Friday, September 28, 2007
Jin Frati and Paul Baehr are two members of the Shark class who might be the most active circuit sailors in Montreal. Out of town regattas are regular events of summer for their crews. September 8-9 was the Gold Cup in Toronto. Paul's team had a particularly good regatta placing 2nd in race #3, and 18th overall out of a large fleet. Jin's team did not compete the 2nd day for reasons unknown. Photo posted on Shark website by Anil Mungal (Frati steering 804, Baehr 1092)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Montreal Sailing is honoured to publish the sage knowledge of a contributor who knows the local scene better than most and the history of a generation who currently rule the water.
The crew’s union is willing to weigh in on this heady subject!
The fact of the matter is that the man (or woman) with the stick in their hand, is merely a fraction of the equation of racing success. At best 50% and more often, 33% or less!! Therefore, from the Crews’ Union perspective, it is merely a matter of which tiller jockey is the least incompetent!!
Monsieur Marois has very adequately addressed Lac des Deux Montagnes. The Crew’s Union agrees with his analysis and his pick for the best of LdDM. Ron is a great choice.
So… on Lake St.Louis , we have a few fleets that could put forward candidates for consideration… starting at the bottom of the lake, we have the Laser 28 fleet out of R.St.L.Y.C.
Denise Bienvenue has been a fixture at the front of that fleet, but it is a small and incestuous lot. Denise did sail a Fireball for a short period of time, allowing for some head to head comparisons with other Lake Saint Louis sailors. Denise is the candidate from the L28 fleet.
PCYC and BYC have 4 significant fleets – Etchells, Fireballs, Tanzer 22’s and Sharks.
The local Etchells fleet boasts many of the best helmsmen of the last 35 years!! Dick Steffen, Brian Palfreeman, David Covo and Pierre Jasmin have all had success in a variety of watercraft. The Crews’ Union would give the nod for historical reasons (and in no small measure because of the Steffen sisters – crew extraordinaire) to Dick Steffen as the Etchells candidate.
The Fireball has a proud history and locally has produced Provincial, Canadian and North American Champions – both in Fireballs as well as J24’s, T22’s and Sharks to name but a few. Covo, Blanc, Nicoll-Griffith, Stedman and Osborne are names of the past and Levy and Jospe would be names for current consideration. Levy is the Crews’ Union’s choice, with note that without the likes of Marshall , Kelly, Egli and Waldie – none of these guys would have ever seen a gun!!
The T22 fleet has had it’s share of great skippers – but the nod will go to the Fitchen squad for longevity and great local results. Linton and King Ralph close out the local best of breed for T22’s. The Crew’s Union recognizes that there is a white sail fleet, but from the CU perspective, white sail is the 3 legged race of sailing, only slightly higher than PHRF.
The Shark fleet is like the graduating class of the Fireball fleet. Nicoll-Griffith, Stedman and Osborne are the cream of the local fleet, with Frati hot on their heels. The nod goes to Nicoll Griffith, who has done well locally, and has won at the highest level when competing in National and North American Championships.
So, in the final analysis, there are probably half a dozen sailors that could beat each other on any given day, but would consistently be in that top 6!! At the risk of inflating the huge ego that most helmsmen have, the Crew’s Union votes for Tof Nicoll-Griffith.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I'm hugely flattered but it would not occur to me to nominate us. After all Tof was 2nd at the N.A.'s in Kingston whereas we dropped to 6th by the last race (out of 36). Thank you very much though. gs
p.s. love your blog"
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I don't consider myself a top sailor on the LDM. There are some very good sailors who don't race regularly on Wednesday nights and don't get the recognition they deserve. Alan Gray who sails the Etchells "Slim" from HYC is often on the road to big championship (North Americans, New-England's, Great-Lakes...). He's a very good sailor and has won the Labour Day race many times.
Brian Bowser from HYC is another good example. He races his Grampian 22 once or twice a year (with good results), but he used to race J24 (Heroes and Villains) at national level and he is still a great sailor.
Monday, September 24, 2007
I just read your blog and I think it's a great idea. Personally, I think George Stedman and crew should be on the list. He continues to blow everyone away and makes it look effortless (although I'm sure you knew that already!). I don't think judging is fair, and voting can be biased based on popularity of the sailor. I think it should be in single handed boats (so you can't blame the crew!) and on a boat that no one is good at sailing... like Frosties! This could make for a fun and most interesting showdown between the best on the lake!
Just my two cents!
Shark #28, Kaos
Friday, September 21, 2007
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!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
19 boats registered for the Fireball 2007 Screwball Regatta, the best numbers in my recent memory. That is tremendous to see such a revival in dinghy racing! Congratulations to the organizers. Click the title for full results and then click Screwball in the left column. Below are the top ten.
- D.Kirkby/R. Levy
Monday, September 17, 2007
The Fireball World Championship recently held in Switzerland. Montrealers were there.
No results posted yet for the local Fireballers' Screwball Regatta, but there are plenty of great shots from the World's. I imagine it was a little easier to get in the front row in Montreal, but with some of the best Montreal sailors in this fleet, plenty exciting.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Summer series and overall results
Huge thanks to Pierre Marois for keeping us up to date on who's hot!
The CVL-HYC-CVMO Wednesday nights series consist of 15 races divided in 2 series. It brings together all the racers from these 3 Clubs every Wednesday nights from May until September. The summer series (8 races) ended with the August 29th race. The best 4 results where taken from the 6 races sailed.
In the PHRF 3 & WS class, Pierre Marois’s T22 Coquine was first with 3 wins and a second place. Trevor Collins’ T22 Penny Wise was second, Chris Campbell’s T22 Shigawac was third also with 3 wins. Fourth went to Ken Hodgson’s T22 Sloop du Jour.
In the PHRF 1-B & 2 class, Ron Harris’ J22 Jazz continued his winning way with 5 wins in 6 races to take first in the class. Second place was taken by Ross Tellier’s N26 Red Coat and third place went to L.Grant’s J24 Peacemaker.
Congratulations are in order for all those who participated in the organisation of these series with RC duties. And a very special “thanks” to Pat Patterson from HYC who did fantastic works all season with the RC boat and the race results.
Monday, September 10, 2007
The results for the Long Distance Race at Hudson on September 1st have been posted. 99 boats sailed this year through very difficult light winds. It was the most shifty conditions ever with puffs and holes everywhere. Boats sailing near each other were sometimes on very different angles and speeds. It seemed like the boats that I noticed making the best progress (like Toby Bryant in the bright orange "Ketchup", which is easy to spot) were ones that managed to get over towards Oka beach early. They were a mile ahead before long. The left side going through the bays gave huge lifts, but it still didn't pay as well in the winds which were roughly from the north. It seemed like we were tacking every minute in huge shifts from the wide part (Lake of 2 Mountains) of the river, through the bay, into the narrow part of the Ottawa river, and right up to the Hudson Yacht club. Once past the club, the winds were more of a consistent velocity and shifted less. As always, people hit or get stuck atop a rock. This year, I felt pain for a Star perched up high in the bay where CNDM is situated. It was exactly the spot I had been years before. Here are some notable first finishes amongst the classes that had numerous boats.
- Luc Gloutney, Etchells, overall and class 1st.
- D. Godin, Niagara 26
- L.Grant, J24
- Toby Bryant, Shark
- Phil Wilcox, Tanzer 22
- Art de Vries, Mirage 24
Click the title for the full results.