VI360 2015 – For the Kids!!!

That is big kids and little kids alike!

As your Commodore, I’m proud and very happy to mention that this was a tremendous weekend both on and off the water for the Comox Bay Sailing Club!

Not only were we the host Club for the 10th running of the Van Isle 360, but we also put on a coach training course for a number of youth from Comox and surrounding areas – more on that in another report!

The Nanaimo to Comox leg of the Van Isle 360 finished just south of Denman Island and most of the fleet arrived in Comox after motoring up Baynes Sound between 6pm and 11pm on Saturday evening.

On Sunday CBSC ran an in port race for about 40 competitors, which took the boats around buoys set between Goose Spit and Denman Island.  The race saw 6 to 10 knots of breeze that died off during early afternoon.  Boats motoring through the finish line at the end of the day were enthusiastically greeted by horns from the race committee! There were also a number of spectator boats on the water taking in and enjoying all the action!

CBSC members Matt Sanderson, Sarah Clark and Theo Truax were fortunate to get in on the action front and centre by sailing on Neptune’s Car – a 70′ Santa Cruz out of Seattle.  I can only imagine what that must have been like – due to the sheer size of this boat she will always be one of the first to finish each leg of the race!  Six kids from Compass Adventures were also fortunate enough to hitch a ride on Dragonfly, a Formula 40 catamaran which is the fastest boat in the competition.  I’m sure this will be a day they will never forget!

If that isn’t enough CBSC junior race team members Nate Bell and Chris Volkers were asked to sail on Jam – a J160 from Washington State.  Their sailing talents were not only requested for the race to Campbell River but also on subsequent legs to Hardwicke Island Fish Farm, Telegraph Cove and finally Port Hardy at the north end of the island.  Club members Jon Lihou will race from Comox to Campbell River on Lexi Belle  – a Tripp 40 out of Victoria, James Volkers will sail the entire race on Occam’s Razor – a  Farr ILC 40 out of West Vancouver and Tom Gornall will sail the entire race on Anduril – a Farr 395 from Vancouver.  CBSC members Dave Shaw and John North will also get in on the action on Northern Lights – a Nordic 44 based out of Campbell River.  Best of luck to our fellow CBSC members and way to represent our Club!  The forecast for Johnstone Strait next week holds lot’s of wind so they will all be in for one heck of a ride – I’m turning green with envy!!!

The on shore activities started with a welcome for the fleet by Chief Rob Everson of the K’omoks First Nation that included wonderful singing with drums and dancing.  The fun awards ceremony for the in port race sponsored by Strait Marine was next and then followed by the more serious awards for the first leg of the VI360 from Nanaimo to Comox. Local musician and talent Luke Blu Guthrie provided entertainment for the remainder of the evening.  The awards ceremony also consisted of a beer garden organized by Rotary Strathcona and 40 Knots Winery – a special thanks to these two groups for helping everyone get more into the spirit of the event!  Needless to say a great time was had by all! City TV ran a nice piece that includes great video footage of the boats arriving in Campbell River – sailing with lot’s of current!

A big thanks to Alan Gornall for offering his boat for on water for race management and to Don Gillingham and Nick Ward for helping out with setting the marks.

The Comox event was resounding success for our Club – rather suiting for out 50th Anniversary – and we look forward to doing it all again in 2017!

Earle Couper provides even more depth of coverage in his Comox Valley Record article.

Check out Van Isle 360 web page for all the updates and even better, keep track of the fleet, and our boys, on the VI360 Race Tracker.

Nick Ward managed to take some great shots which can be found on his Facebook page.

Check out the great photos by my mom, Valerie Walther, below.

Andy Walther