Close to 40 boats embarked Saturday, seeking top spot in the Van Isle 360 international yacht race.
The biennial race will see competitors on a 14-day journey sailing in the waters off Vancouver Island, on a route that will take them to Comox, Campbell River, Hardwicke Island, Telegraph Cove, Port Hardy, Winter Harbour, Ucluelet, Victoria and back to Nanaimo.
“We had 37 boats taking part,” said Jeff Motley, Van Isle 360 co-organizer. “We had two separate, simultaneous starts … one started here in [Nanaimo harbour] and one started outside the harbour, just off of Newcastle Island. [Saturday’s] leg will take them up to Comox, it’s just over 35 nautical miles. They’ll be finishing off of Chrome Island and once they finish there, they’ll be heading to Comox for the night.”
According to a press release, scheduled start times during the race are: Comox, June 2, 9 a.m.; Deepwater Bay, June 3, 8 a.m.; Hardwicke Island, June 4, 9 a.m.; Telegraph Cove, June 5, 7:30 a.m.; Port Hardy, June 7, 9 a.m.; Winter Harbour, June 9, 9 a.m.; Ucluelet, June 12, 10 a.m.; Victoria, June 14, 10 a.m.
The Van Isle 360 is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
To see a race tracker, see the Van Isle 360 website.