A small pleasure craft departs Beaver Cove as participants in the Telus Van Isle 360 International sailboat race queue for the start of Leg 6 last week.

A small pleasure craft departs Beaver Cove as participants in the Telus Van Isle 360 International sailboat race queue for the start of Leg 6 last week.

Van Isle 360 racers visit North Island

Bi-annual sailboat race around Vancouver Island takes boats through local communities

A lack of wind and unexpected marine traffic slowed but could not keep competitors in the Telus Van Isle 360 International boat race from their bi-annual visits to North Island communities.

The race around Vancouver Island, which began in Nanaimo June 4 and continues through Saturday, wrapped up Leg 5 last Wednesday in Telegraph Cove.

The following day’s leg from Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy was abandonded due to lack of wind. Several boats took more than an hour just to cross the starting line in Beaver Cove, and some had to cross the starting line multiple times after being pushed back into the cove by the current.

On Friday, the Leg 7 start in Port Hardy Bay was delayed for 10 minutes when a tug and log boom unexpectedly entered the bay across the sailboats’ path.

On Friday night, the crews disembarked at Winter Harbour, where they were treated to a chicken barbecue by the community’s 20 residents.

The race resumed with the boats sailing from Winter Harbour to Ucluelet on their way around the southern tip of the island.