A First Hand Experience of Swiftsure 2011-For the First Time

I wanted to add something more to my experience with boats from the long weekend during the 37th Annual Victoria Boat Parade, photos of which I shared in my previous photo blog-esque post.

Heron at Clover Point on Dallas Road

I hoped that the Swiftsure races would be more exciting, I’d heard about them in passing and wanted to experience it for myself. So with camera in hand, my partner and I set off early that Saturday morning to get a good spot at Clover Point on Dallas Road to watch the beginning of the race.

It was crowded on the Point, but we were able to get a good look at the boats lining up along

Navy KC-480 Sailboat

the shoreline as we walked down Dallas Road. As a sailing novice, I was definitely confused on what to look for in the race. Many of the boats seemed to be going in one direction, while the other boats moved in the opposite direction. With the weather that day determined to be a smorgasbord from sunny to cloudy with a little rain, the fluctuating winds explained why some of the boats found themselves being blown backwards due to the movement in the waters’ currents.

I also noticed that the setup at Clover Point made it so that only a select few in the crowd

Wild Rumpus

watching the boats could actually hear the commentary coming from the loudspeaker on the different races and what positions the boats were currently in. It certainly confused me, as I was originally under the impression that all the boats were in one single race. However, once we moved closer to the loudspeaker, we had a better understanding of the races and it was then that we discovered around 11:30 that morning that the Juan De Fuca Race was plagued by a number of false starts.


In spite of all of the confusion, we were still able to take some great photos. There was a heron looking for food around Clover Point, perhaps a sign for how things would unfold. Some of the boats had great names too, like Wild Rumpus, Baaad Kitty!, Equilibrist and Planet Claire. We also saw some beautiful three-sail styled boats (not sure what their official name is), including one off in the distance with three red sails that was reminiscent of pirate ships I’d seen in Grand Cayman on my Caribbean cruise.

According to official results, Baaad Kitty! won the Juan De Fuca race with Planet Claire

Red Three-Sail Boat

coming in third, while Equilibrist unfortunately didn’t finish the race. Another boat similarly named Bad Kitty came in fourth for the Cape Flattery Race for Multihulls, while Wild Rumpus didn’t finish the Inshore Flying Sails Saturday or the Inshore Flying Sails Sunday race. In fact, none of the boats finished the Inshore Flying Sails Saturday race or the Inshore No-Flying Sails Saturday race.

Trio of Sailboats Practicing

I didn’t get an opportunity to experience the end of the race this year, owning to the bike race that was going on downtown at the same time, but I am definitely looking forward to next year’s race and having a better understanding of sailing in general. It’s my goal to take in the end of the race as well as the celebrations next year.