A group of teenage Sea Scouts from Port Angeles, Washington, is coming to Victoria this weekend to compete in Swiftsure’s Cape Flattery race in what will be a personal test as well as a rigorous contest with other boats.
“The Sea Scouts are going to be in charge of running the vessel in regards to logistics, tactics, sail management and general navigation of the entire race,” said group leader Jared Minard.
Racing will test them mentally and physically, he said.
“They are going to be tired. They are going to have to do about 100 sail changes. They are going to have to perform in the middle of the night. They are going to probably deal with a lot of different personalities in different states of attentiveness, whether they are cold or they’re hot, they’re tired, they’re hungry.
“They are going to have to succeed in getting the boat across the finish line.”
Sea Scouts is a boating program that is part of the Boy Scouts of America for young women and men aged 14 to 20.
The team is taking the 36-foot-long sloop Knight N Gale into the race; it’s owned by the Sea Scouts Ship Marvin Shields.
Five teens are taking part in the race and there will be three adults on board, Minard said. Other scouts will sail the sloop to Victoria and return it home after the race. The teens have been training for the competition.
They have all taken part in sailing programs while in high school but the Cape Flattery race is at another level, he said.
“This is probably the largest, most significant race the high school sailors have been in and the biggest keel-boat race they have ever participated in,” he said.
The teens have gone out on night sails lasting several hours, giving them the opportunity to experience being on a watch schedule, navigating in the night with limited visibility, Minard said.
Man-overboard drills under sail are also on their schedule.
Despite the challenges, Minard said the scouts are very excited. “I think about halfway through the race they might even regret their decision to be excited about it. When they finish the race, I really think they are going to be real proud of themselves.”
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