Leg Description

Date: June 12, 2005

Course: French Creek to Comox

Distance: 28.55 nautical miles

Pancake Breakfast: There will be a pancake breakfast organized by the Parksville, Qualicum Shrine Club immediately prior to the start at the head of the dock in French Creek.

Start: 0900 hrs. The start is off the French Creek Marina breakwater. Excellent spectator viewing from the breakwater.

Finish: As the tides are low across the Comox Bar on a westerly approach to the harbour the finish line will extend across the bar allowing boats to finish on either side.

Mount Gay Rum Dash: The Mount Gay Rum Dash is a fun race designed to encourage boats to race into the harbour for spectator viewing. The Mount Gay Rum Dash takes place immediately following the official finish of this leg. Boats will dash into the harbour to cross the Mount Gay finish line set up by the Comox Valley Yacht Club. Mount Gay Rum will supply prizes to winning boats. More details supplied in the skipper’s package.

Moorage: Each boat will be greeted and escorted to their slips by the Comox Valley Yacht Club. Moorage here is tight and boats will tie at various marinas around the harbour. All boats will need to raft.

Facilities: Fuel, water, power, marine pump out station, showers, laundry, parking, restaurants, pubs, shops, etc. all available and close. Click here a map of the marinas and downtown Comox.

Greeter/Hosts: Each boat will be met by greeters from within the community, and given race packets and other goodies.

Poster Contest: A poster contest will he held in the park. Boat greeters will design posters that welcome each individual yacht to Comox. The welcome posters will then be on display at the awards presentation.

Reception: The Comox Valley Yacht Club will host a small reception at their new digs. Sailors will be escorted to the Yacht Club by their Greeter Hosts.

Awards Presentation: An awards presentation, open to the public, has been organized by the people of Comox at the pavilion in the shore side park.

Leg Update

Leg 2: Bad Kitty strikes again!

By: Shane Alfreds

Date: June 12, 2005

Course: French Creek to Comox

Distance: 28.55 nautical miles

“It’s 7:20am” is all I hear Jason say as I stir from my sleep. I get up to find the skipper and the rest of the crew alreayd gone, finishing up work on the damaged daggerboard I suppose. I dress quickly and get all my belonings together. Jason and I head down to see the state of repairs.

Mike in the closet doing repairs.
Getting the board back into the boat.

Kim and Mike are just finishing up sanding the board as we walk up. It looks really good, Mike did an awesome job patching it up. We get ready and head down to the boat to get the board back in, the mast back in place and all the rigging set. Unfortunately its not easy to just run the daggerboard line in the trunk before we can put the board in, so Kim strips down to his bathing suit and just jumps right in. We get everything set up and are motoring out of the marina with less than 10 minutes to the start.

Lookout! Skipper below!

It’s very busy at the pin end of the line and as we get under one minute to start we start working our way down towards the shore end of the line. The gun goes and we’re off to a good start heading so we’ll just clear the breakwater. After a couple of tacks up the shore, we decide to head over to the right side of the course where Flash is headed (Wayne Gorrie of Redshift is on board). In the past, the right side has been the favoured side and early on it looks to be paying off. We’re doing well staying ahead of the majority of the fleet not far behind Flash and Mystic.

The wind is shifty and fairly light, but we’re still doing well under screecher. As we’re getting closer to Hornby island it appears that Dragonfly and Blue Lightning have made huge gains up the left shore. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be!

As we’re passing Hornby island the wind is shifting around, the boats behind us have switched over to spinnakers. That predicted south-easterly is finally filling in. Flash, ahead of us has switched over to the chute and the shift hits us as well and we switch over. We start to real in a couple of the monohulls ahead of us, Mystic and Cassiopeia. Unfortunately, it looks like there is more wind to the left and Dragonfly, Flash and Blue Lightning are leaving us behind.

As we get closer to Comox the wind builds a little more, so up goes the small jib so we can double slot and get a bit more speed. We start gaining on Blue Lightning, but behind us, we can see Bad Kitty has switched over to Big Blue and is charging through the monohulls and sailing deeper than us. It looks like Blue Lightning, Bad Kitty and us are going to be finishing pretty close together.

The wind is picking up now and we are charging hard 17 to 18 knots. We’re looking for the finish line now, its close, but there is a big bar at Comox that we have to finish on either side of. We can see the committee boat, so we’ll finish towards them. We’re now ahead of Blue Lightning and Bad Kitty is chasing them down. The wind is really starting to blow now as we’re finishing. We tuck inside the committee boat and get the spinnaker down quickly as we can’t sail into Comox with it. Only a few minutes behind us Bad Kitty nips Blue lightning at the line by just 9 seconds. Great racing!

The Finish: Bad Kitty on the right, Blue Lightning on the left.

Now you’re probably wondering why I named this post “Bad Kitty strikes again!” Well, if you’ve read the past stories you’ll know that at Swiftsure 2002, Bad Kitty put a hex on the Monkee when the snuck a paw print sticker onto one of our sails. Well, the crew of Bad Kitty were kind enough to lend us a step from their boat to aid in our daggerboard repairs. This morning Bad Kittens were hanging around the Monkee commenting on how a slice of one of our lifting foils would make a nice replacement for the step that we borrowed. So, after we finished, we forgot to put the daggerboard back down and were reaching along at about 20 knots when BAM, there goes the lifting foil. Ripped clean off right at the bottom of the hull. Bad Kitty, your replacement step is now sitting on the seafloor at the Comox Bar. The top half of the foil had to be coaxed out quite roughly, took quite some time and caused a little damage to the bottom of the hull. So Mike, the “glass man”, had to do another emergency repair this evening.

We were met at the dock by our host couple, they were very friendly and brought us some treats to tide us over until we could get some dinner. They were very patient and helpful as we tried to start our repairs. After we got the broken foil out and got everything set up we headed over to the awards. The positions for our division ended up:

  • Blue Lightning
  • Bad Kitty
  • Dragonfly
  • Cheekee Monkee

Congrats to Mark and his crew for a great job today! After the awards, we went out for dinner with them and had a great evening.

Tomorrow the prediction is for a strong south-easterly that eases in the afternoon. This should be good for the Monkee as it means a spinnaker run with the wind dying later and stranding the slower boats. But we’ll see how accurate the prediction is.