Explore: Swiftsure yacht race; festivities on Selkirk waterfront, Cook Street Village

Sailors, sailboats and sailboat lovers can look ahead to a weekend of colourful spinnakers and fun during the 76th Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

Beginning today and continuing Friday, boat lovers are welcome to stroll the docks of the Inner Harbour to peek at some of the sleek racing yachts.

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During the day, volunteer Swiftsure ambassadors will answer questions and maybe even make an introduction to a yacht sailor.

On race day, Saturday at 8 a.m., head to Clover Point for a pancake breakfast served by the Central Saanich Lions. Clover Point and Dallas Road are great viewing spots for anyone looking for sails.

The starting line for the Swiftsure races will be from a red flag on Clover Point out to HMCS Edmonton at anchor in the Strait.

Edmonton’s gun will sound the official start of the races, beginning at 9 a.m. with the Juan de Fuca event. Race starts continue every 10 minutes:

• 9:10 a.m. — Cape Flattery

• 9:20 a.m. — Cape Flattery and Juan de Fuca for multi-hulls

• 9:30 a.m. — Swiftsure Lightship and Hein Bank

• 9:40 a.m. — Inshore Classic, flying sails

• 9:50 a.m. — Inshore Classic, cruisers

Afterwards, weather permitting, RCAF 442 Squadron, the Canadian Coast Guard and members of the volunteer Canadian Marine Search and Rescue will conduct a demonstration over the water.

The finish line is from Ogden Point Breakwater over to the west side of the harbour in Esquimalt.

First finishers are expected to be the speedy multi-hulls, which could arrive before midnight on Saturday.

Mono-hulls are expected to begin arriving in the early hours of Sunday. All racers must be finished by 6 a.m. on Monday, the official close of Swiftsure.

Follow the long-course racers, all of which carry GPS transmitters, at swiftsure.org.

Live music, games and family festivities at Selkirk Waterfront

Eat food from around the world and take in family friendly activities at the Selkirk Waterfront Festival, Sunday at Selkirk Green Park.

Organized by the Burnside-Gorge Community Association, this multicultural family event offers something for everyone, starting with a Family Fun Zone, where members of the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence will be on hand to host games and activities for children.

Live music will be supplied by Daniel Cook and the Radiators, Mufaro Marimba, The Colts and Soul Shakers.

The Songhees Traditional Dancers are also set to perform on the main stage.

Besides the Family Fun Zone, children can enjoy face painting, a visit by the Ignio Circus Company and an appearance by a number of local mascots.

Shop for unique arts and crafts in the colourful street market and enjoy world cuisine in the international food court.

The festival is free to attend and runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Selkirk Green Park, 350 Waterfront Cres. (off Gorge Road East).

The park is close to the Galloping Goose trail for those who want to ride their bikes to the event. More information cacn be found here.

Community events that take the cake  

Two community events celebrate spring this Saturday.

• Take the whole family for a fun-filled day at the Spring Fling at St. George’s Church in Cadboro Bay, which promises games, an inflatable amusement for the little ones, plus activities and crafts.

Bring your pups to show off their tricks in the Dog Show and compete for a treat in the Cupcake Walk.

Green thumbs can shop at a plant sale with lots of vegetable seedlings and perennials.

There will be a book sale in the Lower Hall, along with a table of home baking and preserves.

Organizers will have the barbecue going for those who want a hot dog or smokie with a can of pop. Those looking for something sweet can find doughnuts in the tea and coffee tent.

The Ismaili community will be serving up freshly made samosas with chutney and dahl soup.

The event is free to attend. It runs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at St. George’s Anglican Church, 3909 St. George’s Lane. For more information, go to stgeorgecadborobay.ca.

• The annual Christ Church Cathedral School and Parish Spring Fair is set for Saturday.

The event offers something for all ages, including a bake sale, face painting, dunk tank, inflatable amusement obstacle course, bumper balls, Zorb balls, jousting and children’s games.

Food and a silent auction are also on tap.

The event is free to attend. It runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Christ Church Cathedral School and Parish, 912 Vancouver St. at Rockland Avenue. For more information, go to cathedralschool.ca/news/spring-fair.

Peeks into Island history offered

Learn about some of Victoria’s pioneer families or climb on board a historic working vessel at a pair of open houses on Saturday.

• Volunteers will be on hand to lead visitors on a tour of St. Luke’s Anglican Church cemetery at an open house, cemetery tour and cleanup day on Saturday.

Learn the history of the cemetery and hear stories of some of the interesting people buried there.

The church will be open and visitors can take a self-guided tour.

Stay to help with cleaning, with tea, coffee and light refreshments served.

Drop in anytime from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (the tour starts at 10 a.m.) on Saturday at St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Rd.

For more information, go to stlukesvictoria.ca.

• Climb on board for a tour of a historic working vessel at the MV Uchuck III Open House, Saturday at the Point Hope Maritime shipyard.

The MV Uchuck III, a converted Second Word War minesweeper, regularly plies the waters of Kyuquot Sound, providing passenger and freight service to remote communities along the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Every May, the historic 41.5-metre wood-hulled vessel cruises from Gold River to Victoria’s Inner Harbour for her annual refit.

At the open house, visitors can come aboard and explore the meticulously reconditioned vessel. You can enter the cabin, decks and wheelhouse, including the wood-finished lounge and coffee shop.

Admission is free. The event runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Point Hope Maritime, 345 Harbour Rd. (in the Upper Harbour, just north of the Johnson Street Bridge). For more information, go to pointhopemaritime.com.

Cook Street Village Block Party: Where dogs and humans can gather

A wiener (dog) can also be a winner at the Fastest Dog Competition at the Cook Street Village Block Party, Sunday on Cook Street.

The competition is one of a number of events and activities hosted by more than 150 businesses, artisans and community groups.

There will be food and beverage vendors (including a licensed area) and live music from a main stage all day.

The event is free. It runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Cook Street Village (between Oscar Street and Park Boulevard).

Speaker talks collectibles at Saanich Pioneer Museum

The topic for this month’s Talk n’ Tea at the Saanich Pioneer Museum is Collectibles — Past and Present, with Vic Clive. He will talk about popular collectibles and vintage items, Sunday at the museum.

Clive is co-owner of The Old Attic, a business with a treasure trove of antiques and collectibles in the heart of Saanichton.

He will give a Power Point presentation and bring along some antiques to show. It should be an interesting presentation on history — as seen through items that have been passed down through the generations. He will also talk about the next generation of collectibles and their potential value.

Refreshments will be provided following the presentation.

Admission is $5 members, $7.50 non-members. The event starts at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Log Cabin Museum, 7910 Polo Park Cres., Saanichton (in the park behind Thrifty Foods). Access ramp at the front. For more information, go to saanichpioneersociety.com.

CRD guided hike at North Saanich park

Find out more about the wildflowers at your feet and birds over your head at Horth Hill Highlights, a guided hike program offered by CRD Parks, Saturday at the Horth Hill Regional Park in North Saanich.

This 36-hectare regional park, established in 1966, boasts an ecosystem rich in native plants and mushrooms, with a charming display for nature lovers.

Several trails, categorized as moderate, snake through the park, including one with a vigorous climb through varied forest communities for a panoramic view of the Saanich Peninsula, Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands.

On Saturday, join a CRD Parks naturalist for a hike along the summit trail to the 136-metre hilltop.

The program is free to join. It runs 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday from the kiosk off Tatlow Road at Horth Hill Regional Park in North Saanich. Wear sturdy footwear. The hike is recommended for children eight years and older.

Try to arrive 10 minutes before the start of the program. Please leave pets at home. For more information, go to crd.bc.ca/parks.

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