Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Team Ambitious had a good 2013

2013 was a good year for Team Ambitious. We upped our game on Lac St. Louis off the island of Montreal. We won two or three races and placed in the top half of the fleet normally for all of the rounds of Good Neighbour Series (GNS) races consisting of boats from the two neighbouring clubs. Beaconsfield Yacht Club and Pointe Claire Yacht Club have a huge amount of racing going on, and we enjoyed it. The team raced our Shark, #901, Ambitious at least twice a week, and usually even more. Gabrielle and Collette (pictured left of me) were just extraordinary making the boat go fast. My thanks to them and all you racers out there who made our sailing so much fun and competitive throughout the fleet.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Robert Scheidt wins 2013 Laser World's


In Montreal it seems that just a small number of people are sailing the Laser. It is solo boat, intensely physical, very simple, just one sail. Perhaps that is why many people choose other craft. Perhaps that is why those who do choose it here are so devoted to it. In any case, I can't help but note an extraordinary accomplishment by a Laser sailor about as far away from Montreal as my mind can get.

Robert Scheidt has just won the 2013 Laser World Championship being held in Oman. That in itself is an extraordinary feat. What really blows me away is that Scheidt has won this Olympic class event for the ninth time, after an absence of nine years (he sailed the Star during that time) and he is 40 YEARS OLD!

Robert Scheidt has returned to his Laser roots after the Star got dropped from the Olympic roster. A Brazilian, he is aiming to compete in the Laser class when the next Summer Olympics are held in Rio. I will be rooting for him! As for the good 'ol boys and girls sailing Lasers here in Montreal, many as Masters (older age division), I am rooting for them too!

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Peter & Alex Rahn score 1st at Wayfarer World's

The Wayfarer Class held their World Championship at the  Mississauga Sailing Club this year. A week long affair in August, 34 boats competed. The Rahn's did the World's when it last in Mississauga in 2004, and they placed 11th overall that time. That was a pretty darn respectable finish, but they upped their game more so this time around finishing first overall. The Rahn family team sail out of Beaconsfield Yacht Club. Well done guys!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Coupe McAuslan Cup To Support Association québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA)

There is a strong and noble tradition of helping others on the water. This year, we are being asked to respect that tradition by participating in the McAuslan Cup on September 7th. The Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in conjunction with the AQVA, will be hosting a Pursuit Race and Charity Challenge Cruise, with the goal of raising funds to support the activities of the AQVA. The AQVA has been based at PCYC for many years, and their program has allowed many disabled sailors to enjoy the sport. We would like to see that continue and grow. With a minimum, tax- deductible donation of $250 per boat, participants will get to choose between racing in what will undoubtedly be the largest Pursuit Race on the lake or spending the afternoon cruising. There will be a silent auction and a dinner/dance at the Royal following the action on the water. Details and registration are 
available at: www.aqvaqc.com.  

The cause is good; it will be fun. Please register and participate. 

Joe Jospe 

Friday, August 09, 2013

Coupe du Quebec Bombardier (Martin 16)

Another great post from a favourite correspondent, Jen Davey!

This weekend, the Association québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA) hosted the Coupe du Quebec Bombardier at the Pointe Claire Yacht Club in Montreal, Quebec. The two day event for sailors with disabilities was raced on Martin 16s and drew competitors from Quebec, Ontario, New York, and Vermont. Sailors raced in two fleets, Silver for newer racers and Gold for more experienced

On Saturday, light, shifty winds and strong current challenged sailors in both fleets, while Sunday saw stronger breeze with occasional rain. The Race Committee, led by Madeleine Palfreeman, worked hard to get in 5 races for Silver and 4 for gold over the weekend. In the end, local knowledge paid off as the host club finished with strong results. The Silver fleet was won by AQVA’s J-P Dussault, followed by team mates Vincent Gagnon and Steve Payette. Gold was tightly contested with AQVA’s Marc Villeneuve taking first place just one point ahead of Christine Lavallée, of the Nepean Sailing Club. Pierre Richard of AQVA rounded out the top three.

AQVA was proud to host several distinguished guests throughout the weekend. Jean-Pierre Grenier, Pro Mayor of the City of Pointe Claire, Francis Scarpaleggia, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint- Louis, Karen O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Paralympic Committee, as well as Caroline Tison, Executive Director of West Island Community Shares. The city, region, and both organizations have been strong supporters of AQVA’s mission to provide sailing opportunities for persons with disabilities. A big thanks also to the staff of AQVA, PCYC, and all the volunteers, including many of our friends from neighbouring Lac St Louis clubs and beyond. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sailweek, the pleasures of summer

Sailweek ended yesterday in a pleasant if anti-climatic form. In the sport of sailing, sometimes you don't get to sail. The great thing about the camaraderie and social side of the sport is that it doesn't have to mean the fun ends. Nary a wisp of wind was felt as we bobbed around the RC boat. Before long, Mike Andersen had his anchor down and boats were rafting up together. Out came refreshments, snacks, and a lot of pleasant connections among the sailing fraternity that is BYC and PCYC.

Today's closing event of Sailweek was to be the BYC Annual Regatta. The event was not a failure despite the lack of racing. One sailor put it this way: It doesn't quite feel like summer is on until there is an afternoon on the water, with no wind. Think about it, it's true. Every season, if you sail often enough, inevitably a day comes along when you are out there, wanting to race, and the wind doesn't show up. That simply makes it a time to connect with crew and competitors. On this occasion it was a time of bright sun, swimming, laughter.

Oh yes, the winners of Sailweek... the same teams as in yesterday's post!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sailweek's Final Showdown Today

File photo probably by Heather Deeks.

Light winds may help others harpoon and rein in leading Sharks in today's finale.

The Annual Regatta for the Beaconsfield Yacht Club is today. It caps Sailweek, the most intensive week of sailing on Lac St. Louis. 3 races will be held this afternoon, with the warning gun blasting at 13:00h.

In the PHRF 3 category there is a very exciting finale about to go down. Anyone of 4 teams could take the title of Champs. Nuisance is at the top of the leaderboard, but leading by a mere point with 8 in total. Tied at 2nd and 3rd place are Ketchup and Sudden Impulse. Then, only one more mere point behind is Blue Moon in 4th. Wow, that's tighter than a jib halyard in a big blow! Next is our own Team Ambitious in 5th overall, but there is a large point spread. We will be doing our best to stay ahead of Gray Phantom which bested us in one race and has been only one place behind in every other race.

All of these Shark Class boats including others such as Isurus, Love Bites, and Crescendo will be having a hard time today fending off the Tanzer 22 Encore Une Fois. Very light winds are expected, and that should favour the Tanzer 22 with its huge masthead spinnaker. So, all up and down the rankings there will be some major battles to take or hold positions. With light air, it could be a day of patience, mastery, or misery!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

2013 Canadian Laser Masters Championship

Many thanks to Etienne for sending this great full report of the regatta! - Ralph

The Canadian Laser Masters championship was held out of Beaconsfield yacht Club from June 14th to 16th.

This event is reserved to sailors 35 years old or older.  As only 3 of the 39 sailors were under 45 (and none of them really competitive), it's really an old timer's club.  The people involved have more time and are a dedicated bunch, speaking of the best places to train for heavy wind during the winter.

The first day was light and shifty. Two races were held and the third that was started was abandoned.  The wind was falling and some competitors were heading back in when the wind returned from the North.  I thought I was in a good position, then I watched those boats exit the harbour area and still pass me on their way to the first mark.  I was quite thankful for the abandonment of that race.  Rob Koci was first at the end of the day with Sally Sharp in second place.

On Saturday, races 3 and 4 were held in a building breeze.  The following two races were held in a really strong breeze.  Forest from Texas could not recall such long upwind legs in such strong wind. Those who recall CORK in Lasers on Bravo course felt right at home.  I was feeling like a million dollars spending the last half of the 5th race in tow behind Rob Koci.  He was having his worst race of the regatta and I was having my best.  I was great to see that I could keep up with him for so long.  I was doing as well in the 6th race when I dumped before rounding the leeward mark.  It was a very messy dump, it took me 4 or 5 attempts to get the boat back up proper.  By that time I had drifted below the committee boat and had to start the race again, behind the whole fleet.  I knew that it was worth finishing, as by this time a third of the fleet had abandoned because of the windy conditions.  I passed a few tired sailors, and I was really mad with myself for that nasty dump.  Though it felt there was lots of space between the boats, it was certainly quite close because the harbour was full at the moment I came in.  I hesitated, it was 3:30 and I had been out since 9:00.  It's not that often that it's blowing over 20 and I don't have Noé and Ulysse, my usual crew on the Laser.  With the kids, I stick to close reach, beam reach and broad reach.  It's fast and impressive and the Laser flies on these points of sail.  When racing, reaching ability is useless, races are won upwind and downwind.  So I start doing some upwind, lots of tacking and then gybing downwind, until I can do 3 gybes in a row without crashing.  I head home 50 minutes later to greet a worried race committee.  I'll have to be more specific next time and tell them I am going back out to have fun.

On Sunday, little wind, cold weather and rain were forecast.  When it was time to head out, the rain hadn't started yet, there was no wind and it was still warm.  Exposed skin is an advantage when feeling very light air, so I started out with a splash top and shorty wetsuit.  The first race was light and shifty, but the temperature dropped significantly.  It also started to rain.  We waited for an hour in no wind, many of the competitors took their boats out of the water.  I also went in to change into long john wet-suit, polar sweater and splash top.  What a relief, but still difficult times for a guy with glasses.  I felt I was going round and round, doing 3 penalties during that short race.

I was great to head back to Beaconsfield Yacht Club and eat the delicious meal the club provided to the competitors after each day on the water.

Thanks to the BYC team for such a good regatta.

Etienne Portelance

Here are the top ten. All the scores can be found here on the BYC website.

    1. Rob Koci, Water Rats SC, Grand Master
    2. Doug Peckover, NOMAD, Grand Master
    3. Tobin Young, Water Rats SC, Master
    4. Philippe Dormoy, Beaconsfield YC, Grand Master
    5. Richard Sewards, Water Rats SC, Master
    6. Pierre Jasmin, PCYC, Grand Master
    7. John Rae, Nepean SC, Master
    8. David Hartman, NOMAD Great Grand Master
    9. Nigel Heath, Water Rats SC, Master
    10. Len Guenther, Fishing Bay YC, Master

    Thursday, June 27, 2013

    PHRF 3 has a strong start to the season in Good Neighbours Series 1 & 2

    PHRF 3 is the largest fleet of club racers on Lac St. Louis. The Good Neighbours series of evening races for BYC and PCYC are where we do most of our racing. Hooray, the season has begun!

    On Tuesday evenings, Series 1, saw 16 boats on the water at one point or another. Individual races would see between 9 and 14 boats competing, an average of 11 per race. The Thursday series typically see a smaller fleet. This was the case for this series too: 13 boats in total with an average of 7 per race.

    A lot of boats did not compete in a race here or there. That is not surprising in spring as boats are still being worked on, and the summer schedules and rhythms of racers are still falling in place.

    Flags will be awarded to the same competitors for both Series 1 on Tuesdays and Series 2 on Thursdays. Kudos to Mike Anderson and crew on Yin & Yang who took 1st overall in both series! 2nd and 3rd overall in both series were traded by Blue Moon and Encore Une Fois. Possibly Beaconsfield YC's most talented sailor, Jin Frati and crew took a 2nd for the Tuesday series and a 3rd for the Thursday series despite missing races in each series! John Linton's crew on the Tanzer 22 Encore Une Fois broke into the huge school of Sharks sailing in this fleet.

    All in all, the spring series generally shows the promise of summer as we shake out the cobwebs, and get racing! The next Tuesday and Thursday series of evening racing marks summer. These series have already begun with a race each, and the competition should be heating up!