Southern Straits is one of the first distance races of the year in Vancouver.  On Easter weekend, sailors come from all over the Pacific Northwest to compete in this classic race across the Salish Sea.  Now in its 49th year, Southern Straits typically attracts over 100 boats and more than 800 sailors... it is a major event on the racing calendar every year! 

The start line off Dundarave Pier in West Vancouver is bustling with spectators and media, we brush shoulders with the top sailors and coolest boats in the region, and Straits offers up an action-packed event.  The starting gun fires and we're off! 

Not for navigational purposes!!

The Course

In 2017 we'll be racing in the Long Course as a qualifier for the VanIsle 360 in June.  This is a challenging course and as the name suggests, we'll cover a lot of ground! Roughly 138 nautical miles, to be exact.  It's expected that we'll be sailing from somewhere between 24 and 48 hours, but with reasonable conditions we should be able to finish in under 36 hours.

This is one of the very few local events that 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.

2017 Preliminary Schedule

Thursday, April 13 Pre-Race Party!
Dinner, Skipper's Briefing & 'Captain's Keg' provided at West Vancouver Yacht Club
Friday, April 14Start Racing!
The starting gun is at 10:25am for spectators at Dundarave Pier.
Saturday, April 15Still Racing.
Most likely to finish at some point in the afternoon, but entirely depends on conditions.
Sunday, April 16Still Racing??
Technically possible (but very unlikely) to still be racing until the time limit of 0030 hours.


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

Contact us to discuss if you're unsure about your experience level.


Register Now

This course is open to ages 16 and up.
Maximum of 7 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 and accommodation on board overnight during the race are all included.  Registration includes all food and beverages for the duration of the race, from lunch the first day to whenever we get back to the dock at the end of the race.  Please make sure you eat a good breakfast at home on the morning of the start!  Check this section of our FAQs for what else is included and not included.

Note that the Pre-Race Party dinner is an optional extra.  Information on how to buy tickets for the dinner will be sent out to participants ahead of time.  

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 and we will be racing for at least 24 hours 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.