Round Saltspring 2018 – It’s a Wrap!
Whew, that was a race to tell the grandkids about. There were enough challenges, wind shifts, starts and stops, and tide changes to last a lifetime.
A slow start with slight breeze into the start of a big ebb tide was the first challenge; with the question being who could get out of the harbour into the fast moving elevator down the course the quickest. And who could best navigate around all 93 boats as the faster boats overtook the slower boats who started earlier.
The second challenge was navigating the light breezes around Fulford Harbour entrance and now pointed against the flow of the ebb current before positioning into the right place to catch a growing breeze at the south end of Salt spring. Then came the tide change at Sansum Narrows with boats blasting through under spinnaker and a big push from behind. Emerging from Sansum Narrows in first was The Shadow II, followed by the Multi-hull Dragon and then Westerly followed a few minutes later by Joy Ride, Jackrabbit, and Kairos. The damage had been done as these boats then kept the lead through a big wind shift off of Vesuvius before round the north end of Salt Spring (funny enough called Southey Point) and then mostly keeping the breeze until the Finish. Peter McCarthy’s The Shadow II, a TP-52 hailing from West Van YC crossed the Finish at 6:26pm and won Lady Minto Hospital Foundation Trophy for Line Honours with an elapsed time of 7 hours, 46 minutes. Bron Miller aboard the J-122E Joy Ride from Seattle Yacht corrected out ahead of The Shadow II and won Divison 1 and the Marshall Sharp Trophy for First Overall. Duncan Gladman’s Dragon overcame a start-line altercation to win the Multi-hull Division.
Mail Order Bride joined the front group of finishers just as the wind was starting to die. That was when a group of 30-40 boats set up side by each in the gap at Captain Passage with not enough breeze to push them through the small flooding tide. Finally a zephyr filled in from the southeast and one by one the boats started to move toward the finish.
But the fickle finger of sailing had not finished with the fleet yet. The breeze that carried then toward Ganges Harbour failed after they got into the harbour and then it was snakes and ladders to scramble across the Finish Line. And it was mayhem for the Race Committee as about 40 boats finished within 10 minutes of each other, in some cases crossing the finish line 3 or 4 abreast.
Through the chaos, Richard Stewart’s Dominatrix squeezed out a win in Division 2, Bill Phillips’ Incisor won Division 3, Murray Swayze aboard Prime took Division 4, Matt Law’s Arnica was a popular winner of Division 5, and Graham Heath’s Pitoraq won Division 6.
Then the wait was on as the boats that were still in Trincomali Channel waited for the wind to reach them and propel them to the finish. All but 8 boats managed to get home before Midnight. Wave Reviews, skippered by Paul Jenkins preserved to win Division 7.
Other winners included 3 boats from the Canadian Forces Sailing Association (Jackrabbit, Pitoraq and Hilda Harris) winning the UK Sails Team Challenge Event and Vincent Argiro’s Velica won the Doug Thomas Trophy as first boat from Saltspring Island Sailing Club. In a remarkable story of perseverance, Tracey DeVaney and crew aboard Miss Runaway stuck it out until after sunrise and completed the Round the Island course for the first time in 10 tries and won the Tar and Feathers Trophy as last to finish.
Congratulations to all our participants and crew for a great race and a fun filled weekend. Also a big shout out to our sponsors for their generous support. A BIG THANK YOU to all our volunteers who’s dedication and many hours of work made this memorable event possible!