North Sails LOFT NEWS

Story Contributors: Drew Mitchell


Great Racing with Great Sailors

Photo Credit: Salt Spring Yacht Club

Round Salt Spring 2022 had a good turn out with 79 boats and ended up being a very challenging race for competitors. Racers showed up on Friday at Salt Spring Yacht Club where a BBQ with live music was held. It was great to see racers before things kicked off and hear all the chatter on which way to go this year. 

For the 2022 race, the race management decided to let the sailors decide which way to go around the island. With the forecast calling for sun but minimal wind, most racers thought that clockwise would be the way to go around. If the wind showed up the fast boats might have been able to go counterclockwise and be “heroes”.

Almost identical to the round Thetis race earlier this year, as all 7 divisions got out to the start line, a small wind line showed up. Everyone was beating out of Ganges and headed clockwise around the island, a few boats chose a quick end to their race by choosing to go counter clockwise. 

Getting around Salt Spring Island is always challenging with many “holes”, passes, narrows and currents. After the nice beat out ganges the wind lightened then everyone creeped around the south end of the island and made it through Samson Narrows in the daytime. At about dark most the fleet was at or near southey point, which is the northern point of the island, yes confusing! Some boats retired, others continued  to creep down the east side of Salt Spring. The sunset was amazing but it got very cold once the sun went down. I personally was lucky enough to be on a boat that finished around 2 am after being spat out of the captain’s passage about 3 times just as the sun was setting. It took us about 5 hours to finish the last 3 miles of the race!  After finishing a few crew stayed up to see when the rest of the fleet would come around the corner and head to finish. Just after the sun came up the rest of the fleet that was still racing came around captain passage and all started sailing into the finish. Pretty neat to see boat after boat round the corner and head to the finish after a long night of sailing. 

Awards were planned for roughly noon and boats were still coming across the finish line as the race committee did not have a posted finish time. Once the majority of boats were finished most sailors made it up to awards. After 24+ hours of racing there is nothing better than walking around congratulating everyone on their race, hearing stories about the “issues” and “success” getting around the island in little to no wind. The awards were great fun for the 7 different divisions and sailors of all ages accepting awards. The Fugitive Race team had a few sailors under the age of 15 and another boat had a sailor close to 90 years old!

Round Salt Spring was another challenging fun round island race. Congratulations to the Salt Spring Yacht Club and all the volunteers who put on a fantastic race. Looking forward to returning next year! 

Full results here.

Photo Credit: Lin Parks
Photo Credit: Salt Spring Yacht Club
Photo Credit: Salt Spring Yacht Club
Photo Credit: Lin Parks

Story Contributors

Event Spotlight: Round Salt Spring headshot
Drew Mitchell

Sail Expert — Vancouver, British Columbia

Drew Mitchell grew up sailing at the Lunenburg Yacht Club in Nova Scotia. He has raced on and coached high performance one design for nearly 20 years. Drew races in the Melges 24, Farr 30 and the TP 52 PNW...

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