Tuesday, May 26, 2015

AYC in the frozen North

Each Memorial Day weekend for 72 years the Royal Victoria Yacht Club has sponsored the Swiftsure Regatta. It has grown into a family of five races. Let's start with the largest from Victoria around a mark about 15 miles off the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, The Swiftsure Lightship Classic. The lightship is no longer on station but the mighty NightRunner a Perry custom 42 cutter skippered by Doug Fryer with several AYC members aboard battled the sunshine, favorable current and steady winds to second in her division.The newest race, the Hein Bank Race to Neah Bay, Hein Bank and return was dominated by Kevin Welch and the ICON crew stealing a ride on the TP-52 Valkyrie and winning the pickle dish in this inaugural event. The Cape Flattery Race really only goes to Neah Bay and since no AYC boats participated we'll go with Lightscout a J-120 with a bunch of the old AJAX crew aboard as well as me. We set the heavy one at the start, rounded the 1/2 way point before 5pm, bolted on the BBQ after we got the kite up. As we blazed back up the strait we feasted on steak and baked potatoes with all the fixins. Full bellies, first in class 2nd overall, yeah I'll be back next year! The Juan de Fuca Race goes to Clallam Bay and back. Kymodoce with culinary expert Walt Meagher aboard battled to a 7th in the H-2 div. Bangarang was 8th in L-2. Interestingly this course is known for small fast boats but was won overall by a Catalina 42, just like our Girts Rekevics Foul Weather Race. Maybe time to consider purchasing this classic American speedster.Swiftsure also has an inshore regatta for folks that wanna be a little more civilized. Wild Rumpus with Steph and her offspring were the top American boat and just made the podium with a 3rd in div and 9th overall. Newest AYC members, well they probably will be after the board meeting tonight, Marshall and Sarah Brown also competed before slipping away to Garrison Bay in the Dolphin II. Swiftsure has something for everyone and after 35 years, yes I've missed a few when I was in the military, I can tell you it's a good time every time and the Canadians know how to make you feel welcome.