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Marine Resource 2016

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2013 - From Canvas to Carbon

by Fiona Cubitt on 12 Dec 2012
2012 MASTER RVYC Swiftsure International Yacht Race, Victoria,Canada Brenda Jacques
Swiftsure is no ordinary yacht race; it's a festival of excitement and camaraderie that draws the Pacific Northwest's best racers and an international audience to Victoria. 2013 will see the Royal Victoria Yacht Club host the 70th Swiftsure International Yacht Race on May 25 to 27, 2013. This year's 'canvas to carbon' theme celebrates the incredible change in technology that has occurred throughout the race's lifetime; some of today's leading racing yachts use carbon fiber sails, and some even have hulls that are made of carbon.

Over 1600 racers from Oregon, Washington and all over British Columbia's coast, on 200 yachts, ranging in length from 24 to 125 feet, will descend on Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour to participate in the Pacific Northwest’s most prestigious sailboat race. The harbour becomes a buzzing hub of story-telling, last minute preparation, and high-performance racing yachts. Visitors can feel the camaraderie, the excitement, and the passionate competitiveness.


For racers, the Strait of Juan de Fuca is a busy commercial shipping lane that brings swiftly changing unpredictable winds and challenging currents. Swiftsure has four courses, ranging from an inshore day race, to the ultimate challenge; an overnighter to the race’s namesake, Swiftsure Bank, on the Pacific Ocean.

Although the majority of boats are fully crewed, double handed competitions up the ante with short-handed sail changes and increased sleep deprivation.

For spectators, the Victoria waterfront affords a fantastic view of the boats scrambling for best position just in time for the Royal Canadian Naval vessel's start gun. The race also draws an international audience through its tracking system which plots each competitor’s progress in near real time throughout the race.

'The Royal Victoria Yacht Club invites all sailboat racers to participate in Swiftsure 2013', said Vern Burkhardt, the Chair of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race. 'Swiftsure is the epitome of friendly competition among highly skilled racers.'

Chair Vern Burkhardt also looks forward to meeting visitors and local residents in the Inner Harbour during race week as they enjoy the festivities. Walking the docks to look at the sailboats and talk to racers is always a treat. Sailors are always willing to talk about the sport they love. 'Come on down and join us for a beverage at the Ships Point Swiftsure Centre in Victoria’s beautiful Inner Swiftsure 2013 website

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