In 2024 Races, Members, Public
For this year’s Swiftsure the Invictus crew consisted of, from our club, Larisa Fry, John Tulip, John Hillier and myself, as well as Gregory Campbell also from Salt Spring and Kyle Timol from Sidney.
There were 60+ boats in our start, so you can imagine the chaos.  We got off to a really great start the first time around, but there were so many boats over early that we had a general recall.  For the second time around we had a reasonable start and settled in for the long starboard beat toward the US shore, in order to get some tide relief in 20-25 knots of wind, with the occasional gust to 30. Once over there, we short-tacked our way toward Neah Bay.  The wind slowly petered out and settled in at about 10 knots and the rain started by late afternoon. As darkness fell the wind died down to 5-7, but by then we had the tide helping us with a 2+ push. We reached Neah Bay around 11:30 and were probably the leading boat in our division, but unfortunately the wind had all but died and we ended up getting swept 1/2 mile past the mark with the current and it took us until 01:30 to get around…very frustrating!
After rounding, the decision was made to head for the Canadian side and, at that point, the breeze was a bit up and down from 2 to 8 knots from the east, so it took until dawn to reach the other side at a point just west of Jordan River in a downpour that lasted till 07:30.  We tacked our way along within a mile or two of the shore in more rain and a diminishing breeze until we were a few miles east of Jordan River at 08:00.  At that point we did the math and, with the amount of wind in the forecast, we wouldn’t make the cut off;  so we abandoned and motored 11 1/2 hours back to Ganges.
No one in our division finished, so the race was scored at the Neah Bay mark and we managed third in our division.  My crew did an amazing job in spite of conditions that were extremely trying.
Vern Lhotzky

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