The countdown is on to the 2014 Swiftsure International Yacht Race. This will be the 71st running of the race and we hope even more racers participate this year. Mark the May 24 start of Swiftsure 2014 on your calendar and plan to enjoy friendly Victoria and great sailing.
The 2014 Notices of Race will be posted January 3, 2014 and competitors may register online or through a paper registration process. The race courses will be the same as last year — three distance races (Swiftsure Lightship Classic, Cape Flattery, and Juan de Fuca) and the Inshore Race.
Swiftsure International Yacht Race
Flying Circus Wins Swiftsure 2013 Video Contest
In June 2013, the Swiftsure Committee announced a Video Contest. Rules were simple: video to be shot on board while racing in the 2013 Swiftsure and placed on YouTube. The winning yacht must compete in Swiftsure 2014 to receive their prize and be recognized by their peers at the 2014 Skipper’s meeting. Oh yeah – the prize? Beer for each crew member. Continue reading
The Last of the US Coast Guard Swiftsure Lightships Takes on a New Life in Seattle
Swiftsure Lightship, the turning point for the original Swiftsure Lightship Cup Races, was a US Coastguard Lightship originally stationed on Swiftsure Bank starting in 1909. Continue reading
Check out the folks arriving at Swiftsure’s Inspection Dock – was it the soup, was it the champagne or was it the intense satisfaction of finishing a gruelling race? You decide.
Check out these wonderful photos by Brenda Jacques, one of Swiftsure’s photographers.
So many smiling racers – I know that smile… Wow guys, well done!
PS: Did you know John Shields, our media sponsor from radio stations Q100.3 and the Zone@91.3, was responsible for making soup possible this year? True – so now you know who to thank (along with volunteers who prepared & served the soup).
Wasn’t THAT a Swiftsure to remember!
Well folks, as another incredible Swiftsure comes to a close, a few reminiscences are in order. Since 1978, I’ve volunteered with Swiftsure and cannot recall a single one where the winds stayed soft to non-existent throughout the entire race.
For the Long Course boats that completed the race within the time limit of Monday at 0600 – you are intrepid, you are tough and you are focused! Congratulations on finding the stamina and energy to push through your fatigue, staying with the race. To the many others that made the attempt, you are no less intrepid. Sometimes the numbers just don’t work – you came to Swiftsure with the intention of conquering her. Next year, for sure – that celebratory bottle of champagne from Vern Burkhardt will be all the sweeter.
Among the Swiftsure Inshore Classic racers, of the 59 yachts registered, 16 weren’t able to finish but it sure wasn’t for lack of trying. I heard of mark roundings stern-first and whirlpools that spun the boats 360 degrees. Many of us experienced that special challenge of punching through Baynes Channel.
When John & I decided to race Swiftsure double handed we figured we would be questioned as to our sanity. When asked, we said that we have both been so busy in opposite directions that this would be the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together. Little did we know just how Much time ( officially 1 day, 14 hours, 40 minutes, and 19 seconds).
Truth be told, we always enjoy sailing and racing together. We feel comfortable and work quite efficiently as a team. It’s interesting that when cruising we choose to sail in all conditions. John especially works hard to sail in our light summer airs and sailing is his passion. It’s these skills he’s developed which saw us persevere and stay the course until we crossed the finish line. At no time did we consider quitting. After all it was a race and one has to deal with the conditions you have.
One of Swiftsure’s hardest working volunteers is also one of our longest. Alec Matthews 34th birthday is March 26, 2013 (woop, woop) and on that day, Alec will have worked with Swiftsure for almost HALF his life. He joined Swiftsure in 1998, helping advance Swiftsure’s technology environment by leaps and bounds each year. Continue reading