On Tuesday, July 8th the Halifax harbour front got very busy with the start of the biennial Route Halifax Saint Pierre race off Sackville Landing.
18 yachts crossed the start line on their way to France; that’s France as in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, a French homeland some 25km off the Newfoundland coast. With passports safely tucked away, racers cleared the Halifax harbour and headed North along the Nova Scotia coast for the 350 miles crossing. First in Saint Pierre was none other than Derek Hatfield and his crew on the Volvo 60 Spirit of Adventure with a race time just less than 38 hours. More details, including the race tracker at http://routehalifaxsaintpierre.com/
. Joining the RHSP racers in Saint-Pierre later this week, Antoine Lacasse on Pogo Loco, a Mini 6.5 is the sole remaining racer in the inaugural Route Rimouski Saint Pierre 550 mile race. Offshore racing is well on the East Coast; while on the topic, I recently failed to highlight Halifax’s Dogsled’s second place in division in the recent Newport-Bermuda. Congratulations to RNSYS Todd Barnard and crew!
Spirit of Adventure crew celebrates - 2014 Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - http://www.studiobriand.fr
Two major offshore events this week-end on the Great Lakes; first the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge will see a mix of 110 racers tackle the 300 mile and 200 mile courses on Lake Ontario. In addition, for the first time this year, 13 yachts have signed up for the new lake Ontario 600 race that will have racers test themselves in two complete LO300; that’s right, twice around the course. To make matters more interesting, six of those yachts will be raced single-handed! Race start is Saturday, July 12th at PCYC; all details to help you follow the race at the official website
A little further to the West and about the same, racers in the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac race will be milling about the start area waiting for their start gun; 40 high performance yachts will have their sight on the longer Cove Island Course, while 180 boats, including a large contingent of cruising vessels, will negotiate the shorter Shore Course towards Mackinac Island where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan join together. http://www.bycmack.com/
for the race tracker.
German Fuchs of Lima, Peru (shown here sailing his J/111 Challwa) will skipper Wally Cross’s J/111 at this year’s Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Photo courtesy Challwa
In other offshore news, the Clipper Round the World Race fleet is departing the Netherlands today en route to London in Race 16, the final leg of the Clipper 13-14 race. Henri Lloyd, led by Canadian skipper Eric Holden, has already claimed victory in the event with the final race to spare; they will be crowned in London upon their arrival. Eric and his crew have posted five wins and nine podium finishes in the past 15 races; quite an achievement! Congratulations Eric!
Don’t miss all the latest in the Volvo Ocean Race as teams are announcing new crew members and competing trials on the new VOR 65 yachts.
All the best! Guy Perrin
Sail-World Canada Managing Editor