WESTERLY WINS 2023 PATOS ISLAND RACE

Congratulations to Stuart and Joy Dahlgren, who sailed their Santa Cruz 70 WESTERLY to first in Division 1 and first overall for the 67-mile Long Course in the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race held this past weekend at Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club in the Pacific Northwest. 

The WESTERLY crew accepting their awards for first in Division 1 and first overall in the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race.
The WESTERLY crew accepting their awards for first in Division 1 and first overall in the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race.
WESTERLY flying an A2 after rounding the Beaumont Shoals mark of the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race.
WESTERLY flying an A2 after rounding the Beaumont Shoals mark of the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race. Photo by Andrew Madding.

Stuart and Joy are the owners of UK Sailmakers Northwest loft in Sidney, BC. Their success was even sweeter due to several other notable performances by their customers including Clay Mills, who finished first in Division 4 of the Long Course, and ranked in third place overall with his Hotfoot 27, JAGUAR. The husband-and-wife team of Justin and Chris Wolfe sailed their J/111 RAKU to third in the Long Course doublehanded division.

The 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race will certainly be remembered as a game of choices, with strong tidal forces and variable winds around the course, there were many key decisions to be made throughout the 67-mile-long course. Regarding some of those key decisions that led to WESTERLY’s win, Stuart said that there was no singular defining moment, but there were many little choices that added up. Having the right UK Sailmakers sail inventory on board, good crew work and sound tactical decisions all played a part.

Course Map for the Patos Island Race
Course map for the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race.

 “The bigger A2 was nice on the run from Beaumont toward Turn Point as it let us sail a little deeper in the flat water,” said Dahlgren. “The Titanium #1 is proving to be a really good sail, and the lighter weight was certainly nice for conditions we experienced. We changed leads with the TP52 SHADOW II about four or five times before we were able to break away from them at Patos. We tacked toward the lighthouse first in our little group, which got us around the island and then South into the less adverse tide. Once genoa reaching back from Patos, we were able to take advantage of much better conditions from Canoe Rock to the finish than the group behind us, and that locked up the handicap win.”

Westerly Patos 1
Cory Schillaci trimming the spinnaker aboard WESTERLY.
Santa Cruz 72 WESTERLY and TP 52 THE SHADOW II jostle for the lead on an upwind leg of the 2023 Patos Island Race.
WESTERLY and THE SHADOW II jostle for the lead on an upwind leg of the 2023 Blackline Patos Island Race. Photo by Andrew Madding.
Heather Mahady
Heather Mahady

Heather Mahady is the General Manager of UK Sailmakers International. She is based on Vancouver Island in the Pacific Northwest, and is a passionate sailboat racer, sailmaker, and sustainability advocate.

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