the start.
* The VanIsle 360 race has the most spectator-friendly start I’ve seen. While not technically a start of an ocean race, it is the start of the first of ten legs racing around Vancouver Island. The start is right in Naniamo harbor and spectators are encouraged to view the start from the pier. There’s an announcer giving play-by-play commentary and entertainment for the shore crews.
All of these starts put on a good show and raise awareness of our sport.
From Maurice Cusick – Newport, RI:
The Boxing Day Regatta on St Croix used to have a “La Mans” harbor start in Christiansted harbor on the day after Christmas. All boats had to be at anchor with one crew member leaping off the pier at the blow of a conch horn. Then put to Buck Island with a later downwind finish back in the harbor. Quite an event!
From Guy P. Brierre:
The biennial Regatta al Sol, a 555nm race from Pensacola FL to Isla Mujeres MX starts in Pensacola Bay, not far off the city dock. The local TV and radio stations set up broadcasters on the city dock and the boats parade past, one at a time for their “airtime” Introductions. The next Regata al Sol starts May 7th (Cruising Fleet) and 8th (Racing Fleet) 2014. The parties in Isla Mujeres, including golf cart Mardi Gras Parade, are not to be missed!