Nov 9, 2017

Pitoraq ForeverPitoraq, a Greenlandic Inuit word meaning cold wind that blows out of the valley, or Pitoraq the overall winner of the 2017 Vancouver Island Racing Series.

To be clear, both definitions are correct.

The V.I.R.S. (Vancouver Island Racing Series) celebrates and promotes keelboat racing on Vancouver Island. The thirteen existing regattas are combined into a year-long series. The goal is to promote upcoming events, create a buzz about the sport, provide a level playing field for all competitors and finally to share racing stories with fellow sailors.

 



Pitoraq is a 1979 Windward 30. The hull and deck were built at Windward Marine in Richmond BC, then Graham Heath and his dad Ronald spent the next few years finishing the boat in their driveway. Pitoraq was launched in 1983. Pitoraq spent her early life cruising BC’s West Coast and the Gulf Islands. It was only in the last 10 years that Graham took to racing on Pitoraq.

Pitorac Royal Vic

Graham made a commitment to participate in all 13 of the regattas that make up the Vancouver Island Racing Series. The season began on April 1 with the Pecos Island race, organized by the Sydney North Saanich Yacht Club and concluded at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with the Thermopylae race on October 14 and 15th. Graham’s crew was made up of Murray Stocks, SergoMoukminov, Richard Gregory, Elias Skabardonis and Bob Nicoll.

Graham commented that, “All the races are challenging and fun in their own way.”

October 14th

 

 

“With 13 races spread from Juan de Fuca to the top of Georgia Strait, there is a lot of variety in sailing plus a lot of travel time. The four overnight races, Patos Island, Saltspring, Swiftsure and the GIN race to Nanaimo, provided the added challenge of night racing and navigation through tricky currents, narrow passages and commercial traffic. The multiple short course racing on weekend regattas gives you a more bow to bow competition and sail handling workout.”

 

 



Graham went on to say, “Swiftsure was the race that had it all this year, light airs, sun, anchoring at Race Rocks passage and fighting mosquitos while watching boat after boat trying to break through the river of current caused by the tidal flood. For nearly 5 hours we waited for our opportunity to break through the river current. We had lunch and watched the kayakers shoot the tidal river. Finally, we weighed anchor and were the first to break through the elevated river ahead of the pack. A spinnaker run through the shipping channel in the cold morning fog on the way back to Race Rocks followed the overnight calm leading to and from the mark rounding just off Sekiu Washington in Clallam Bay. Finally, the sun broke through as we slipped past Race Rocks, reaching under spinnaker. Under beautiful sunshine we approached Victoria Harbour in almost dead calm at the finish line. The motto for the race is “Always a Challenge”, no kidding!”

October 14th 2

“There was also the spectacular scenery at the Schooner Cove Yacht Club’s Round Lasqueti race. The bright sky and multiple wind patterns made for a great day on the water chasing the Zephyrs, and the northwest breeze that arrived with the sunset just managed get us over the finish before the midnight time limit.”

VIRS Awards

 

 

 

 

VIRS Awards from left to right Richard Gregory, Bob Nicoll, Graham Heath, Murray Stocks, Sergo Moukminov

The success of Graham’s and his crew just demonstrates that that it is possible for an older racing cruiser to compete and win in the Vancouver Island Racing Series. As a member of Grahams crew, I would like to thank all of the participating yacht clubs and many volunteers that made this one of the most memorable experiences of my life on the water. Because of the many experiences and challenges, along with meeting many sailors and beginning new lifelong friendships, I would encourage all sailors to set sail and participate in any part or all of the Vancouver Island Racing Series.

All Photo Credits: Andrew Madding, Bow Shot Productions. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Destinations

  • Prev
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...
We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp ...
After much speculation Prince Harry finally popped the question to American actress and longtime ...
Last January we ran a short piece on the motor boat A Great Story which had been restored by the ...
The Moorings has just announced the launch of its newest Caribbean destination, Antigua. 
Toronto sailor and former RCYC coach/sailing instructor Ryan May is now a US coast guard captain ...
Just before the weekly party at Shirley HeightsSunsail staffer Chris Donahue conducts our chart ...
Chartering in the Caribbean conjures up images of turquoise sea, palm fringed beaches and great ...
Since anyone who opens an independent bookstore is at least as brave as a small boat shop owner, I ...
You’re on your way east to the 1000 Islands or the Trent-Severn. By entering north of Prince ...

The Middens of Galiano Island

By Catherine Dook

We motored our way into Montague Harbour along a twisted channel with our engine muffled by the leaning trees.

“This is peaceful,” I told my husband, John.

“Look,” I pointed to an eagle sitting on the top of a tree overlooking the channel entrance like a sentinel giving permission for us to pass. Dignified, unruffled, his impassioned gaze noted and then dismissed us, as uninteresting and perhaps unworthy. I was tired. We’d pulled up anchor at Portland Island that morning, and the grind of the diesel engine had worn me down.

Read More of the Middens of Galiano Island.....

 

 

 

 

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...
Cruisers Yachts debuts the all-new 42 Cantius. The sporty, luxury cruiser will make its first ...
Once again, the designers at Jeanneau have outdone themselves with the innovative new Leader 10.5 ...
The introduction of X-Yachts’Xc range in 2008 has proven itself to be something of a game changer ...
Hull #1 ZINNIA, the all-new, twin outboard MJM 35z left Boston BoatWorks on July 5 for Newport and ...
Following a 10-year hiatus, Richmond, BC-based Crescent Custom Yachts is once again launching ...
According to the folks at Fraser Yacht Sales, you couldn't ask for more - the new Azimut Atlantis ...
During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun ...
The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
It's rare for Canadian Yachting magazine to report on the same boat twice, but that is how ...

 

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50

Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50By: John Armstrong and Andy Adams
Photos: Cruisers Yachts Inc.

Almost a decade ago, Cruisers Yachts Inc., launched an entire line of express cruisers called “Cantius” (named after company owner KC Stock’s grandfather) that began with the 48Cantius then came the 54, the 60 and now the Cantius 50. In the fall of 2017, we will be at the debut of the 42 Cantius at the Fort Lauderdale International boat show.

These designs have a strong family resemblance withhandsome and distinctive linesand with a design philosophy that you could say, pioneered the new version of the express cruiser. 

Read more of new Cruisers Yachts Cantius 50.....

 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sirius Signal held a product information session for interested parties prior to demonstrating ...
Safety at Sea Courses, in my opinion are a must for all offshore racers. I would also recommend the ...
Just 10 shopping days to Christmas, so what to get for the boater who has everything? How about a ...
On board many pleasurecraft, only the compass is more neglected and taken for granted than the VHF ...
I am fortunate to have the ability to work from just about anywhere. A cellular signal and a Wi-Fi ...
Out here on the West Coast with boats in the water year-round, there is one constant activity and ...
As I sit looking out my window at the snow that is slowly piling up it is easy to be downtrodden by ...
In the last edition of this column we took a close look at iRegatta and the advantages it can bring ...
With all the devastation in the eastern Caribbean a natural question to ask is ‘is our boat in that ...
During the heat of summer, many boat owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable ...