Endgame exciting at Van Isle 360

The Van Isle 360 international yacht race ended the right way, with the entire fleet making it back to Nanaimo Harbour safe and sound.

The Van Isle 360 international yacht race ended the right way, with the entire fleet making it back to Nanaimo Harbour safe and sound.

Dragonfly, a Formula 40 catamaran skippered by Richard Ackrill and Pat McGarry, was the overall winner, and first to make it back to Nanaimo just after midnight on Saturday. Dragonfly made it around Vancouver Island in 73 hours, 27 minutes, 26 seconds, setting two leg records along the way.

Flash and Dark Star were next to reach the finish line in a hotly contested battle – only four seconds separated the two Div. 1 vessels. Flash, skipped by Seattle’s Steve Travis, and Jonathan and Libby McKee’s Dark Star, also out of Seattle, were aided by their decision to take the less-travelled Active Pass on the last leg, whereas the rest of the fleet, which opted for a more direct route, ran out of wind in Dodd Narrows.

Local boats did well on the last leg, with Francis Walsh’s Cu Na Mara finishing fourth among Div. 2 boats. The Nanaimo Yacht Club member ended up eighth overall, taking 111 hours, 20 minutes and four seconds to complete the 580 nautical miles. Tim Rann on Amazing Grace, sailing out of Schooner Cove Yacht Club, finished seventh in Div. 2 on the 10th leg, about 45 minutes behind Walsh.

Bill Jones and Ion, another Nanaimo Yacht Club entry, finished third in Div. 3 and ninth overall in the division.

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