Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Swiftsure 2010

There is a famous west coast sailboat race called the Swiftsure International Yacht Race that takes place every year in Victoria, BC. The Lightship Classic is a two-day 138-mile race down the Straight of Juan De Fuca, around a Canadian Naval vessel, and then back to Victoria. It's for serious sailors only. 

Our family has a bit of history with this race: my dad crewed on a boat that participated in this grand event a few times. So it was with great delight when we heard that Megan's boyfriend Eric was going to be racing this year. We hopped aboard the Victoria Clipper and zoomed up to Canada. 



The small harbor in Victoria was PACKED. It was a zoo. Chris, Megan, and I finally had to split up in order to track down the boat on which Eric was sailing. 


Race days dawned rainy and windy. Windy = good for sailors, not so fun for spectators. 

But we were completely entertained by the starting arena: boats were zooming left and right, cannons were sounding, and the announcers were giving us the play-by-play of the top contenders. And we were able to spot Eric as his ship flew by. Let's hear it for The Different Drummer!


This ship earned big points in my book for being the classiest ship afloat:  HMS Oriole, a Canadian Naval vessel. 
Trying to find Different Drummer amidst the chaos of the starting pack. 
There it is!

And there's Eric, too!!


And they're off!

We didn't know it at the time, but the boats (and the sailors) were in for a rough day. Gusts of 40 knot winds were reported and the boat causalities were numerous: two ships dismasted, two lost their rudders, and just about everyone experienced equipment blow-out on some level. By Sunday, sixty-six boats had withdrawn from the race. Only 26 tenacious entries remained. 
What is wrong with this picture?   [Poor Kitty had its mast snapped in two like a matchstick...]

And then, the wind, which had been so plentiful on Saturday, died completely. Which, I'm going to guess, makes for a bit of a long race. Chris and I left Sunday night while Megan stuck around to welcome Eric back to shore, victorious (and probably very tired!). 

More later on what the landlubbers did to pass the time....

1 comment:

  1. Great weekend sonja! So glad you guys came up! We ended up first in our division and 5th overall. Pretty exciting.

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