NStYA Strait Challenge

July 27-31, 2015

The NStYA Strait Challenge is five days of challenging point-to-point sail racing, in the warm waters of the Northumberland Strait. The Challenge is broken into four legs, the average distance will be about 35 nautical miles. The Challenge will begin in the New Brunswick port of Shediac, boats will then head to Prince Edward Island, with stopovers in Summerside and Charlottetown. The fleet will have a layover day in Charlottetown, the Birth Place of Confederation. The final 2 legs will have boats heading to Nova Scotia, first stop is Barrachois Harbour, and the final leg will finish in Pictou. What makes the NStYA Challenge unique is the fleet will be visiting 3 Atlantic Provinces, seeing many historical provincial landmarks and community along the way.

The event is a NStYA Category A race series and will be sailed during daylight hours.  There are Spinnaker and Non-Spinnaker Divisions, as well as including a cruising rally for boats who want to participate in the Challenge but do so at more relaxed pace.

The Northumberland Strait is the stretch of water lying between the three Canadian Maritime Provinces. Prince Edward Island on the north, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are to the south. The Strait is approximately 120 miles long and it varies from 9 to 40 miles in width, and has a maximum depth of approximately 27+ meters (80 ft). Two high and two low tides occur daily, the maximum range is approximately 3+ metres and the average 2+ metres (6 feet). At it's narrowest point the Abegweit Passage, which is also the location of the Confederation Bridge, these tides can sometimes result in currents of more than 4 kts. Prevailing winds are from the Southwest and fog is very rare on the Northumberland Strait.

The NStYA Strait Challenge

Leg One:

The 2015 NStYA Challenge will begin with one of the longest running NStYA races, the Shediac to Summerside Race. It is approximately 30 nautical miles overall, starting in the morning of Monday, July 27th, 2015 in Shediac. The start will take place at the Point du Chene Yacht Club in Shediac Bay which is located at the Point du Chene wharf. The fleet will leave Shediac Bay and start heading for Summerside. The fleet will make strategic decisions as soon as the round the Shediac Bay Fairway bouy, either cross the Strait and head for the “Red Shores” of the Island or stick to the New Brunswick coast, playing the tides along Parlee Beach the New Brunswicks Acadian coastal communities. The fleet will have seasonal winds that will provide plenty of great sailing conditions. Once the fleet reaches Bedeque Bay they will see Seacow Head Lighthouse located on a high red cliff. Rounding the Fairway Bouy, the fleet will follow the harbor markers into Summerside Harbour, and finish off Summerside Yacht Club.

The restaurant at the Summerside Yacht Club will be open after the race where the results will be announced, and will be open for breakfast prior to Leg Two.

Leg Two:

The Summerside to Charlottetown Race is new to the NStYA Category A Race Series although this route is traditionally part of the Annual Shediac to Charlottetown Race. This leg will be approximately 45 nautical miles and will be the longest leg of the Challenge. Starting on Tuesday morning July 28th, off the Summerside Yacht Club, the fleet will head east toward Charlottetown. This leg will feature many challenges for the fleet. As the boats head east along the Island shores, they will need to pay close attention to the tide as they pass through the Straits narrowest point the Abegweit Passage. The Confederation Bridge is also located here, giving competitors providing another unique situation, passing under the massive 14 km long bridge. There are some significant reefs and shoals which will keep the fleet paying close attention to their GPS, charts, plotters and depth sounders. As they enter Hillsborough Bay, keeping St. Peters Island to Port, the fleet will start heading for Block House and the entrance to Charlottetown Harbour, where the strong tidal current will keep the fleet on their toes until they reach the finish line off Charlottetown Yacht Club.

After the race enjoy happy hour at Captain Jack's Bar and Grill upstairs above the Charlottetown Yacht Club Charlottetown Yacht Club. Awards and music to follow.

Lay Over Day:

The fleet will enjoy a layover day in Charlottetown, the “Birth Place of Confederation”. The Charlottetown Yacht Club will play host to the fleet, there are many tourist attraction, historical building and restaurants within walking distance of the Yacht Club. Charlottetown Yacht Club also has Wednesday Night Racing, the fleet will be welcome to join into the clubs weekly series for some great completion with the CYC race fleet.

Leg Three:

Thursday morning, Captain Jack's at the CYC will be open at 0700 for breakfast before the Skipper's Meeting for Leg Three.

The Charlottetown to Barrachois Race is a 30 nautical mile sprint across the Strait. Starting in the morning of Thursday July 30th, the fleet will leave Charlottetown Harbour and into the Hillborough Bay, heading South towards the coast of Nova Scotia. As they approach Amet Island and make their way into Amet Sound, the finish line will be in Tatamagouche Bay. The Barrachois Yacht Club will host the fleet. Sailing Instructions for Barrachois Harbour Yacht Club and Sunrise Marina are here.

After the race, the Gazebo will have BBQ's for use, and the sunrise marina will have ice and fuel available for sale.

Leg Four:

The Barrachois to Pictou race is about 35 nautical miles and will be the final leg for the fleet. Leaving Barrachois in the morning of Firday July 31st, the fleet will head out of Amet Sound and down the Northumberland coast towards Gull Rock. This trip down the Pictou County shore line will provide the fleet with some great scenery and the challenging tide. Gull Rock Buoy is one of the last turning marks as the fleet heads for Pictou Harbour. Competitors will be on watch for the Northumberland Strait Ferry which makes daily crossing between Caribou and Wood Island. Continuing toward Pictou the fleet will follow the navigational buoys at the month of the Harbour and then head to the finish line located off Pictou Yacht Club.

Pictou Yacht Club will be the finish of the NStYA Strait Challenge

Friday Evening, July 31st, PYC will be hosting the final awards for the 4th Leg and the overall NStYA Strait Challenge at the PYC club house located at the Pictou Marina.

Awards for Leg 4 - Barrachois to Pictou:
1st Overall Leg 4
1st Class A,B,C,D
2nd Class A,B,C,D
3rd Class A,B,C,D
NStYA Flags and sponsor prizes

Awards for the NStYA Strait Challenge:
1st Overall
1st Class A,B,C,D

PYC will have a BBQ on for the evening and the bar will be open with a Happy Hour. Arrangements will be made for transportation to and from the club for boats who are berthed at the Hector Marina.

PYC will present the 4th leg Barrachois to Pictou awards and the overall NStYA Strait Challenge awards.

On Saturday morning there will be coffee and baked goods available at the club. The town of Pictou has some great little diners, Sharon’s Place is a 5 min walk for the Hector Marina, Carver’s is also within walking distance.

The Hector Marina is located in the downtown area of Pictou. For berthing information please contact Jamie Davidson 902 771-6960 or Dave Ferguson 902 771-2557

The Marina office number is 902-485-6960 and the website is www.townofpictou.ca/community-guide/sports-and-recreation/marina/

The Pictou Marina where the Pictou Yacht Club is located is a private marina with no visitor berths. There are some boats away during the week so there may be some berths available.