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World’s largest yacht race of its kind splashes back to Victoria for 78th time

More than 100 boats will take part in this year’s Swiftsure race
The Swiftsure International Yacht Race had a slow start in 2019 due to light winds. (Black Press Media file photo)

Hoist your sails for the 78th running of the Swiftsure Yacht Race on May 27 and 28.

Hosted by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Swiftsure is the largest yacht race of its kind on the west coast of North America, and this year more than 100 boats will be participating in this weekend’s event.

The earliest recorded sailboat racing recorded in Victoria dates back to the late 1850s, but the Swiftsure race wasn’t fully established until the 1930s and since then it’s been an international classic race.

While each year the course is unpredictable with uncontrollable weather conditions, every year the race starts and ends in Victoria.

Last year, team Korina Korina came first followed by Planet Express in second and the Boss finishing third. Throughout the years, different types of boats have entered the race. The biggest was Extra Beat from the Seattle Yacht Club that stretched 120 feet, while the smallest was Aida at only 26 feet.

The public is welcome to join the fun on the Inner Harbour in Victoria on Thursday and Friday while the docks are open and boats are up for viewing until 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 26. Then on Saturday morning at 8 a.m., a pancake breakfast will be hosted by the Central Saanich Lions at Clover Point. Spectators are invited to get a view of the boats manoeuvring before the start of the races while eating their pancakes.

For more information about the history of the race and this year’s Swiftsure event, visit

ALSO READ: VIDEO: 75th Swiftsure International Yacht Race

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About the Author: Ella Matte

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