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Sailing against Q Class, 8 meters and other faster boats, Lady Van sailed well in conditions suited to her. A third place podium finish (and a nice crystal vase) was a nice finish to the Mediterranean adventure. Lady Van will arrive home on November 27.

Click Here for the Full Story and Photos

After outings in Imperia, Nice, and Cannes, Lady Van arrived in St. Tropez on Sep 30. The world famous Les Voiles de St. Tropez will see Lady Van compete on the same waters as J boats “Shamrock V” and “Valsheda”, a number of classic 12-metres, the uber-modern Wally Centuro fleet, and a host of classic boats from the massive “Cambria” (with the world’s largest wooden mast), to the diminutive Solent Sunbeam “Dainty”; as well as a huge fleet of ultramodern sportboats.



Last night, Don Martin, Director of the Society, leader and guiding light of the Lady Van restoration and program, Past Commodore of RVYC, ISAF international juror and measurer, designer of the ubiquitous Martin 242, and all around sailing guru was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame at their gala banquet.


The SS Violet arrived in Genoa and discharged its cargo consisting of Lady Van and Aloha. The containers were then trucked to Imperia, Italy for unloading and preparation for the first regatta which starts on September 5 for festivities and Sep 6 for racing.

For information on the regatta and daily results, please check the website of the Vele D’Epoca Di Imperia

July 10, 2012 – Lady Van Loaded into Container

After a refinishing project at Strait Marine, Lady Van was loaded into a hi-cube container (overheight with a pop-off lid) and readied for her trip to Europe.

Lady Van’s fit into the container was very close, the sides of the container had to be eased apart in order to fit through the roof. Even then it is a tight fit with about 1 inch remaining on each side, 5 inches on length and about 2 inches on height.

Now on her way to Deltaport, then onto Genoa, ITA and then by truck to Imperia for the first regatta after Labour Day.

Stay tuned to news and photos on the events in Europe at European Competition 2012

October 30, 2011 – Lady Van Wins the Alexandra Cup

Lady Van has again successfully defended the Alexandra Cup on behalf of Canada and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club beating Ace, the representative of the United States and St. Francis Yacht Club. But the end was anti-climatic as Day 3 of the 2011 Alexandra Cup suffered from being between weather systems; there was no wind all day and therefore no races. Day 1 saw strong winds and Ace with a distinct advantage winning 2 races to 1. Day 2 was more typical English Bay weather with light winds making it difficult to get races off and Lady Van showing better light air speed and winning the 2 races which were held. The Standings after Day 2 were the Final Standings – Lady Van had won 3 races and ended with 5 points to Ace’s 2.

Buffed and Ready for Racing

Lady Van is well along with her preparations with a number of practice sessions out on the water. Don Martin will the team consisting of Steve White, Barry Van Leeuwen, Andrew Costa and Rich Ballantyne.

Oct 16/10 – Lady Van Wins the Alexandra Cup

Lady Van won the Alexandra Cup today by taking Races 5 and 6 over Pirate and building an insurmountable lead in points. After a one hour delay in starting due to lack of wind, Races got underway in about 9 kts of breeze. Lady Van lead from start to finish in both races and won the event in convincing fashion and successfully defending the Alexandra Cup on behalf of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.

Oct 15/10 – Lady Van Takes Commanding Lead after Day 2 of Alexandra Cup Finals

Day 1 of the Alexandra Cup Finals saw the Postponement flag fly all day in a drizzle as the crews of Pirate and Lady Van and a fleet of officials and spectators looked in vain at the flags for a sign of wind .

Day 2 saw clear, sunny skies and the promise of westerly winds. While they did not fill in as much as hoped, the Race Committee managed to hold 4 races with winds varying from 4 to 10 kts. Don Martin and crew used the warm up provided by the Selection Series to good use by finding ways to point the Lady Van higher into the wind. This advantage provided to be Pirate’s undoing as Lady Van managed to keep Pirate in her lee most of the day. Lady Van won all 4 races and takes a commanding 5 point lead into Day 3. Day 3 will see the first two races worth 2 points each, with the 3rd (and potentially 4th) race worth 3 points. With a potential of 10 points on the line, the Lady Van crew cannot allow their attention to wane.

Click here for Updates on Racing

Click here for Photos of Racing

October 10, 2010 Lady Van Wins the Jack Cribb Memorial Trophy and Right to Defend the Alexandra Cup

Under unexpectedly glorious sunny skies, Lady Van won the fourth race of the Selection Series over Aloha and took an insurmountable lead to win the event and the right to defend the Alexandra Cup on behalf of Canada. Jean Black, daughter of Jack Cribb – the famous skipper of Lady Van who beat Sir Tom for Lipton Cup in 1929, was on hand to present the Jack Cribb Memorial Trophy to Don Martin who lead the Lady Van team to victory.

The focus now shifts to the Alexandra Cup itself with Lady Van taking on the United States representative, Pirate, in a 9 race series commencing on October 14, 2010.

October 9, 2010 Lady Van Takes 3 point lead after Day 1 of Alexandra Cup Selection Series

Despite a gloomy weather outlook, spirits were high in anticipation of the commencement of racing for the Canadian selection trials for the right to defend the Alexander Cup. At 1100 hrs, the first warning signal sounded to bring Royal Vancouver Yacht Club’s Lady Van into competition against Aloha from the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club near RVYC’s Jericho facility on English Bay in Vancouver.

In easterly winds between 7 and 12 kts, Lady Van had good upwind speed and took the first 3 races and a good lead heading into Sunday’s races where the points for a win are doubled.

The winner of the Jack Cribb Trophy, which will be awarded at 1600 hrs on Sunday, October 10, will defend the Alexander Cup against the American challenger Pirate, in a series to start on October 14, 2010 at RVYC.

September 28, 2010 Alexandra Cup Defender Trials to start on October 9, 2010

After a successful tour of the Victoria and Port Townsend Wooden Boat shows where she was oogled by hundreds of well-wishers, Lady Van is now being prepared for racing for the Alexandra Cup. Lady Van will compete against Aloha for the right to defend the trophy on behalf of Canada commencing at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club on October 9.

A fund raising event for the Alexandra Cup will be held at RVYC on Saturday October 2, 2010 featuring house band Mustang Sally. Tickets are available by contacting the front desk at RVYC at 604-224-1344.

August 26, 2010 See Lady Van at the Victoria and Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festivals

Lady Van will be attending the Victoria Classic Boat Festival held in the Inner Harbour on the Labour Day weekend, September 4-6, including a sail race on September 5.

Lady Van will also be attending the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival at Port Hudson Marina on September 10-12, including participating in a classic yacht race that will also feature R Class yachts Pirate and Aloha.

Come out to view Lady Van, discuss the restoration, and watch the racing.

August 18, 2010 Lady Van Wins at RIPS

Lady Van took Overall First Place in Division 3 at the RIPS regatta at Port Browning on Pender Island. In a fleet of 8 boats, including the R-Class compatriot Aloha, competing under PHRF handicaps, Lady Van outclassed the fleet in a mainly light airs event. The first 3 days of racing saw Lady accumulate a perfect string of 10 first places. Day 4 saw a 3 and a 1. In heavier breeze on Day 5, Lady Van struggled a bit more against the lighter boats with more downwind speed and against the larger, longer Aloha and finished with a 4,3,6. This resulted in a total of 17 points after “throw outs” and a 21 point lead over 2nd place Aloha.

July 30, 2010 Lady Van Perfect in Wednesday Night Racing

Lady Van has been sailing in the RVYC Wednesday Night Series throughout July and has a perfect 4 for 4 record in PHRF Division 3 with Don Martin on the helm. Sailing conditions of 8-12 kts have been ideal to show off the speed. While not pointing as high as the more modern boats in her division, Lady Van has the hull shape and weight to carry speed from puff to puff.

Pictures of Lady Van under sail are now posted on the website on the Picture Gallery

June 26, 2010 Lady Van Races in WAVES – in first place after Day 1

Less than 10 days after launching and less than a week after ReChristening, Lady Van was e

June 21, 2010 Lady Van Re-Christened

In front of 150 well wishers and with champagne bottle in hand, Commodore Sarah Howard of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club said the immortal words “I rechristen this vessel the Lady Van and may God continue to bless her and all who sail aboard her”  and brought the Lady Van into the modern era, fully restored and ready to race. Special guests in attendance was Jean Black, daughter of Jack Cribb who helmed the Lady Van to her historic win over Sir Tom back in 1929, members of syndicates representing the other R Class restorations Pirate, Aloha and Ace, and trustees of the Alexandra Cup, the international challenge trophy race scheduled for October, 2010.

June 14, 2010 Lady Van Launched

With the completion of painting, Lady Van was packaged up with her mast and boom, loaded on a trailer and towed from Sidney to West Vancouver. She was launched yesterday with the gracious assistance of the West Vancouver Yacht Club and its members and is now back in its native element. She was weighed and was found to be just a few pounds over her target weight. Today, the mast was rigged and stepped and the vessel was towed to moorage at Royal Vancouver Yacht Club’s Jericho Marina to begin the process of installing all of the running rigging and various pieces of hardware.

Preparations are now underway for the Re-Christening at 5:30 pm on Monday, June 21 at RVYC.

May 15, 2010 Repatriation and Re-Christening Date Set

The spars are complete and final coats of paint to go on this week. Lady Van is expected to return to Vancouver by May 28 to start the final stage of restoration with the stepping of the mast and the installation of rigging and sailing hardware.

June 21, 2010 has been set for the Repatriation and Re-Christening Party. The Re-Christening will take place around 5:30 pm at RVYC’s Jericho Marina, with a reception to follow. Click here for details.

April 26, 2010 Lady Van Moved out of Shop

A major milestone was reached today when Lady Van was moved out of Jespersen Boatbuilders shop and loaded onto a trailer. Jespersens has completed all of the structural and detailed woodworking and she is now ready for surface finishing. The topside coating, bottom paint and varnishing of all decking will be completed at A.H. Kelly Yacht Refinishing located at Westport Marina.

April 15, 2010 – Decking Complete, Ready for Final Coating

Jespersen Boatbuilders have completed the decking on Lady Van and in the final stages of sanding and coating the deck, cabin, hatches and small pieces. With final painting of the hull (topsides and anti-fouling), the vessel will be ready to leave Jespersens for the next phase – installation of the deck hardware and rigging. The sitka spruce spars are well along with scarfs complete and shaping done on all except the mast.

March 25, 2010 – New Progress Update Posted

A new progress report up to March 19, 2010 has been posted on the Lady Van / Restoration page. Progress is excellent with final decking and painting the only significant remaining work remaining on the hull. Now onto the spars and rigging!

March 17, 2010 – Dates Set for Alexandra Cup

The Lady Van team has been informed that the Alexandra Cup dates have been set. The event will start with selection trials for Defender and Challenger on October 9 – 11, 2010. Mid-week events are planned with the Alexandra Cup finals set for October 14 – 16, 2010; with October 17 available if necessary.

March 1, 2010 – Aloha’s Entry for the Alexandra Cup Accepted by Trustees

The Trustees of the Alexandra Cup have accepted a challenge from Mr. Alex Foley, on behalf of the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, to compete for the right to defend the Alexandra Cup. Mr. Foley and his team have been restoring Aloha, a 1923 Edson B. Shock design, in readiness to compete against Lady Van for the right to defend the Cup. Click here for more information on Aloha.

March 1, 2010 – Under-decking Complete

All yellow cedar deck beams, cockpit carlines, under-deck supporting structure for the standing and running rigging have been completed. Over the beams, a layer of marine plywood has been installed and sealed and work on the construction of the mahogany cabin house has commenced. The deck hardware has been pre-positioned to check for interferences and pilot holes drilled through the plywood to aid final installation after the  the final yellow cedar decking has been completed. The new rudder has been fabricated and sealed and is awaiting installation.

January 29, 2010 – Deck Beams Complete – Decking to Start

The yellow cedar deck beams, along with extensive under-deck blocking to support the standing rigging and deck hardware, have now been installed. The vessel is now ready for fitting the final planking at the gunwale and the start of decking. Decking will commence with a layer of Okoume marine plywood which will be sealed with a single layer of fibreglass.

December 31, 2009 – Lady Van Officially a Candidate for Defense of the Alexandra Cup

On behalf of the Heritage Boatbuilding Society of B.C., today Don Martin sent a letter to Commodore S. Howard submitting the Lady Van for consideration by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club as a contender for the 2010 defense of the Alexandra Cup.

December 23, 2009 – Lady Van Rolled Upright

Lady Van was pulled out of the shop and rolled upright this morning. The boat was then set on its ballast and keel bolts tightened. The boat is now ready for the installation of blocking to support the deck and mast support hardware followed by the commencement of the decking process. The interior surface of the hull has already been sanded fair and had several coats of varnish applied to the western red cedar planking.

December 14, 2009 – Ballast of Lady Van Ready For Installation.

As Don Martin has pointed out several times, even with the extensive restoration, Lady Van will be 75% the original boat ….. by weight. In the past week, the additional ballast plate, which will bring the total ballast weight up to the amount specified by Nicholson, was delivered to Jespersen’s in Sidney. The original ballast keel was weighted and found to be 450 lbs under Nicholson’s designed weight. In preparation for installation, new keel bolts were threaded into the lead and the surface prepared. Lady Van is now ready for a date with a crane.

December 10, 2009 – Yellow Cedar for Deck Beams Delivered

The last of the structural wood for the hull has been delivered to Sidney. A beautiful log of yellow cedar was carefully milled and planed at Edge Grain Cedar, a small custom yard in Mission, yielding the lumber that will make up the deck beams of Lady Van. Still to come are the clear grain yellow cedar for the finished decking and sitka spruce for the spars.