The 2014 Round Bowen Island Race on June 14, 2014 proved to be one of the most exciting race for the annual event. Firstly, there is only one start line. With over 120 sailboats registered for the race, it is one of the largest single start yacht race event in the west coast. Secondly, the winds forecast changed overnight from light winds to moderate at 15 to 20 knots which is almost certain to guarantee some action and drama. A few boats were not prepared for the strong wind conditions.
The Round Bowen Island Yacht race is a circumnavigation of Bowen Island. The race started at 10 am and ended at 5:00 pm. It was meant to be a fun race, although there were many serious yacht racers. Il Moro, an ex-America’s Cup boat was fun to watch in the race, and expected to break records once again. Last year, it broke records finishing the race in 2 hours and 13 minutes.
There was not a dull moment as boats pass one another in quick succession particularly at the start line. As the boats approach the north end, it was fun to watch the colorful spinnakers popping in and out. The scenery was just beautiful inspite of the dark clouds overhead.
Yachts participate in the race for several reasons. Many of the boats joined just for the fun. Crew were made up of family members, company colleagues or just friends.
ZappIR team aboard a Hanse 374 sailboat named Tangleberry, consisted of members from a Vancouver software developer of an Android universal remote app. In an interview with the crew members:
“Two of our crew had never been on a sailboat race but then this race is meant to be a fun collaborative exercise. Our goal is to finish the race, and to beat Delicate Balance, an X one-ton sailboat with their crew from North Vancouver Norwes Signs who specialize in signage for supermarkets.”
Indeed, the amateur ZappIR crew braved rain and winds, and finished the race in 3 hours and 15 minutes. With a PHRF rating of 127, it beat Delicate Balance, a 40 ft X-one ton racing sailboat which has a PHRF rating of 62.
ZappIR programming team were the skipper and first mate for the race.
There was a big moment of celebration when the crew rounded the orange buoy which was the marker for the finish line.