This popular event is hosted by the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club on Vancouver Island and is the first in the 'triple crown' of the big Island events (followed by the Round Salt Spring Race and the Swiftsure Race).  

The race is a great tactical challenge, navigating along the Canada-US border between the southern Gulf Islands and the San Juan Islands.  Strong tidal currents are a major consideration here as we're really playing at the edge of the Juan de Fuca Strait where the Pacific Ocean tries to squeeze itself into the Salish Sea. 

Our team last year experienced every kind of condition from a perfect upwind tacking duel to Beaumont Shoals, a glorious spinnaker run beside a pod of orcas in Haro Strait, some crab walking sideways in the strong tide and whirlpools when the wind died, and a fast and furious night time run from Patos back to the finish line. 

Some scenes from the 2017 Patos Island Race:

The Course

In 2019 we'll be racing in the Long Course as a qualifier for the VanIsle 360 in June.  This is a challenging course cutting through the strong tidal waters in the southern Gulf Islands and covering roughly 70 nautical miles.  The race has a time limit of 24 hours, so we will most likely finish sometime in the night.

This race offers a night sailing component, which is both exciting and very serious at the same time.  Sailing at night can be breathtakingly beautiful with clear starry skies, phosphorescence bubbling in the wake behind the boat, and a serenity rarely found on land.  But sailing at night means extreme vigilance is required because visibility is very limited and it can be hard to judge the distance between objects on the water in the dark.  Please check the Pre-Requisites below to ensure you are ready for this level of crew work.

Contact us for any questions on the race.

2019 Preliminary Schedule

Friday, April 5 Arrival in Sidney
We will meet at the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club (very close to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal) at 17:00, in time for the pre-race dinner party. Crew are welcome to join the delivery sail from West Vancouver, but the schedule for this will be weather dependent and decided the week before the race.
Saturday, April 6Start Racing!
After a quick breafast, we hit the water. Let's go!
Sunday, April 7Finish Racing
The time limit elapses in the morning. We'll take a short break to rest and get a bite to eat on shore before starting the trip home. Expect to be home late as it's a long way back! Crew can choose to take the ferry home from Swartz Bay instead.


Our crew has the option to log some extra miles as we deliver the boat from West Vancouver to Sidney and back again, giving us a good opportunity to warm up beforehand and reflect afterwards!  Please be aware that in the case of an inclement weather forecast we may take an extra day before and after the race to complete the deliveries.  If this is the case, crew on an inflexible work schedule have the choice to join the boat directly by ferry in Sidney on Friday night and returning the same way after the race.  The delivery plan will be made the week before the race.



Previous sailing experience required, including under spinnaker.  Suitable minimum experience would include:  
Quicker Crew course +
Spinnaker School +
Club races or other racing events.  

Other experience may be appropriate. Contact us to discuss if you're unsure about your experience level.


*In 2019, registration is open first to VanIsle 360 participants.

This course is open to ages 19 and up.
Maximum of 6 spots available. 
20% for ages 19-25.  Contact us to access this pricing.

5% GST is added at checkout for Canadian customers

Included in Registration

Race fees, fuel, moorage and accommodation on board are all included.  Registration includes most food and beverages for the duration of the race, from lunch on Saturday to lunch on Sunday.  There is a dinner during the pre-race party that crew must purchase direct from the race organizers, this includes breakfast on Saturday before the race.  Information on how to buy tickets for the dinner will be sent out to participants ahead of time.  Check this section of our FAQs for what else is included and not included.

What to Bring & What to Expect?

Please check the required items listed for live aboard sailing on our FAQ page here.  Note that it will be cold at night so warm layers and very good waterproofs are a necessity.  However in racing, the amount of weight we have on board is a consideration so please don't bring your entire wardrobe!  

While we aim to sail our very best on the race course, we offer a fun and supportive learning environment.  No enraged skipper shouting at the crew.  No grim silence as the crew plots a mutiny.  No fits of depression if we don't beat all the other boats.  The Sea to Sky race team is all about improving our own performance both individually and as a team, and doing our best to make every race a positive experience.