The Roughest Shipyard Raid Yet
July 11, 08
Raid 08 was challenging; longer legs, more open water, higher winds, and more tempestuous seas. But the consensus from participants seems to be that it was also the most satisfying of our Shipyard Raids. The company was good (as always), the food was great, and the sailing was excellent this time. I extend my personal thanks to all Raiders and especially to our Raid Crew who made this year’s event possible.
We left Silva Bay as a fleet of 14 vessels, 7 racing with 7 escorts. Some folks had to leave along the way but a total of 10 boats made the complete journey to Heriot Bay. The racing this year was particularly close, but by consistently placing in the top 3, Barracuda established an early lead that Quill and Mitch held to the finish. Outstanding job guys! Second place goes to Bill and Eliot in Dragonfly, with Marty & Yvonne in Owl and the Pussycat (Bayraider) third, and Brennan, Gregg, Bryce, Josh, Larissa, Logan, Conner, and Blaine in Tuvaaq placing 4th. These three boats are separated by only 4 points, a very close result after 8 days (13 legs) of racing. Tart established a new “cruising” class of participation in the Shipyard Raid. Jerry and Bill sailed a great deal and used their motor as appropriate, rather than rowing. This is an interesting development for Raid participation, opening the event to larger vessels not able to row. I would also like to thank Colin in Bus Bailey for showing what is possible with a minimum sized boat.
We changed the route and date for Raid08 hoping for more wind, and we got more wind….a lot more wind. We had 15+ knots on 5 of the 8 days we spent sailing. At times we had well over 20 knots of wind, much of it under sunny skies, with thunder showers on just one night. During the first two days of long open water legs north up the Gulf of Georgia, we had brisk NW winds on the nose. Monday (day #3) was calm for a mandatory rowing only leg around the south end of Texada, and with light SE in the afternoon for the sail up Malaspina Strait to Cape Cockburn. A SE onshore breeze and rising seas that night scattered the fleet and after a sleepless night for all I canceled racing on Tuesday in great (heavy air) sailing conditions (downwind in Malaspina Str.). After a good rest in Westview, Wednesday was hot and calm for the leg to Lund and the Ragged (Copeland) Islands. Thursday we again had light SE for the half-day leg to Galley Bay with a fine afternoon of swimming and relaxation. Friday and Saturday were both heavy SE wind legs with big seas and fast downwind surfing. A great mix of conditions with up wind and down in heavy air, some light air sailing, and not too much rowing.
The Raid crew and escort vessels had a tough job this year; all rose to the occasion and provided great support in challenging conditions. Special thanks go to Rick on Rupert Pelican and the catering crew of Barrett, James, and Kathy. Rusty and Judy (Tatiana) did a proper job at the tail end, and Nimbus, Stella, and Epic 5 helped keep everyone safe. Special mention to Sophie and James for jumping into the breach as needed.
Many great tales, some fabulous anchorages, good meals, tricky (and fast!) sailing, wonderful swimming, and really good company are among my memories. Once again my thanks to all for making Shipyard Raid 08 a legendary adventure.