Summer sails begin
Racing begins Monday for Race the Cape, back for another year.
Cape Breton Island’s premier sailing competition is heading “down north.”
For the first time, the annual Race the Cape event will include a stop in Ingonish.
The five- leg race, that will about 40 official entrants and dozens of others who are sailing just for fun, kicks off Monday in St. Peter’s with the first leg of the race that will see competitors make their way across the southern portion of the Bras d’Or Lake and finish up in Ben Eoin.
Boats have been descending on the island for the past few days.
Skipper Mark Daggett has been solo sailing “Shine,” a 28foot fractional sloop, down to the start line from his home marina in Shediac, N. B.
“It’s like a flotilla out here, “said Daggett, who, on Friday, made a brief stop in Port Hawkesbury to pick up some supplies.
Like most others who have sailed the waters of Cape Breton, Daggett said that while the beauty and serenity are attractions, there are other compelling reasons to take part.
“The event is probably one of the best organized professional racing events in sail that I have experienced in the north east, so that combined with the people, sights and destinations makes it a must do experience in my book,” said Daggett, who plans to pick up an additional crew member or two once the race begins.
Regatta co- ordinator Jennifer Rowe said there are always skippers looking for crew and crew looking for a boat.
“That’s why we have the crew bank which connects skippers and crew,” said Rowe. “It’s a great feature for the skippers who are always look- ing for some extra bodies at the last minute and this year we have people coming from Florida and Georgia and all over the place – some will crew, some will volunteer.”
Rowe noted that this year’s race route differs from previous years in that it includes an overnight stop in Ingonish. She said last year’s finishing line ( St. Peter’s) is this year’s starting line.
The event kicks off on Sunday when the boats gather in St. Peter’s for a sail past the community’s waterfront before the evening’s opening ceremonies.
The five- leg race officially begins on Monday with the St. Peter’s to Ben Eoin leg and concludes next Saturday in Sydney.
The week of sailing also includes an off- day in Baddeck and plenty of social activities along the way.
For more information on the event go to www.racethecape. ca.
Boats make their way to the start point of the second leg of the 2014 Race the Cape at the Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney. This year’s competition kicks off Sunday in St. Peter’s and finishes up in Sydney next Saturday.