Wednesday, June 8, 2016

J/Crews Winners In Swiftsure Race!

J/122E sailing Swiftsure Race (Victoria, BC, Canada)- Smooth seas and decent winds made for nearly ideal conditions as the 73rd annual Swiftsure International Yacht Race wrapped up Sunday last weekend. The prestigious event, a qualifier for the annual Vic-Maui International race in July, featured 206 boats racing through five courses.

“Swiftsure was great this year-- remarkably enough. We had good winds at the start, though they became light on and off. When there was wind, it wasn’t rough seas, though, so you could really get the boat going,” said Swiftsure Chairman Vern Burkhardt. “There weren’t any records set, but the sailors came back with smiles on their faces.”

In the marquee race, the Swiftsure Lightship Classic, a 138-nautical mile (256 kilometer) course — the oldest and most prestigious annual race in the Pacific Northwest, it was anything but a “cake-walk” for the top boats. Nevertheless, it was a veteran offshore racing crew that won the ORC Division- the J/109 MOUNTAIN skippered by Reed Bernhard and his fun-loving crew from the awesomely laid-back Sloop Tavern YC.

J/145 sailing Swiftsure RaceIn the new Hein Bank Race of 118.1nm, essentially a “big boat race”, it was Tom Huseby’s J/145 DOUBLE TAKE from Seattle YC that took fifth in class followed by Bill Fox’s Gig Harbor YC team on the J/160 JAM in sixth place.

The 101.9nm Cape Flattery Race was a good event for the leading J/crews across the spectrum of performance.  On an overall classification in the 60-boat division, the top team was John Murkowski’s Seattle YC crew on the new J/122E JOY RIDE, taking home the bronze against several ultra-hot crews from across the Pacific Northwest.  Just fourteen minutes behind them on corrected time was Greg Slyngstad’s J/125 giant-slayer, HAMACHI, from Corinthian YC Seattle in fourth position.  Taking sixth was Ron Holbrook’s J/133 CONSTELLATION from Corinthian YC Tacoma.

J/35 sailing Swiftsure RaceOn a class basis, the J/Teams smoked in PHRF L2 Division, sweeping the top three positions and took home 9 of the top 11 places!!  Winning was Jim Prentice’s J/109 DIVA, followed in second by Tom Sitar’s J/109 SERENDIPITY- notable for the fact it was Canadian crews taking the top two places.  In third was Bob Brunius’ J/120 TIME BANDIT, fourth another J/120- Kirk Palmer’s LIGHTSCOUT, and sixth was Duncan Stamper’s J/35 MOONLIGHT MILE.  To round out the top eleven, Mark Hansen’s J/109 MOJO was 9th, George Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH was 10th and Mike Picco’s J/120 WILD BLUE was 11th.

Like their PHRF L2 colleagues, the J/105s in PHRF L3 took seven of the top ten overall!  Second was Jim Geros’ LAST TANGO, third was Doug Schenk’s FREE BOWL OF SOUP, fourth was Scott Shaw-Mac’s NATURAL HIGH, fifth was Ed Wilder’s AVALANCHE, seventh was Chuck Stephens’ PANIC, eighth was Doug Pihlaja’s ABSTRACT and in tenth was Ulf Gerog Gwildis’ J/30 IMPULSIVE!  Quite an impressive showing!

J/105s sailing Swiftsure RaceHaving an equally strong performance in the 78.7nm Juan de Fuca Race were several other notable performances from J/crews.  Taking second in class was Peter McComb’s J/109 TIPPY, just 7 minutes off the pace to win the entire race overall!  Third in class was Adrian King-Harris’ crew on the J/33 “J” only 11 minutes further back on handicap pace.  Finally, taking a respectable 10th place in the large class was Walt Meagher’s J/35 SUNSHINE GIRL.  In the Juan de Fuca HC Division, John Simpkin’s J/32 BLUE JAY managed an 8th in class while John Tulip’s J/35c IRENE II sailed home in 12th.

In the Inshore Flying Sails division, Tom Kerr’s famously fast J/33 CORVO took fourth in class over the 8nm course, starting at 0940 hours and finishing by 1230 hours, just in time for a massive champagne celebration brunch on the lawn at Royal Victoria YC!   Sailing photo credits- Art Box Events   Follow the Swiftsure Race social activities here   For more Swiftsure Race sailing information