Swiftsure Wrap Up

Ahoy fellow race fans,
Well it won’t go down in the record books as the speediest Swiftsure ever. It certainly is not as action packed as AC race between Sweden and NZ earlier this morning but all in all it lived up to the title it carries, “Always a Challenge”. Probably a challenge to try to not stage a mutiny and throw in the towel after many hours of drifting. AYC was well represented, some might argue “over-represented” as there were at least a few boats flying the scarlet letter that is our burgee that are not even members!

As far as official AYC boats I count 4.
The first two are easy Freya did not start and Passepartout didn’t finish. I have been competing at Swiftsure since 1978 and I can tell you, there is always next year. Just getting to Victoria and seeing all the sites and crazy street performers is such a treat. Victoria is a gem, winter or summer.

Walt Meagher and his merry band finished 6th in the Juan de Fuca Race after vying for the lead at several times. The Brothers Broderna, aka Lars and Nels Strandberg staged an epic comeback to get on the podium for 2nd in the Cape Flattery for Multihulls event.

There were the usual war stories and at least one boat needed USCG assistance but hey that’s Swiftsure

Saving you from experience

Sometimes I think when someone says they have “experience” they are really mean… I’ve made a bunch of mistakes and if you listen to me then I might save you some trouble. I guess on occasion a person with “experience” has some innate talent they want to share but I bet the former is more common. With that in mind here is some advice with someone with experience doing AYC distance races since 1978.

1) Scrub yer bottom , the boat I mean. Either hire a diver or get a brush (usually homemade) or haul’er out in any case mossy bottoms are slow. We used to go to the SW shore of Guemes each spring and careen the AYC fleet at low tide but I would not suggest doing that even though the EPA is facing budget cuts.
2) Check the course and start time, in fact read the whole race packet:)
3) Make sure your PHRF cert is valid and you have purchased a race packet.
4) Check your safety gear and make sure your crew knows how to use it.
5) Get out and practice a few tacks and gybes
6) talk over crew vs captain expectations.
7) Bring some great snacks and have fun!
8) Make sure you have the sails you want aboard.
9) Take both your sunscreen and your foulies you never know…
10) Check your fuel separator for water, new fuel blends are just notorious, use fuel stabilizers.

Sign up for Tulip Regatta, all sorts of slick raffle prizes and PRO RC
Corvus is not the Corvus you remember, wait till you see the new ride:)
Swiftsure 2016 winner Broderna set to make an appearance, unless the price of crabs continues to skyrocket
Steph is outa town make way Captain Midnight at the helm!

What the Huckleberry?

Last Saturday only those sailors needing the practice showed up for a rally for racers. These hearty souls enjoyed a line set by the Jah Mon in a building Southerly. The Wind Warriors had a real live roller derby queen on the helm. Wild Rumpus forgot her mainsail but was ably assisted by eventual race winner Team OC. Apparently starting a sailboat efficiently is difficult or at least this group made it look that way. Walt and Juan Pequeno were sweatin to the oldies on his rebuilt ride. After 6 practice starts it was beat to the SE buoy and a sleighride to Huckleberry. Everybody rounded to port and it blew the dogs off the chains on the way home costing one boat it’s Windex and Captain Midnight decided to run for shelter rather than stand on for the finish. Exhilarating day and Becky told me should we would come back next time if we didn’t broach so much:)

In other News:

Team Mikey edged out the Blind Squirrel for a one point victory after 9 races at Bacardi’s Miami Sailing Week
Nuther Viper in town

Team Big Broderna winding up for another crack at R2AK after a Swiftsure victory and 3rd R2AK last year.

Tulip entries starting to roll in

National nap Day, I’m in or out

Foulweather Fun!

Saturday, February 25th, the Anacortes Yacht Club sailed the Annual Girts Rekevics Foul Weather Race to Friday Harbor. 17 race boats braved the conditions that weren’t all that foul and a handful of cruisers either hopped a ferry or shadowed the fleet in their luxury cruising liners. Spinnakers blossomed at the start and the tricky currents in the Guemes Channel shuffled the fleet until a steady Southerly stuck around long enough to get the fleet all bunched up in Thatcher Pass. Pleasantries were exchanged as the wind blew and didn’t and the sailors struggled to break on through to the other side. Once clear of the pass it was a romp to Upright Head and a beat until you could crack off for the finish. After about 4 hours of battling the elements the crowd gathered on the docks and the music drifted through the marina. The herd headed for SJIYC around 4pm and soon after it was time for raffles, trophies and of course the delicious lasagna dinner.

The Commodore said a few encouraging words and the usual Thank yous all around to those that make this kind of fun possible. Chris Roethle was truly the man of the hour, selling dinner tickets, securing sponsorship, getting the trophies together and about a dozen other things that make this all possible. It always amazes me just how many people it takes working together to make this all possible and how Chris makes it look so easy.
Of course the way it’s supposed to work is the boat that was sailed the best wins and depending on where you assessed that during the race the outcome would have different, many boats were looking golden at one time or another, of course the only time that it counts is at the finish and Stephanie and her merry band of ladies came through in the pinch and prevailed. Truth be told she did have two gentlemen on board but I assume they did what they were told. Second place was the new guy in town, Rhys Balmer in the diminutive “Evermoore”, fresh back from a trip to Hawaii last summer. Mike Strauss took a break from defending our country and preparing for another mouth to feed to round out the podium.

In other news:

Still time to purchase a SC-27 and get ready for Nationals here in Anacortes Jun 30/Jul1 includes distance race to Friday Harbor like the one described above except warmer

Tulip Cup registration open Tulip Princess open to all genders this year

Seattle’s Center Sound Series starts Saturday

Captain Midnight headed to SF for birthday and sailing @ St Frantic (Francis)

Corvus for sale, Call Capt Peterson if interested

2017 February only second wettest February ever, well there is always next year:)

Mikey likes it and more!

Last weekend you might have felt spring was in the air and you were thawing out a bit. Meanwhile AYC’s Team Mikey owned by Kevin Welch and ably assisted by Ian Sloan and of course that hard workin gal at Ullman Sails, Serena were completely on fire and smoked the Melges 24 fleet in the Miami NOOD regatta posting all bullets and tossing a 6th.
No nobody finished the OIYC Shaw Island Winter Classic, no don’t wanna talk about it…. Well we did have fun and the moonlight delivery home was epic.
This weekend AYC gets into full swing with 5$ dinner, rules talk @1930 Friday night, and of course the Girts Race/Cruise on Saturday.
If you never met Girts well you missed an American Classic. Born in Latvia, escaped with help of the Red Cross, sponsored by church in Cutbank, MT. Proudest American you ever met. Loving father, terrific husband, talented sailor and wonderful humorist and musician. He would be on the start line even when cancer had him chock full of tubes and tumors, he wore enough foulies nobody knew. I’m sure this weekend he will be criticizing our mistakes as any good sailor does and be jealous he isn’t there having fun too!
Here’s another fun thing to do while in the frozen North this summer:
Fleet Captains, please spread the word, details including NOR coming soon!
You may have heard a rumour that the ROUND PENDER race is on again. It’s true!!
Hosted by CFSA, here are a few highlights …
  • Come one (design) ~ come all (multihull, keelboat)
  • Mark the date ~ AUGUST 19, 2017
  • Rendezvous (Port Browning), Race (Round Pender), Recreate (before and after)
  • View the attached poster
  • Stand by ~ for more info
“We may not all be in the same boat but on the water we’re all on the same wavelength”
Organizing Authority
Round Pender Race

Where sailors go to meet dot com:)

I have often wondered if the general population was aware how easy it is to get on someone elses boat and eat their sandwiches and drink whatever is in the cooler. If they knew, would we have crowds at the marina each day there is a regatta? Somehow it’s our little secret but in an effort to change that, we have a “Racer Rally” scheduled for Saturday @ 9am at good’ol AYC. Bring a friend or a neighbor, bring your questions and ideas for the racing program in 2017. We will discuss PHRF membership, rules, how to find crew or how to find a skipper. If you would like to help sponsor or coordinate a regatta and support our club come join us. In any case we will talk and answer questions and drink some coffee and if the weather is fair we’ll go for a sail! Bring your sailing gear if you have it or ski type outdoor wear and leave it in the car. If you have a boat maybe we can introduce you to some new crew prospects if needed. If you are looking for a new ride, here is a chance. Of course if you want to help out we will find a slot for you.

Rules of Racing Seminar

AYC is proud to host US sailing certified judge and accomplished Northwest sailor Eric Rimkus. Eric is engaging and entertaining as well as being a stickler for the rules. If you ever wanted to be able to better understand what is happening on the race course and what your responsibilities are this is your chance. Eric will present a series of Friday night seminars:

  • January 27th 19:30 = start & weather leg (time permitting since start is the bulk and weather leg is very straight forward)
  • February 3rd 19:00 = approaching the weather mark, rounding, exiting
  • February 17th 19:00 = downwind leg (mostly rule 17 stuff since it is by far the MOST misunderstood) and leeward mark
  • February 24th 19:30 = leeward mark and finish and random questions.
All members are welcome!

Boat Show Time!

My ever lovin father and I didn’t agree on much but one place we found common ground was the Seattle Boat Show. Each year we would make the annual pilgrimage and then head over to FX MCRory’s for the obligatory cup of chowder. Much of the hijinks and antics that took place inside of the old Kingdom are gone put much fun remains. Hop the train in Mt Vernon and ride it straight to King St. station, walk across the parking lot and you are there. Hourly shuttles to the in the water show. Well known secret is that your favorite sailmaker or rigging shop that you patronize will be happy to leave you tickets at the “will call” window:) Goto the website for all the seminar details, job fair, special events and the like. Best prices you will see all year on most items and the seminars are entertaining and educational.


Sign up for PHRF-NW, sign up for ‘Round Shaw Winter Classic, sign up for Girts Rekevics Memorial Foul Weather Race!
Save some money for chowder though:)

Get in the Know!

AYC is proud to host US sailing certified judge and accomplished Northwest sailor Eric Rimkus. Eric has had a series of yachts from 24′-42′ named Gladiator. His success on the race course throughout the PNW is enviable. Eric is engaging and entertaining as well as being a stickler for the rules. If you ever wanted to be able to better understand what is happening on the race course and what your responsibilities are this is your chance. Eric will present a series of Friday night seminars starting at about 7pm on Jan 27th, Feb. 3rd, 17th and 24th. Jan 27th and Feb 24th we will wait until the 5 buck nighters have their meal and are seated.
From Eric:
  • 1st night = start & weather leg (time permitting since start is the bulk and weather leg is very straight forward)
  • 2nd night = approaching the weather mark, rounding, exiting
  • 3rd night = downwind leg (mostly rule 17 stuff since it is by far the MOST misunderstood) and leeward mark
  • 4th night = leeward mark and finish and random questions.
Eric’s presentations will last about an hour and then he will field questions from the audience. He will use our AV system to present everything you need to know about the new US sailing rules for 2017-2020 Thanks to one of terrific and generous AYC members admission is free. Of course we will put a seminar jar on the bar so Eric and his lovely wife Kim can maybe have a “night out” on us:)
In other news:
Seattle Boat Show jan 27th-Feb 4th Quest Events Center, save a dime take the train to King Street station it’s just across the parking lot and shuttle to lake Union
Rumor has it there maybe a new BANGARANG in town
Errant Belle crew still expanding
Mikey crew headed South again to do battle in Florida
No Tomorrows looking racy for 2017

Swiftsure Skippers Series: #1 Schwenk Incorporated

Every skipper knows they will face challenges and enjoy many adventures when they participate in Swiftsure.

We selected a number of skippers who have previously raced in Swiftsure to ask about their impressions. Swiftsure is happy to present a series of articles where these skippers responded to a few of our questions. The responses will entertain, engage and even teach.

First up is Schwenk, Incorporated… Andy and Stephanie Schwenk race separately and together – and they do both exceptionally well – hailing from Anacortes Yacht Club.

stephStephanie puts her Santa Cruz 27 through its paces, consistently coming out on the winner’s podium.

Andy – well, words fail… Not much he hasn’t raced, helping bring together new boats and new crews while guiding them steadily. He has a million stories. In 2014, Andy raced Oregon Offshore on Blade Runner, double-handed with Ward Naviaux and the two dudes took First Overall PHRF!

Andy and Stephanie have one hand on the pulse of Anacortes Yacht Club racing and the other on the tiller.

 Q1: Name Stephanie Schwenk (Wild Rumpus SC27)

Q2: How many Swiftsure races have you done? At least 10, probably more

Q3: What year was your first Swiftsure? 1990 I think

Q4: What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or your crew when racing in Swiftsure? I showed up to sail on a Hobie 33, hadn’t raced on it before, didn’t know the owner, and on the boom it said “fear is never boring”.  That was funny and scary, equally.

Q5: What was the most exciting or interesting thing that occurred while you were racing in Swiftsure?

On Bravo Zulu, on the way to the Bank a few years ago, we had a reefed main and the #4, in the fog with almost no visibility.  We heard music playing, and looked UP to see it was the deck of the Victoria cruise ship!! Right in front of us!!  Plus the time our dinner caught on fire.  Plus the year when “fear was never boring”… that ride lived up to its name.

Q6: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of racing Swiftsure for the first time?

First of all, I say “do the inshore race!!  All of the fun of the long races and so civilized!!”

But if you’re going out, get the most experienced crew you can find, and get good foulies.


Q1: Name Andy Schwenk (so many boats, so little time)

Q2: How many Swiftsure races have you done? About 30

Q3: What year was your first Swiftsure? 1979

Q4: What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you or your crew when racing in Swiftsure?

We were making sandwiches, got bored, and put pieces of paper towel in them, curious to see who was first to complain. They got to make dinner…

Q5: What was the most exciting or interesting thing that occurred while you were racing in Swiftsure?

Running home through Race Rocks of course. Artemis at 26 knots over the bottom. Just about any year on Night Runner. After spinning around the 22′ spinnaker pole on our side in a 35 knot puff skipper Doug Fryer (who was driving and now is in his 80’s) suggested we get the heavy spinnaker set up. Of course, we complied and went on to win.

Q6: What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of racing Swiftsure for the first time?

Get there a day early and plan to spend a day after. It’s not just the race, Victoria is always beautiful.