In 1988 Bellingham’s Soviet Union sister city, Nakhodka, sent a 40-foot racing boat KAPITAN PANAEV (”Pin-eye-Ev”) to participate in local races and in the Swiftsure Classic. The visit resulted from a six-year negotiation by the sponsor, Bellingham Cold Storage, and a Whatcom County delegation. In 1989, the reciprocal visit occurred when eight yachtsmen, 12 teenagers, and three counselors went to Nakhodka for three weeks of camping and racing.
The success of this endeavor was so great, it was decided to repeat the event bi-annually, moving the venue from sister city to sister city andThe Pacific Rim Regatta (PacRim) was formed. This mutual partnership between the Bellingham Yacht Club and the Bellingham Sister Cities organization, continues today. During the biannual event participants travel to the hosting country and are home stayed, there are typically 5 days of racing, and social events specific to each city are held, awards are presented and gifts are exchanged. Everyone participating enjoys the friendships created. The regatta charter allows 20 people (crew and ambassadors) from each country. Including the host organizers and volunteers, several hundred people participate in this event.