Bill Jones of the Nanaimo Yacht Club has done Swiftsure races, but also Southern Straits, Oregon Offshore Race, Van Isle 360, and will do Vic-Maui 2016!
Richard Ackrill races for the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with Dragonfly, his Formula 40 catamaran. Richard doesn’t back down from any challenge, working through his most recent – the restoring of Dragonfly after her pitch-pole in a gale during November’s Round the County Race near San Juan Island.
Q1: Name Bill Jones (Ion, Beneteau 43)
Q2: How many Swiftsure races have you done? Maybe 10? But as skipper only since 2007.
Q3: What year was your first Swiftsure? 2003
Q4: What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or your crew when racing in Swiftsure? Several years ago, I ran out of propane just before dinnertime. There was an intense crew reaction and I have never let propane reserves get low after that.
Q5: What was the most exciting or interesting thing that occurred while you were racing in Swiftsure?
A Couple of things:
Some people don’t know that following transit of Race Passage eastbound under spinnaker, the wind often changes direction forward and with increased intensity. If you’re prepared for this, no problem, but I try to stay well clear of other boats in this area as inevitably, someone will round up into you. Two near misses over the years reminds me of this concept.
Another time, during our ownership of the 36.7, it was blowing aggressively and we were making excellent time eastbound. We took the kite down for safety and the J3 jammed halfway up the forestay. Locked solid. We secured it the best we could but the sail made every effort to beat itself to death. The entire boat shook when the unsecured ends flapped in the breeze. North Richmond resurrected it the following week in time for the next regatta.
Q6: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of racing Swiftsure for the first time?
Don’t think about it, just do it.
It is not that hard once the boat is properly kitted out.
And don’t overthink the currents and course direction. Stay with the fleet and learn-as-you-go.
Q1: Name Richard Ackrill (Dragonfly, Formula 40 Catamaran)
Q2: How many Swiftsure races have you done? 35
Q3: What year was your first Swiftsure? 1979
Q4: What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or your crew when racing in Swiftsure? Getting the foil lasagna tray stuck in the oven
Q5: What was the most exciting or interesting thing that occurred while you were racing in Swiftsure? Winning not just the division I was sailing in but the overall of all the Flattery boats with Terry Stamper and crew.
Richard shares another experience: “winning the port tack start with Dennis Morgan and crew on Remedy, when there were about 100 starboard tackers on the line”.
Also: “There is a lost halyard up the mast and Ken Pohl climbing to the fractional rig position and not being able to reach the mast head and Cathy Yardley suggesting “backwards” duct tape on the boat hook as the answer to get the main halyard down within reach and then … that start…..”
Q6: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of racing Swiftsure for the first time? Come early and talk to the other skippers and crew about the experience and this year’s strategy. Having a good game plan is the key to success.