Many of this year’s Swiftsure racers flexed their physical and mental muscle last weekend in the first of the Triple Crown Races (a best of 3 series consisting of Patos Island, Round Salt Spring and Swiftsure). The Patos Island Race organized by Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club started with clear blue skies, 16 knot winds and brilliant sunshine, which resulted in many early rounding times. Patches of light wind presented challenges for both long and short course boats as night fell on the return leg.
The Ross 30, Emma, skippered by Olympic sailor Eric Jespersen took first place in the long race, while Roger Aubin’s C&C 24, Annie scooped first in the short race.
Followed by the Round Saltspring Race on May 18th, culminating with the Swiftsure International, the Triple Crown is awarded to the best placed boat from all three races.
Roger Aubin has won the Triple Crown once before and talks with respect and his usual big heart as he looks forward to this year’s Swiftsure. Roger speaks of Swiftsure volunteers who treat you like a rock star, skippers of boats big and small who are inclusive rather than exclusive, and the challenge of the Juan de Fuca Strait. “Swiftsure is a game of chance and a ton of skill” he says “All we can do is put ourselves in the best situation to do well and hope for the best. What a race!”