Sailors ready to thrash it out

Thrash is expected to draw more than 50 boats and more than 300 participants

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s 35th annual Thrash Regatta heads to the starting line in the waters off Cattle Point this Saturday, with distance racing and buoy racing through Sunday, April 13.

Expected fleets include the Melges 24 and Martin 242 One Design Classes as well as four Performance Handicap Racing Fleet Divisions.

Thrash is expected to draw more than 50 boats and more than 300 participants, not including the 30 volunteers involved in making the event happen.

Thrash is the first buoy racing regatta of the season, and provides an opportunity for crews from Esquimalt to Sidney, and as far away as Nanaimo, to thank heaven racing and spring are here, said David Motherwell, Thrash Regatta chair.

Among the competitors is longtime Victoria resident David Richardson, not only winner of the 2013 Thrash, but someone who has taken part in almost all 35 races. The only one he missed was the year he was working for Canada 2, when they used Victoria as a training base in their lead up to the America’s Cup in Fremantle Australia in 1987.

Richardson was the overall winner in 2013 with Fetish – his venerable Hotfoot 27 – in around the buoys with a near perfect record of five wins in six races. Over the past 12 years, he has placed first in his division five times and finished no worse that third.

2013 was the second time that Richardson won the Ole Olson Trophy, awarded to the boat with the best overall results.

Racing both days starts at 9:50 a.m. for the distance fleets, and the buoy racing fleets at 10 a.m.