This year, Victoria’s history with those who sail alone will be revisited through the Swiftsure Inshore Classic. Following in the footsteps of John Guzzwell, who sailed his 20ft Trekka around the world, and in more recent years twice competed in the single-handed Trans-Pac from San Francisco to Hawaii.
But what is the attraction of going it alone, having no one to take the helm as you go to relieve yourself, make hot drinks just when your brain is beginning to freeze over, or to talk or joke with when it looks like there will never be a whisper of wind ever again, or to assist when your boat is pinned on her side? For some the attraction is efficiency; the perfection of timing, sequencing, and the creation of new methods that work with precision and speed. For others it’s the fact that they are utterly responsible for themselves; if they don’t get it right, there is no one to question or to salvage the wrong – and no one to blame. Many enjoy the solitude and all revel in the fact that they are not responsible for anyone else.
For the first time, the 3 distance courses; Juan de Fuca, Cape Flattery, Swiftsure Bank will all have double handed divisions.
Lennart Edstrom, skipper of Sjora, a 36ft Sweden Yacht has signed up for the Cape Flattery Race Double handed division. While Sjora enjoyed a hectic schedule of races with a fabulous crew last year, Lennart’s focus for this season is on keeping it simple. On his way out to what has become a regular afternoon of single handing, Lennart shares the attraction of short handing; “it’s an incredible feeling to harness the power of a boat by yourself; being empowered by nature”. Lennart notes that that he enjoys sailing with a crew, but that there is a “freedom of being able to go by yourself at a moment’s notice”. Lennart is excited to be joined by Paul Betts, who will be equally at home at the helm for the Cape Flattery Race.
More information on the short handed divisions in Swiftsure can be found here http://2012.swiftsure.org/race/notice-of-race/ . The 2012 Swiftsure Race runs May 26-28 and the deadline for entering is fast approaching.