Route Halifax Saint-Pierre 2012 Start Line Sunday, July 8th in Halifax

Two competitors get into position just prior to the start of RHSP 2010 in Halifax harbour.
RHSP Media
Approximately 30 boat crews from Canada, US and France are getting ready for a challenging international sailing event that connects eastern Canada and the French islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon. This 360-mile race starts in Halifax on July 8, 2012 and ends at the small French island of Saint-Pierre, which lies just off the coast of Newfoundland. Social events are planned for both host cities. The race is sponsored by the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and Le Yacht Club de Saint-Pierre. This is an ISAF Category 2 race.

Competitors are coming from Virginia, Quebec, Newfoundland as well as Saint-Pierre and various Nova Scotian yacht clubs. Several skippers are heading to Halifax having just completed the Newport, R.I. to Bermuda ocean race including Todd Barnard, skipper of Dogsled from the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron. He and his crew won Class 4 of the St. David's Lighthouse Division and also are bringing home the trophy for the best place by a foreign yacht in that division.

The RHSP 2012 field includes five in the IRC division - a Soto 40 from Halifax, an Open 50 from Guadaloupe now based in Saint-Pierre, a Farr 40 One Design from Rimouski, Quebec, a J-133 from Newfoundland and a Swan 48 from Virginia. There are also two PHRF racing divisions and a PHRF non-spinnaker division. There are special competitions for double-handed crews, an Armed Services competition for serving or retired members, and several combined trophies for competitors who also took part in last year's Marblehead to Halifax race and another for those who will take part in Chester Race Week.

hree competitors head out Halifax harbour just after the start of RHSP 2010.
RHSP Media

The intention of the event is to create relationships between sailors from Europe and North America, to celebrate the sea and to enjoy the truly French environment at Saint?Pierre by joining the Bastille Day celebrations on July 14th. This year, the Canadian navy is participating in two ways in the race. Sail Training Vessel (STV) Tuna is a listed competitor. And two minesweepers, HMCS Moncton and HMCS Summerside will be accompanying the race from Halifax to Saint-Pierre.

The race was created by two men - both keen ocean racers who wanted to foster good relationships between eastern Canada and the French Islands, Philippe Paturel and Hal Davies, a retired navy officer. Capt. Davies passed away last February and this 2012 edition of the race is dedicated to him.

'This is a wonderful chance to race hard and then enjoy the warm hospitality of France,' according to race chair, Mike Evans. 'We are expecting a highly competitive event. The reception on arrival is now legendary, as the race finishes just prior to Bastille Day.'

Out of town yachts will be arriving in Halifax all week. Events in Halifax start with a kickoff party at Durty Nelly’s on Thurs., July 5th at 1900 hrs. On Fri., July 6th, there’s a buffet and dance at RNSYS sponsored by Goslings. The main Competitors Briefing takes place at RNSYS Spar Shed on Saturday, July 7th at 1600 hours.

The official start line will form off the Halifax waterfront on Sunday, July 8th within sight of HMCS Sackville, where the official party will be located including Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant, Rear-Admiral Gardam, Commander of Maritime Forces, Atlantic and the mayor of Saint-Pierre, Karine Claireaux. The warning signal is at 1155 and the official start signal will sound at 1200 Noon.

You will be able to follow the race through Yellowbrick tracking. A link to the race tracker will be active on the Race website: http://www.routehalifaxsaintpierre.com/new_site/about_the_race.html
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