To kick off the opening of the 2020 boating season, the town of Ilwaco, on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula, has been chosen as the site of this year’s Pacific Northwest Offshore International Yacht Race. The multi-day race will start in Ilwaco at 11:00 a.m. on May 7 and finish in Victoria, B.C., on May 10.
The race centers around the week-long Pacific Northwest Sailing Days event (May 2-8), which will include the U.S. Coast Guard’s “Blessing of the Fleet” festivities (May 2), charter boat rides, small-town parades, a kick-off party and auction, a public market, and a photo contest.
As early as May 2, sailing yachts participating in the race will begin arriving at the Ilwaco marina, where the public will have an opportunity to view the moored boats. Entrants for the race, a qualifier for the Pacific Cup and the Vic-Maui International Yacht Race, currently include J/105s, such as Escape Artist, Abstract and Free Bowl of Soup, as well as Aja, Red Sheilla, True Love, Margaret and Velocity. Also, Rage, a Wylie 70 built by race sponsor, Schooner Creek Boat Works, has been entered.
Charter boats will offer ticketed passengers a passage to view the start of the yacht race up close. Land-based platforms to watch the race include several spots, including the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, North Jetty, Benson Beach, the North Head Lighthouse lookout, Bell’s View lookout, and a scenic overlook off the Highway 103 loop.
The Corinthian Yacht Club of Portland founded the 193-mile yacht race 45 years ago. The Port of Ilwaco is a historic fishing port with an 800-slip marina, boutique hotels, restaurants, pubs, a bakery, canneries, art galleries, shops and a seasonal Saturday Market.