Leg 4
Date: June 17, 2003
Course: Deepwater Bay to Hardwicke Island
Distance: 24.50 nautical miles

A Current of a Day!
Campbell River to Hardwicke IslandThe start was 0830 so out wake up time was 0530 leaving the doc by 0630 because the start was out in Deepwater Bay 12 nm North of Campbell River which we had to motor out to.

We arrived 20min prior to the start which proved to be just right, there was little to no wind at the starting line. There were wind dances happening and the winning boat was Ocams Racer. They were presented with a bottle of wine later that night at the Hardwicke Island Fish Farm.

Kim positioned us at the starboard end of the line, and off we went backwards floating back towards the start line, the committee boat stated that we were over early. It was ok as we were drifting back behind the line from the current. We were cleared to start and off we went.

We continued at a very slow rate, edging up over top of the fleet. Soon we were a blip on the competitor’s radars. along the first quarter of the leg wind channels would form stretching from side to side. We capitalized on these edging us further ahead of the competitors.

We rounded up past this light house and we pulled out our code 0. We had never flown this sail before and we were anxious to see it fly. It looked spectacular.

Around another bend we went where we were met with really wild whirlpools current. Many times we were facing the direction from which we just came however we were going 3 knots towards the finish backwards, sideways, fantastic!

Once we came out of our white water rafting we switched sails and went with our spinnaker. The winds built and we were hauling at 14+ thinking that the finish would be near.

To our surprise, the wind shut off, completely and the current was running ramped on us, we were drifting backwards away from the finish line, it reminded us of 2002 Swiftsure. I kept checking for Redshift suddenly I noticed a Chute coming from a distance. I knew that they would be upon us shortly; they were now in the winds we just left!

I could now see the yellow of his hulls, they were really close. They moved in and saw the shape we were in (floating away from the finish line) and chose to go around us from behind and finish to our port side in the wind. After a very long time we finally attached some wind to our screecher and began to inch forward. We were losing our boat speed and Redshift was moving in closer and closer. The wind built enough and we crossed the line only to time and see if Redshift got us. We had to give Redshift 7 minutes on handy cap, 6 minutes, 7, 8, 14 minutes passed and Redshift finished.

We were very lucky to have received 1st in our division and 1st across the finish line.

We motored up to the fish farm where we were greeted by Mike and Mike. The guys were great! We had a salmon BBQ and the awards were held on HMSC Oriole. Super cool boat, it was another excellent experience.

Wayne (Skipper of Redshift) stated that this was probably the first time in the world that a fish farm had 35 racing yachts moored to it.

The lesson of the day: “Its never over till its over!”


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