We certainly understand and respect the decision — but like the organizers, we’re disappointed that the 2021 Swiftsure International Yacht Race has been canceled.

The Swiftsure International Yacht Race is circled on most everyone’s racing calendar each year. It’s a Salish Sea Classic if ever there was one, an absolute must-do event, and it has been for more than 75 runnings. Anybody who has sailed westward past Race Rocks on Memorial Day Weekend (or better yet, hauled a$% under spinnaker back by them a day later) knows that it’s a one-of-a-kind racing experience.

The race’s tagline of “Always a Challenge” certainly rings true; and due to Covid-19, there have been challenges aplenty in 2020. Well, those challenges are spilling over into 2021 with the cancellation of next year’s Swiftsure. With a still-closed border and the prospect of once again losing (to an eleventh hour cancellation) the immense investment of time, effort, and funds required to put the race together —  the race organizers’ decision to cancel the 2021 Swiftsure race, while a bit of a surprise at this date, isn’t unbelievable. Whether you’re a racer or a fan, an organizer or a volunteer: Stay strong. Stay positive. Neither Race Rocks nor the afternoon westerlies (nor the vast community of sailors who love this race) are going anywhere. Here’s to hoping Swiftsure 2022 will be one for the record books!

A message from Swiftsure organizers:

On behalf of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race organizing committee, and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, we are very disappointed to advise Swiftsure 2021 has been canceled due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic. As you are aware, it takes a huge effort to put on an event of this size, and giving everyone as much notice is a huge concern.

Your ongoing support of the Swiftsure Yacht Race is incredibly valuable to the success of this event. Being able to keep this large regatta thriving for over 90 years is a testament to the valuable support from our sponsors, community partners, supporters, volunteers, sailing community, as well as the amazing community of Victoria.

As we have continued to adapt to changes over the years, we will continue to look at new ways to weather this storm. We are looking forward to an amazing Swiftsure 2022!

Thank you again for your ongoing support and we look forward to working with you again in the future.

Photo courtesy of Jan Anderson