With gear packed, and checklists checked and checked again, sailors taking part in the Black Press Van Isle 360 yacht race only had one last thing on their minds.
“Now if only we had some wind,” said Scott Lovell, as he and Mark Liffring added battens to the sails of New Haven.
The wind never materialized in time for the 10:30 a.m. start Saturday in Nanaimo Harbour, but the rain held off much to the pleasure of the 200 or so people on the visiting vessel pier to watch New Haven and race crews on 41 other vessels jockey for position.
Divided into two starts – one for the smaller and multihuill boats in divisions two and three and another for the Div. 1 bigger vessels – the race went off without a hitch.
The boats exited the harbour, rounded Protection Island’s Gallows Point and welcomed the elusive wind on the first leg to French Creek near Parksville.
Bad Kitty, Dragonfly and Moxie finished one, two and three, respectively, in the multihull division; Dark Star, Icon and Flash topped the big boat division; and Terremoto, Raven and White Cloud arrived first, second and third out the smaller crafts.
Sunday’s run from French Creek to Comox had north winds and sunshine and the crews left Comox bound for Campbell River Monday.
The race around Vancouver Island includes additional stops at Hardwicke Island, Telegraph Cove, Port Hardy, Winter Harbour, Ucluelet and Victoria before returning to Nanaimo June 22.