67th Swiftsure Predictably Unpredictable

Pegasus at Swiftsure. Photo by Jan Anderson

Pegasus at Swiftsure. Photo by Jan Anderson

As we wait to hear about the race from Dan and the crew on Pegasus, a photo of Pegasus by Jan Anderson at her Flicker site. a photo by Sean Trew at www.pacificfog.net, and a race report from the Swiftsure site.

Victoria, BC – Gear buster to drifter, the 67th Swiftsure proved challenging for its competitors. In 15 knots of wind the first two starts went off without a hitch, but Class 3 was recalled. Principal Race Officer Jennifer Guest postponed the start sequence to allow enough time to get all the Class 3 boats back for their re-start. Despite the cool and breezy conditions at Clover Point, Swiftsure enthusiasts turned out for the 28th annual Fairfield Gonzales Community Association Swiftsure Breakfast, and to take in the Swiftsure start sequence. With the Canadian Navy continuing its strong support of Swiftsure, it was the HMCS Whitehorse capably serving as the start boat for this year’s race. By late morning winds gusted to 30 plus knots causing 25 boats to withdraw because of gear failure. Two boats were dismasted, and two experienced rudder failure.

Photo by Sean Trew at www.pacificfog.net

Photo by Sean Trew at www.pacificfog.net

By late evening the winds started to shut down at the western entrance of the Juan de Fuca Strait, which, coupled with an adverse ebb tide, made for slow and challenging overnight racing. By late Sunday afternoon 66 boats had withdrawn, leaving 26 still on the rase course. In conjunction with our Presenting Sponsor, Pacific Western Brewery, this year Swiftsure implemented the Clean Regatta challenge. Our environmental specialist Beat Mertz took the opportunity to talk with the vast majority of participants and learned the everyone had embraced this challenge, with virtually all crews arriving at Swiftsure with their own bags to separate their garbage, which they faithfully carried to the designated bins before leaving the inner harbour. As the 67th Swiftsure wraps up, Chairman Bill Conconi was quoted as referring to this year’s race as unusual in its extremes, noting it starting with a bang and ending with a whimper, keeping with its tradition of unpredictability. The race results are still being tabulated and will be released shortly.

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