It's an impressive sight when the Van Isle 360 fleet starts out from Nanaimo on a 580 nautical mile circumnavigation of the Island.

Van Isle 360 makes two-day stop in Comox this year

Record 52 racing yachts set to circumnavigate 580 nautical miles around Vancouver Island

Comox is once again a featured port of call for this year’s Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race.

Vancouver Island’s marathon yachting race will mark its 10th edition with a record number of competitors and the inaugural Gulf Islands Nanaimo (GIN) Regatta, set to sail this June.

Van Isle 360 happens once every two years and has become “the race” to sail in on the west coast of North America, says Blast Sailing owner Jeffrey Motley, who will welcome boats from as far as California and New Mexico at this year’s event, including one once owned by America’s Cup competitor Dennis Conner.

The Van Isle 360 got its start in 1999 with the Ambassador’s Edition, with 14 yachts looping the Island. This year, from June 6-20, there will be a record 52 boats and around 500 sailors participating in the 10-leg contest which starts and ends in Nanaimo.

Racers will make stops on the Island along the way, and new this year is a two-day stay in Comox on June 6-7 as the usual stop-over at French Creek has been eliminated. The Comox Bay Sailing Club is hosting the local stop, and notes it is a great opportunity to see thoroughbred ocean racing machines up close.

Boats will start arriving early July 6 afternoon and will dock at the Government Wharf at the east end of the Comox Bay Marina. The CBSC is looking for volunteers to greet the fleet. Contact them at cbscsailing@gmail.com

“The race is just one of those amazing events that it’s on the bucket list of everybody,” said Motley, who attributes the success to host communities and volunteers.

The public can follow the 580 nautical mile circumnavigation of the Island on Van Isle 360’s online race tracker (http://goo.gl/HnMZ9D).

It’s an “exceptionally challenging” competition, says Motley, who notes it tests the preparation of boats and crew communications and relations. Racers go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. day after day. “It’s a real marathon of competition,” he said, adding sailors also face currents along the inside passage and it’s not uncommon to have gale-force winds on the outside.

New to the event this year is the participation of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, which will host sailors and launch the inaugural GIN Regatta.

More than 200 sailors are expected to make the June 19-20 dash from Victoria to Nanaimo.

Motley said the international race limits participants and it can be hard for some skippers to get a hall pass – this new event allows them to finish with the fleet.

GIN will happen every year, alternating as part of Van Isle 360 and a standalone race.

– with a file by Tamara Cunningham

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Island Fiddlers hosting Spring Fling in Royston

Groundhog Day is long past, and Valentine’s Day has come and gone,… Continue reading

Comox Valley Citizens on Patrol celebrates 25 years of service

Comox Valley Citizens on Patrol Society (COPS) just celebrated its 25th year… Continue reading

Local cat rescue organization hit by camera theft

“Someone is taking from an organization trying to help cats who are surviving in the wild.”

Fundraising conference, concert on deck for Comox Valley Transition Society

Women Who Inspire Conference and Concert at Filberg Centre March 1

Changes recommended for four Comox Valley schools to ease capacity

Possible measures include cross-boundary transfer closures, modular buildings

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Comox Valley Beefs & Bouquets for week of Feb. 18

More beefs to the tip-expecting server; a bouquet to BC Transit

One dead in multi-vehicle collision involving logging truck on northern B.C. highway

DriveBC says highway expected to remain closed until 8 p.m.

B.C. teacher gets 15-year ban after lying about having sex with just-graduated student

Teacher had been dishonest with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation

Pipeline talks got B.C. railway open, can work again: Horgan

Premier says protest excesses damage Wet’suwet’en case

Exclusive: Pamela Anderson talks plans for waterfront Ladysmith property after 12-day marriage

Anderson says she can pay her own bills. Peters denies making comments suggesting she can’t

Burger King breaks the mould with new advertising campaign

The company is known for irreverent ad campaigns

Maggie and Tim: B.C. residential school survivor turns to faith, forgiveness in mourning son

A young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

PHOTOS: RCMP call on kids to name latest police puppy recruits

This year’s theme is the letter ‘N,’ and 13 German shephards must be named

Most Read