By sea and by land
‘ We want them to have a good time and so far everyone seems to be having a great time’
Many of the sailors taking part in this year’s Race the Cape are trading in their sea legs for the comfort of a chauffeured drive around the Cabot Trail.
After completing two of the five legs of the 2015 edition of the international sailing race, competitors were given today off to take a break from sailing and experience Cape Breton by land.
Regatta co-ordinator Jen Rowe said volunteers will be standing by today to take race participants around the Cabot Trail in a fleet of donated vehicles.
“We have great sponsors and an incredible group of volunteers, who often drive people around at other big events, and they’ve offered to drive our visitors around for the day,” said Rowe.
“We want them to have an opportunity to see all of Cape Breton — both by land and by sea.”
Rowe said that while many of those taking part in the race signed up for the Trail drive, a few others could not resist the lure of one of the island’s many golf courses.
“We want them to have a good time and so far everyone seems to be having a great time — that’s what Race the Cape is all about,” she said.
The race kicked off Monday when the regatta departed St. Peter’s bound for Ben Eoin in the MacLeod Lorway Insurance Group Red Islands Cup race. However, Mother Nature intervened and the finish line had be changed as a lack of wind saw the flotilla not making as much forward progress as expected.
Rowe said the winds were more favourable for Tuesday’s leg that saw the boats race the 30 nautical miles from Ben Eoin to Baddeck in the Barra Strait Cup race.
And, with Cape Breton expected to catch some of the wind and rain of tropical storm Claudette early this morning, Rowe conceded that the day off the water turned out to be wellplanned.
The race resumes on Thursday with the North Sails-Yacht Shop Great Bras d’Or Cup. The third leg is the longest at 40 nautical miles and starts at Baddeck and finishes at the historic Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney.
Friday’s fourth leg is for the Aspy Cup and goes from North Sydney to Ingonish, while Saturday’s fifth and final leg is for the Cibou Cup. Competitors will make their back from Ingonish before finishing up at the Dobson Yacht Club in Westmount, directly across the harbour from downtown Sydney.
More than 40 boats are competing in the race, while many more are in what event officials are calling the “cruising class.” Those participants are not interested in racing and are taking part for the enjoyment of sailing around Cape Breton and being part of the regatta.
For more information go to www.racethecape.ca.
With the wind pushing their sails, boats raced across the Bras d’Or Lake from Ben Eoin to Baddeck in the second leg of Race the Cape 2015 on Tuesday. The week-long international sailing regatta continues Thursday when the boats will make their way to North Sydney.