Three AYC boats participated in the 42nd Annual Southern Straits race held this last weekend out of the West Vancouver Yacht Club - Wild Rumpus, Passepartout, and Icon.
Due to the extremely rough weather predicted (storm force winds in excess of 50 knots) many boats decided not to participate in the event. All AYC boats decided to go to the start line and make their own decision on the water. At the start the winds were E 20-25 - gusty but manageable, but everyone knew there would be more wind out to sea.
Wild Rumpus started but wisely decided to head back in near Pt Atkinson shortly after the start. Passepartout crossed Georgia Strait and exited the course at Naniamo after blowing out their mainsail. Icon, being dumber than the rest continued racing to Sisters island in 50+ knots of wind and huge chaotic seas.
Meanwhile one boat was lost, numerous boats lost their masts, many people went overboard and were in the water, and ambulances were hauling people directly from the dock to the hospital. With the Canadian Coast Guard now being swamped with calls and operating outside of their operational limits the WVYC race committee wisely abandoned the race. The Coast Guard then ordered all race participants to immediately seek safe harbor - something of a first.
Straits ended up being an EPIC event and one that will grow bigger over time as the stories and told and re-told - more videos and pictures will surface as crews recover. Here are a few that will show you what it was like:
First, what was on the evening news:
Next a view from Astral Plane:
And then the view from Occam's Razor:
And last but not least, the view from Icon: