It was a triumphant homecoming for Tripp Tease, the Comox Valley entry in the 2013 Black Press Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race.
After a rough first leg Saturday, Tripp Tease sailed into Comox harbour Sunday afternoon with a first place finish in Division 1 of the round-the-Island race.
The Don Gillingham-skippered Tripp Tease earned 35 points to runner-up White Cloud’s 30. White Cloud was the overall Division 1 leader after the second leg (French Creek to Comox) of the 10-leg race with 55 points. Raven is second with 48, Time Bandit third with 46 and Tripp Tease fourth with 44.
“We won our division. We won it hands down. It was a good day for us,” said Andrew Walther, commodore of the host Comox Bay Sailing Club and Tripp Tease crew member.
“The key was having a good start, obviously. It’s one of the most important things of a race,” Walther said at Sunday night’s awards presentations.
“Sailboat racing is about bringing a whole bunch of aspects together at the same time. If you miss one it can cost you, if you miss another thing it can cost you. Today we just had everything dialled in,” Walther said.
“We had our tactics dialled in in. We had a good start. We had our crew work and we had the sail choices and the set-up of the boat. Good strategy and good tactics and everything was just perfect. It’s one of those rare occasions to have everything go well – and maybe a little bit of luck – just a little bit though. Don’t tell the skipper I said that,” Walther chuckled.
“We didn’t do so well on the first leg, so it is nice to come to the hometown with a win,” he added.
After a French toast breakfast Monday morning put on by the Comox Rotary Club (with food provided by Quality Food) the 40-plus fleet set sail at 9 a.m. on the third leg, which will stop in Campbell River. The 580 nautical mile race started June 8 in Nanaimo and concludes there on June 21.
Looking ahead, Walther said conditions for the next few legs were forecast to be favourable for Tripp Tease. “Our boat goes well in certain conditions. Conditions for the next several days are similar to what we had today and those are the conditions the Tripp Tease likes to go in. We’re hoping to do well, but there are no guarantees.”
Jeff Motley of Blast Performance Sailing (the event’s lead organizer) MC-d the awards in Comox Marina Park. He thanked the Comox Bay Sailing Club for their hard work in hosting the race.
He noted the three marinas in the basin had donated their moorage fees of $1,700 to BC Children’s Foundation for Children’s Hospital.
Motley said the Van Isle 360 chose two groups to support. One is the the Royal Marine Search and Rescue and the other is partnering with BC Sailing to boost youth sailing.
To that end, sponsors and skippers partnered with the Comox Bay Sail Club’s sailing school to purchase an Opti boat, a fun sailboat for young sailors to learn on.
FINISH LINES Comox Mayor Paul Ives was at the awards ceremony to welcome participants … winners received bottles of rum for their efforts … Dragonfly (first across the finish line Sunday) leads the Multihulls division while Westerly is leading the Big Boat division …. updated results and standings are at www.vanisle360.com … to follow Tripp Tease, check out the ship’s blog at tripptease.wordpress.com … this is the first year Black Press has been the title sponsor for the race, which is run every two years …