Racing catamarans off Comox pier will be a spectator event this weekend. Dean Stoltz reports.
Comox Bay is a bit of a hidden gem for local sailors. And Friday as the temperatures heated up and the thermal winds kicked in, performance catamarans out on the water gave a hint of what they’ll be doing this weekend.
“We’ve got flat water and and great conditions on the inside and you go around the corner and we’ve got world class conditions,” Stuart Robinson of Compass Adventure said. “The thermal wind is kicking in so we’ll get some wind in the bay no matter what the forecast is when it’s hot and that’s why this is such a great place to sail.”
Compass Adventure has been teaching young people how to sail for the last 20 years, but this weekend they’ll be hosting the first ever Sail Fest, a spectator sailing event right off the Comox pier.
“Some amazing sailing athletes and racing boats going, depending on the wind up to 60km/hour right in front of you so if you’ve never seen sailing before this will be nothing like you’ve ever expected,” Robinson said.
The performance catamarans will race around a short square 600-metre course.
“They’ll be doing multiple laps in multiple races so the action won’t stop.” added Robinson.
“The sailing here is quite good, there’s some tricky conditions, the wind is shifty and current is a big factor here and you definitely have to be aware so I personally like the sailing venue which is why I’m here.” Alexa Edgar, a sailing teacher at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club said.
Many of the Compass Adventure students will be racing as well.
“This is a big deal, I’m super excited to let Comox see what kind of racing we’ve got going on here,” Will Thompson said. “We’ve got a good forecast, good wind, so it should be great to have lots of people out here.”
“It’s going to be intense, if it’s windy it’ll be pretty fun.” Amy Ball said.
Organizers are hoping enough excitement is generated this weekend that this will become and annual event and generate tourism in the future.
“Definitely promoting #sailcomoxbc because we think this is one of the greatest places anywhere to sail.” Robinson said.
The racing takes place between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.