Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Van Isle 360-Nanaimo to Telegraph Cove

I am writing this after the first five days of racing in the 10 leg, 14 day Van Isle 360 race. This is a 580 nm race starting and finishing in Nanaimo BC and going entirely around Vancouver Island.

I have been busy and quite tired! The whole event rolls along like a big road show. Each day is filled with boat prep, racing, cleanup and socializing. Shore crews support many of the teams. I am racing on a Sweden 36 named Sjora with six other people. The boat is out of Victoria and I was asked to race on it.

Here are some random thoughts on the race.

Day 1-Nanaimo to French Creek: The race starts on the waterfront of Nanaimo in front of huge crowds then proceeds upwind for twenty two miles to the small harbor of French Creek. The beat was pleasant with warm weather and nice northwest winds. It took a long time with lots of tacks,

Boats at Nanaimo.

Welcoming party at Nanaimo

Day 2-French Creek to Comox: Again this was a race beating into the wind for about 25 miles. We also played the north side and passed a lot of boats that sailed into adverse current. We got second. Marion, our great organizer and mainsheet trimmer got us a place to stay in a families home with dinner and breakfast.

Day 3- Comox to Campbell River: Once again, another 25 miles or so of beating into the wind. The wind was consistent until we got near Campbell River when it puffed up strong. That was good because the current was starting to change against us. The First Nations people had a welcoming ceremony for the visiting sailors.

Campbell River

First nations children performing a welcoming ceremony dance.

Day 4- Campbell River to Deepwater Bay to Hardwicke Island: This day starts with a 10 mile motor through Seymour Narrows to the start in Deepwater Bay. The waters of Seymour Narrows really rips through the narrows. We had to hug the shore to get through against the current.

Today the wind was ripping! This is common for the Johnstone Strait area. WE saw winds to 30 knots and we sailed with a #3 and reefed main for most of the 28 mile beat. Now the wind was against a 2 knot current and it was very rough! The finish and overnight stay was at a salmon farming facility. They served us a great salmon barbecue dinner.

Hardwicke Island salmon farm.

The salmon dinner in the storage building.

Salmon barbecue.

The view from the salmon farm.

Day 5-Hardwicke Island to Telegraph Cove: The winds started strong and after two general recalls, we started 35 minutes late. All day the wind was up and down from 13 to 30 knots requiring several sail changes. We sailed fast all day, but finished 30 minutes after the 6pm time limit. Remember the 35 minute delay in starting? This leg was 44 miles of beating into the wind.

Telegraph Cove

My fashion statement: boots, white legs, shorts and polar fleece. This is usually covered with foulweather gear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very impressive trip. As the boat was a little late for one finish are the throw outs?