In 2016, the Round Salt Spring Race was voted unanimously as the best event that the Sea to Sky Sailing team raced in! Over the course of its 43 year history, the race has become a favourite amongst all competitors.
The race and all the on shore activities are superbly well organized by an army of friendly volunteers making everything run like clockwork, including a complex recycling system that helps the regatta meet their Clean Marine commitments. The fleet of up to 120 yachts enjoys some highly challenging sailing given the aggressive tidal patterns that ebb and flow around Salt Spring Island. It is scheduled for May long weekend, so the weather is pretty nice more often than not and there is definitely a holiday atmosphere amongst the hundreds of sailors that flock to the island for the race. And there's even a lamb BBQ involved!
We extend the fun by cruising across from West Vancouver the day before the race, and taking a detour up to Silva Bay on Gabriola Island after the race to relax (and even shower!) at their beautiful marina and friendly pub.
It's all in the name: round Salt Spring. The trick is, we won't know which way around we are sailing until the race organizers make their announcement on the morning of the race! Either way around, we will be covering 42 nautical miles including the tidal gate of Sansum Narrows with its whirlpools and rip tide.
Last year we finished racing around 10pm, but the race can be as long as 24 hours. In some years even the very first place boat has not crossed the finish line until early Sunday morning- to it really depends on the wind being strong enough to get us around the island with the tide instead of fighting against it.
This race offers the likelihood of 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.
2017 Preliminary Schedule
|Friday, May 19||
Boat Delivery Party|
We will sail the boat from West Vancouver to Salt Spring Island Yacht Club near Ganges, arriving in time for the pre-race party (and lamb BBQ!).
|Saturday, May 20||Start Racing!|
After a quick breafast, we hit the water. Time to beat the tide changes around the island.
|Sunday, May 21||Finish Racing|
The time limit elapses in the morning. We would expect to finish late Saturday night but it all depends on wind. We'll enjoy a huge pancake breakfast party and awards ceremony before cruising up to Silva Bay, Gabriola Island.
|Monday, May 22||Home!|
We set off from Silva Bay and make our way back across the Salish Sea to West Vancouver.
Contact us for any questions on the schedule.
The 2016 Edition...
This course is open to ages 16 and up.
Maximum of 5 spots available.
20% for ages 16-25. 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 for 3 nights are all included. Registration includes most food and beverages for the duration of the race, from lunch the first day to lunch the last day. There is a dinner during the Friday night pre-race party that crew must purchase direct from the race organizers. 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 could still 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.