North Sails LOFT NEWS
Story Contributors: Bernie Yau
TRADITIONS AND CHANGE
WVYC RNSA NYC Singlehand/Doublehand Regatta
What’s unique about this regatta? After all, there are now many solo sailing regattas now; the impact of that concept has evolved over the years since it was first launched in the 1970’s by Capt. John Horton of the Royal Naval Sailing Association here in Vancouver BC. Or has it? Now in it’s 48th edition, this regatta’s Ancient Mariners (75+ years ) and Old Salts (65-74 years) remind and inspire the rest of us that one of the milestones of a keelboat sailor is the test of a solo crossing of the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver to Nanaimo, and back the next day. A glance of the winners’ names engraved on the coveted Janet Stamper Memorial trophy for the fastest overall singlehand racer reminds us of those who have gone on to make further impacts in the sailing world. Nowadays a doublehand division has been added – today’s way of developing tomorrow’s solo sailor.
The West Vancouver Yacht Club as the organizing authority had 29 entries this year, a respectable number given the uncertainty that COVID has brought. Racers drifted across the start line at Point Grey bell buoy but the breeze kicked in soon after to allow spinnakers to fly to the mark off Bowen Island, then across to Nanaimo. The Nanaimo Yacht Club graciously hosted a dinner with generous door prizes given out.
The Second day of racing offered fantastic winds that allowed the racers to finish well within the 5pm time limit. The 55’ orange Delta Lifeboat with the Captain and 5 crew members presided over the event, and was a super host for the 4 person Race Committee, allowing us to focus on race management. This vessel built in 1944, had served in the Second World War at Pearl Harbour and was a definite highlight for RC to be aboard.
The nuances of categories from the age categories, to predicted elapsed crossing times, to novice first timers, continue to be a part of the tradition…and a great excuse to participate!