Northwest Yachting August 2017

Page 80

ISLE 360

Racers en-route from Port Hardy to Winter Harbour.

A DISTANCE RACE WITH A SOCIAL PROGRAM Preparing for any two-week sailing race takes a lot of effort; planning for the weather, knowing your crew members’ strengths, making sure your boat is stocked, and more. Then you look at the map of Vancouver Island and realize that no matter what you bring, or how much you think you are ready, you are going to need more. As the starting clock ticks down the final seconds before the fourth leg of the 2017 Van Isle 360 begins, the fleet of 30 racing yachts push one another, ducking and weaving. This scene looks like the beginning of a Rolex championship regatta or offshore classic, except that the only spectators are bears roaming the beach and eagles soaring above. As the clock hits zero, the fleet comes onto the wind and a loud bang is heard across the water. Onboard the 1D48 Flash, our



rig goes slack as we realize the forestay is no longer attached to the mast. The sails come down, halyards go forward for safety, and we head for the nearest marina — the three-dock, four-building town of Browns Point just north of Seymour Narrows. Most would assume that the adventure is over, but in this race solving problems is part of the strategy. Using nothing more than a sharp file and a hammer, the forestay is fitted back into the mast. We arrive at the next stop as the sun sets to the applause

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