Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Canadians including Quebecers at theThe Princess Sophia

The 38 HRH PRINCESS SOFIA TROPHY is an important regatta, in fact, one of the 6 most important in the world for Olympic classes. The 6 regattas forming the World Cup Series are used to rate the sailors' rankings and select the ones who become Olympians. Sailing these races has to be a memorable and momentous occasion.

Alain Bolduc of the École de Voile de Ste-Agathe took 31st overall out of 111 competitors in the RSX M class. He took 2nd over the finish line in the second race.

Stephane Locas and Oliver Bone of BYC did well in the 470 class, continuing to become more and more competitive. They finished mid-fleet overall in this tough class, and also picked up a 4th place in one race.

Dominique Vallee of the CNF only completed two races in RSX W unfortunately, especially since she did quite well in both. Alain Dubuc and Mark Herendeen from PCYC competed in the Tornado class but scored 3 DNCs.

There was a strong contingent of Canadians at this event, as Canada's Sailing Team were there in force. The Olympics are getting pretty close now, so it is exciting to see Canadians in good numbers, and clearly upping their games, including some sailors who bested the higher ranked. Christopher Cook took 10th overall in the Finn class even though he fell in the boat, hurting his back, and taking two DNCs at the end. Lisa Ross took 13th overall in the Radial Class. Best of all Oskar Johansson and Kevin Stittle took 8th overall in the Tornado class! David Wright took 13th overall in the Laser class. Currently ranked third best in the world, Wright most recently took 12th overall at the Miami OCR, and at the 2006 Laser World Championship in Korea took 4th. Bernard Luttmer picked off a bullet in the first Laser race.

The regatta was likely a test of endurance and patience as rainy, cold conditions and unreliable winds plagued much of the event for the race committees and thousand -plus competitors. Even hail came down at one point. Big changes in velocity and direction meant a mixed bag of racing with some great races and some wacky turns of the compass and pressure. The balance of frustrations and elation aside, there cannot have been any better place to be for the Montreal sailors and cross-Canadian competitors. Canada is showing more and more strength in Olympic class sailing and Canadian head coach Ken Dool must be feeling pretty good about the direction.