Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What the Heck was Going On Here?

Here is a shot from the recent Etchells World Championship, won by Jud Smith, mentor of Montreal sailors in the Etchells fleet. It's a little difficult to figure out what sail belongs to what boat going in what direction! I think those sails ought to be sold for a bigger discount after this regatta. Perhaps there is a little gelcoat work to be done too. Have you ever noticed that some Montreal Etchells sailors don't like to give smaller boats their due right of way unless forced. Geez, they eat their own too!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Jud Smith, Dirk Kneulman, et al take the big prize today

Jud Smith who has twice been to Montreal to help the budding Etchells fleet, has won the 2006 Etchells World Championship. Sailing with him were the 1998 World Champ, Canadian Dirk Kneulman, an Optimist sailor and an Optimist coach both from New Zealand. Yup, a team of four. Jud had earlier praised the Optimist sailor as doing a great job up front.

Dirk said he was very happy for their victory because Jud has been the best Etchells sailor for a long time. Jud thought that he didn't deserve to win the previous year because they were good below 15 knots, but too slow, and less able in heavy winds. Now, after a year long campaign, they've got everything right.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Teacher to Montreal Sailors teaches the fleet at Etchells Worlds

This is a very tenuous connection to Montreal sailing, but what the heck, it's our off-season. The St. Lawrence Valley Yacht Racing Association's regatta calendar included the Etchells World Championship in Australia this year. Well it may have been more for amusement it seems. In any case, no Montreal sailors are attending the event. I have found a connection though!

American, Jud Smith, elite sailor, and Etchells North American champ came to the Pointe Claire Yacht Club some time back to give the local fleet an inservice on tuning their rigs. By all accounts, it was a valued event. Now Jud has teamed up with Canadian Dirk Kneulman, and two others to compete at the World Championship. It appears the Montreal fleet picked a good mentor, because Smith et al are incredibly hot at the top of the board after three races. They have taken two firsts and second place so far.

In the today's third race of eight, Smith overtook Briton Andy Beadsworth on the final beat to take the gun with 37 seconds to spare. The famous winds called the Freemantle Doctor assured plenty of whitecaps or as Kiwi born PRO Denis Thompson said "There were plenty of sheep in the paddock." The race committee had a rough time today, needing 4 efforts to get a clean start away.

Beadsworth led Smith till the last leg which was shortened from 3 to 1.6 miles to recognize a large naval vessel steaming north. Beadsworth led Smith by 3 boatlengths on the last beat, but got muddled in traffic going down, while Smith found a clear lane to victory.

After the race Smith recalling the race, and the critical tactical moment, said "We sailed with our light medium jib and we think that helped us to the first mark. We stayed close all through the race to Andy Beadsworth. Then, at the final bottom mark, we switched gates with them. We faked left and went right, and he was committed to the left. I got snuckered just the same way by Dennis, and then last year by Hank Lammens and lost both times as you have to sail through the fleet to cover and that costs."

Andy Beadsworth's take on the move: "At the bottom mark against Jud, we made our own decision; went to the wrong mark, had a less than perfect drop and then had gas all the way up to the finish."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Guylaine Bossé Cruising in Mexico

Montreal Sailing is always envious of those who manage to extend their sailing season by heading south after we haul our boats here. Guylaine is one such Montreal sailor. She is currently in Bahia Turtugas, which I think is a small town somewhere around the Turtle Bay in Mexico. The super photo is of Guylaine after a night shift. They sailed from San Diego to San Francisco, then along with the Baja Rally.

Of course, sailing is a pastime where things easily go wrong, and sometimes beyond what you can do, or prepare for. An unfortunate experience ended their sailing. While at anchor, a large motorboat operating on autopilot t-boned their yacht. The sailboat is apparently no longer seaworthy. Guylaine, and her skipper Pierre Alain suffered no injuries, though obviously it must have been quite a shock.

Guylaine wrote "The little village where we are is wonderful, the people are so SO friendly..and everybody somehow heard about our adventures."

The skipper and crew are making arrangements for insurance, and still intent on exploring the Baha area. Montreal Sailing is relieved that they are well, and hope Pierre Alain can now get a spectacular new yacht to cruise again!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Lightning Fleet prepping for 2007-8

Valerie Tardif of the R.St.L.Y.C. Lightning Fleet made an interesting announcement in their recent issue of the Foghorn. The club will be hosting the 2007 Canadian Championships next year on June 30th and July 1st. The club is also bidding for the 2008 Junior Worlds.

photo 2006 Youth World Championships, Jyvaskyla, Finland