The start of this event can appear chaotic but we have certain constraints that we must accept, the main one being the arrival and departure of the ferry MV Coho. Until the MV Coho has departed, NO VESSEL SHOULD LEAVE ITS BERTH. The only exception to this is the Salute Vessel.
All vessels are asked to take the salute of the Honorary Commodore David Featherby who will be aboard the Salute Vessel.
The salute is made by “dipping” or lowering the boat’s ensign to one third from lower end of the hoist. The ensign should be left in that position until the Salute Vessel returns the salute in a like manner. It is the custom for all Canadian and other foreign vessels, other than those from the US, to salute in this manner. It is not the custom for the Stars and Stripes. US vessels may dip their yachting ensign. Crews should be at attention, side by side along the rail facing the Commodore. Skippers only present the naval salute, palm down. Small sailing vessels may wish to luff the main sail or fly the jib.
The Festival Salute Vessel
HMCS Oriole Recognized by her lean white hull, symbolizes the romance and tradition of sail for many thousands of Victoria residents. The 101-foot HMCS Oriole is a true classic. Built as a private yacht from a design by George Owens of New York for Mr. G.H. Gooderham, Commodore of Toronto’s Royal Canadian Yacht Club, she was launched in June 1921 as Oriole IV. At the start of the Second World War, the Toronto branch of the Navy League of Canada acquired Oriole.
She was used to train sea cadets on the Great Lakes until 1949 when she was moved to the Maritimes for sail training for new entry seamen. In 1952 she was formally commissioned as HMCS Oriole. In 1954 she became a sailing tender to HMCS Venture at the Naval Officer Training Centre at Esquimalt. Since then, HMCS Oriole has been continuously employed in sail training on the Pacific Coast –the longest serving ship in the Canadian Navy.
HMCS Oriole generally cruises the waters surrounding Vancouver Island. She is available to all units of the Canadian Armed Forces for sail and adventure training. Keen racing competition supplies the final test for most training classes. HMCS Oriole has been a worthy ocean racer and has competed in local and offshore ocean races including Halifax-Bermuda, Marblehead, Victoria-Maui, Cobb Seamount, Norpac, Transpac, Astoria Offshore and Swiftsure Classic yacht races.
HMCS Oriole acted as Salute Vessel for the Classic Boat Festival® in 1979, 1987, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and each year from 2003 to the present. The Festival Committee is delighted to welcome her back as our 2016 Salute Vessel.