Friday, September 21, 2007

Who could reach the pinnacle of Montreal Sailing? Who could be the Champion of Champions?

The end of the season is approaching. Some clubs will be holding championships for their members. After the boats are hauled, ceremonies will be held, trophies hoisted, flags awarded, beer spilled, stories told, as clubs fete their champions. I always enjoy these rituals of sport, and like to have one more time where we keep the season alive and share some laughs and drama. When I’m lucky, I even get the occasional flag, no trophies… yet.

However, as the owner and editor of Montreal Sailing all this is now begging another question for me: Who is the best MONTREAL SAILOR? I want to know.

We have so many clubs in Montreal. We have a number of different one-design classes in Montreal. We have a variety of PHRF classes racing separately. We have sailors sailing areas in Montreal that can be exclusive from each other. BYC and PCYC in the eastern, wide part of Lac St. Louis, and the narrower, west part of Lac St. Louis are filled by BDYC and IPYC. Senneville, RStLYC, Venture, and CNDM race alone. HYC and CVL race in the northern Ottawa river part of the LDM area. Rarely do the different racers from different parts of the region of Montreal meet.

The HYC’s Distance Race on Labour Day weekend offers one of the few great moments sailors from the different areas mix it up. However, Hudson’s LD race, as wonderful and fun as it is, cannot be considered a measure of who the top dogs are. There is a huge variation of boats in that beautiful spectacle. Size and speed give an advantage to the quickest. With 100 PHRF boats or more on the line, the faster boats are away in clear air quickly, while the rest are mired in disturbed air for most of the race. The top finishers are accomplished, among the best, but not necessarily the best, and others are part of the same esteemed celebrity gang of Montreal Sailing.

So, who are the best Montreal Sailors? And, who is the best of that crowd – truly, and with less debate, the TOP DAWGS!

Pierre Marois has given us great reports from Lake of Two Mountains. So, we have some idea of the best sailors there. I gave a report on the halfway point of the season on Lac St. Louis. The Good Neighbours C Series will soon give the latter season results. One Design regattas, PHRF regattas could be weighed for the best competition. Sailors who have missed local racing, but done well in major events out of town could be looked at. Young sailors are doing dinghy events and working towards possible slots on the Canadian team going to the Olympics. There are ways we could look at people to debate who is the BEST MONTREAL SAILOR.

Who do you think should be on the list? Once we have a list, how do we figure out who is the best of the best? Should we vote? Should we create a panel of senior, respected judges? Should we have a final, fierce, no mercy, drama of a final regatta, where the winner is the new King of Montreal? WOW! Should it be in the competitor’s own boats, or in a numerous one design class? Should it be by invitation, or open with a final race for the gold like in an Olympic format?

We race for fun, and we race to compete. We should fete the top of the heap in Montreal too. It is the normal climax of sporting behaviour. There, it’s out there!