Swiftsure Marks 70

Swiftsure 70

With its 70th edition this May, the Swiftsure International Yacht Regatta is the longest running cross-border race on the West Coast, and the Pacific Northwest’s premiere challenge of sailing skill, endurance, strategy…and luck.

The race began in 1930 as a weekend challenge among three Northwest yacht clubs – Seattle, Royal Vancouver and Royal Victoria – and is now a week-long sailing celebration in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, hosted by Royal Vic. Organizers hope for a record turnout of competitors on three major courses – Swiftsure Lightship, Cape Flattery and Juan de Fuca – and are staging a variety of public events in the Inner Harbour.

Swiftsure’s challenges include the fickle winds and weather and the strong tides of Juan de Fuca Strait. Winning requires just the right combination of local knowledge, experience and tenacity in all conditions to maximize boat performance. The race can be a grueling test of survival against the elements or a leisurely light-air sail accompanied by fog, drizzle and darkness…or both!

Winners are often the skippers who read – or out-guessed – the strait’s winds best. Keeping crews well fed, hydrated and motivated throughout the race, which can last from less than 24 hours to nearly 48 hours, is also critical. Racing and cruising boats of all sizes compete under the PHRF handicapping system.

The pre-race program begins Thursday, May 23, with the races starting Saturday morning, May 25; final cut-off for all races is at 6 am Monday, May 27. Spectators can watch the start from Clover Point-Dallas Road, and the finish from Ogden Point breakwater.

To enter or follow the race visit: www.swiftsure.org

Neptunus 650F Review

Neptunus 650F 400

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

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The Other Virgin Islands

Sunset off St John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

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