Racers are preparing for the Van Isle 360 yacht race in June.

New race sets pace for Van Isle 360

The first-ever GIN regatta will fire up during this year’s 10th Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race.

The first-ever GIN regatta will fire up during this year’s 10th Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race.

Vancouver Island’s marathon yachting race will mark its 10th edition with a record number of competitors and the inaugural Gulf Islands Nanaimo (GIN) Regatta, set to sail this June.

Van Isle 360 happens once every two years and has become “the race” to sail in on the west coast of North America, says owner Jeffrey Motley, who’ll see boats as far as California and New Mexico at this year’s event, including one once owned by American’s Cup competitor Dennis Conner.

The race got its start in 1999 with the Ambassador’s Edition, with 14 yachts looping the Island. Between June 6-20, there will be a record 52 boats and around 500 sailors participating in the 10-leg contest which starts and ends in Nanaimo.

Racers will make stops on the Island along the way spanning French Creek to Port Hardy, Ucluelet and Victoria.

“The race is just one of those amazing events that it’s on the bucket list of everybody,” said Motley, who attributes the success to host communities and volunteers.

The event kicks off in the Harbour City with an anticipated 1,000 people and a Salvation Army pancake breakfast at the M.E. Mills Landing pier. The public can see the racers off and follow their journey on Van Isle 360’s online race tracker (http://goo.gl/HnMZ9D).

It’s an “exceptionally challenging” competition, says Motley, who sees it test the preparation of boats and crew communications and relations. Racers go from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. day after day. “It’s a real marathon of competition,” he said, adding sailors also face currents along the inside passage and it’s not uncommon to have gale-force winds on the outside.

New to the event this year is the participation of the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, which will host sailors and launch the regatta for the first time this year.

More than 200 sailors are expected to make the dash from Victoria to Nanaimo in the inaugural GIN Regatta June 19-20.

GIN will happen every year, alternating as part of Van Isle 360.

Tamara Cunningham is the city affairs and health reporter at the Nanaimo News Bulletin,

Just Posted

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Cherry Creek firefighters mourn former deputy chief

Brian Brick is the second Alberni Valley firefighter to die of work-related cancer in January

Port Alberni to consider the future of McLean Mill

City council will be holding a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 21

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Most Read