HMCS Malahat on station for Swiftsure

AB Nick Reicker, from HMCS Malahat, observes the busy waters of the Swiftsure start line from the unit’s RHIB.

AB Nick Reicker, from HMCS Malahat, observes the busy waters of the Swiftsure start line from the unit’s RHIB.

A/SLt Donald Den, HMCS Malahat ~

For hundreds of boaters and spectators, the end of May marked the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

In its 76th year, Swiftsure is the largest sailing race on the west coast of North America and draws hundreds of participants and boats to the city.

Due to the race’s size, location, and international significance, the Royal Canadian Navy lends its support, as well as personnel and ship resources to the running of Swiftsure.

On location for the start of this event was both a Kingston-class vessel, HMCS Edmonton and a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) from HMCS Malahat – Victoria’s Naval Reserve Unit.

Edmonton physically served as one end of the anchored start line; it also transported several event officials, and marked the commencement of the different races with either a horn or a blast from the ceremonial on-deck cannon.

Malahat sailors crewed a RHIB that was the official “Jury Boat” of the race, transporting Swiftsure jury officials and a photographer amidst the 165 different boats that converged around Clover Point for the start of the race.

“Events like Swiftsure provide Malahat with an opportunity to contribute and interact with the local and international communities with on-water support to the event, staff, and the race participants,” said Cdr Greg Walker, Commanding Officer of Malahat.

Amongst the pool of entrants this year were boats from the Royal Canadian Navy – Sailing Training Vessels Goldcrest and Tuna, crewed by current and former naval personnel, and sailed under the flag of the Canadian Forces Sailing Association (CFSA). 

While the start of the race on Saturday was faced with low winds and heavy rains, leading many to refer to the event as “Driftsure”, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of those who participated in or supported this year’s race.

In the words of Able Seaman Nic Reicker, who was aboard Malahat’s RHIB, “Despite the weather, everyone was in good spirits and it still remained another successful start at Swiftsure. All in all, a great
day for Malahat, Edmonton, and the participants and officials of the race.”

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