The Swiftsure International Yacht Race


The 67th annual Swiftsure International Yacht Race took place on May 29-30, 2010 in Victoria, BC. First there was too much wind, then not enough. At last count 60 of the 180 entries had decided to pull out of the race. I'm happy to say Juanita and I were in the thick of it for both the start and the end.

Juanita's boat Mephisto had equipment issues fairly early on and became one of the many casualties of this year's significant Saturday wind. Generally we were able to photograph from 0900 to 1030 and 1100 to 1200 in the morning. We went to Ogden Point at 1700 until 1800 but only saw Annie returning to port.
On Sunday we were back at Ogden Point from 0500 to 0900. Only 14 boats passed us in either direction during this time due to the lack of wind and early pull-outs. (I may put up a gallery of the seals, birds, fishermen, school fishes, tug boats, kayakers, joggers and flotsam that we photographed during this time... once I finish this page). In any case, we returned to Swiftsure HQ's in time to meet Bob Bentham who operates the RVYC zodiac 'Ernie'. Bob took us out to Race Rocks, in order to photograph some of the returning boats. On our way, we passed a small group of boats who had entered the Unlimited Juan de Fuca Race -- Beyond Chaos, Scoundrel, Giant Slayer, Crazy Ivan and Melaque. These boats were massed together, close to shore in a small cove. Icon and Neptune's Car had just come into view, heading south in a very light wind. We sat back and photographed for an hour as both boats jockeyed for position and wind through the smaller boats; often taking the inside passage that put them within meters of the rock face. It was an amazing display of seamanship from all concerned as there were no collisions, near collisions, arm gestures or raised voices -nothing at all like a land race. Near the end of this, Strum popped up from nowhere and breezed into the lead. Not at all fair but made for some wonderful images.
Just a photo note: Some of these images were taken with a 300mm telephoto lens. This length can cause a distance distortion called compression. This can lead to some very dramatic images but the boats weren't as close to each other as they may appear - or maybe they were. Thanks to Bob and all the crews for a very memorable race!

Here are links to our top images. Portrait Aspect or Landscape Aspect. Our filename convention is Date_SS_Day_sequence.
As always, thanks for looking,
Randy and Juanita

PS: This month's issue of Sailing World has an article about Swiftsure and an image that Juanita took during last year's race --> Page 38
Swiftsure Home Page

           Questions or Comments?   Please contact Randy or Juanita through this link.


Kairos heads for Race Rocks

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