Goldcrest scores moral victory in Yacht Race

Peter Mallett,
Staff Writer 


The team of eight Naval Fleet School (Pacific) members finished 16th out of the 31 boats in the Clallam Bay race aboard the Sail Training Vessel (STV) Goldcrest. Thirteen boats failed to finish due to challenging conditions.

They placed 7th in their division, crossing the finish line at the entrance to the Inner Harbour at 1504 hours on May 26.

“The team performed incredibly well and overcame all challenges of this race, leading to a very successful outcome in my mind,” said Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A/SLt) Benjamin Roth, Goldcrest skipper. “Our goal was to stay safe in the challenging conditions and finish strong, all of which we fully accomplished.” 

STV Goldcrest is a 36-foot sloop rigged sailboat yacht adapted by the military decades ago for sail, adventure and navigation training and operated by the Fleet School. A/SLt Roth noted that Goldcrest is a heavy but seaworthy vessel that performs best in strong winds by comparison to many faster and sleeker race boats that are half its weight or less.

Wind speeds ranged from 25 knots during their departure to up to 40 knots later in the day, causing a heavy sea state with rolling and breaking wind-driven waves. The team intentionally stayed in the strong wind in the center channel, going to the American side only when required to hit the course turning mark at Clallam Bay.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) team was a mixed crew of new sailors and competed under the banner of RCN Sail.

“They fought through conditions they had never experienced before; we battled through swells so deep that we regularly lost sight of other racers,” said A/SLt Roth. “Many worked through seasickness and unsteady feet to balance the boat and keep us near our hull speed of seven knots.”

He commended A/SLt Maxwell Lucas, Goldcrest’s Second in Command and Watch Captain, for organizing the race team and for keeping their boat moving and the crew engaged under trying circumstances.

Goldcrest finished their race with a time of 25:04:42, more than eight minutes ahead of Firewing of Port Madison Washington and more than 26 minutes ahead of last finishing vessel Gratitude of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle.

Goldcrest Swiftsure Roster

Skipper: A/SLt Ben Roth
2IC/Watch Captain: A/SLt Maxwell Lucas
Foredeck Team: S3 James Roy, SLt Emily Pazuk, A/SLt Sam Comeau
Cockpit Team: Lt(N) Lindsey Bookham, A/SLt Sungmin Chun, A/SLt Patrick O’Neil

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