Monday, December 29, 2008

Montreal Iceboaters starting to get excited.

Hooo, this rig needs someone on a trapeze. Sailing does go on. The Montreal Sailors of the DN iceboat class are already monitoring the local ice. A report assessing the ice on Lac St. Louis was posted on their website Boxing Day. The warm weather has probably nixed it for a short while, but they'll be out there before long! The above sailor is an archive pic from the N.A. site.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Racing Rules of Sailing Revised 2009-12

The new revision of the Racing Rules of Sailing is out. You can buy a print copy online from a CYA page for $17.95. They take effect in January. The ISAF website allows you to download the current rules, or the new ones, or a comparative document highlighting the changes, all for free. Here is the ISAF page.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Volvo Ocean Race on TV Today

What a surprise. This week I was sleepily channel surfing and almost dropped the TV remote control. Suddenly waves were crashing over the bows of 70' racing machines and completely engulfing the cockpits, helmsmen and grinders disappearing behind seawater. The Volvo Ocean Race is on Game TV, and it will be broadcast again today at 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm. I don't know if it will be different episodes or not. If you subscribe to Videotron digital, it's channel 59. It comes as part of one of their channel packages. I didn't even know I got it. If you don't already have it, it takes 2 minutes to order over the phone, only costs a buck or two, and you can cancel it any time. The video footage of these racing machines is awesome. The canting keels, and dagger boards, or whatever they are called make interesting viewing for the techies. They have covered legs one and two. I'm not sure what leg is today, or when the next broadcast.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oi! Montreal Sailing goes over 20,000 views!

I would never have thought it! So many people click in on Montreal Sailing. Yesterday, the 20,000th visitor visited the blog. Many people from all over the world regularly check in on the news and pictures. However, what is really stunning is the vast amount of local sailors who read Montreal Sailing. I never realized there were so many of us. A lot of local readers are on the island of Montreal of course. Montreal Sailing is also getting traffic right across the larger region with visits from off-island to the Ontario border, up to the Laurentians, the south shore and eastern townships, and all along the river up to Quebec City and St. Foy. Beyond an easier day's drive, we also have readers from all over Canada and the U.S. Off the continent, readers are sometimes locals checking in while on business or vacation. Other international readers find the blog through searches for a type of boat, regatta, or interesting image. Since Montreal Sailing exists because of a personal passion and the fun of blogging, there is no numbers game or goal here. Yet, it certainly is edifying to know many share our enthusiasm

The local sailing season is complete, but Montreal Sailing will continue to publish over the winter. We'll review the season, talk about classes, keep an eye on southern racing, and of course anticipate the season to come. Hey, it's only 5 months before we start prepping for splash-time.

Check in and drop me a line!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quebec Sailing Federation gives important recognition to our best

Voile Quebec has announced the winners of its annual awards. Many of the names will be familiar to readers of Montreal Sailing. Partly because they have appeared here before. Partly because they are the super heroes of our sailing programs. Either they organize the events we sail in, or they beat the rest of us in those events! How wonderful that Voiles Quebec has recognized the roles they play in making our sport so much more fun. Congratulations to you all from Montreal Sailing. And hey, great job FVQ! Here are the announcements from the FVQ website:


2008 Quebec Sailing Federation Awards Program
The Quebec Sailing Federation nominating committee is proud to present this year’s recipients:

André-Dionne Trophy (volunteer of the Year)
To recognize a member who has contributed to the betterment of sailing in Quebec.
Recipient: Paula Stone
Paula, a longtime volunteer member of the Association québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA) since its early inception in 1996. In 2008, Paula was the Chairperson of the Mobility Cup, Canada’s premier international Martin 16 regatta. The week-long event drew over 40 athletes from across North America and as far away as New Zealand. Paula has been a role model and inspiration to countless sailors and volunteers who know and work with her.

Claudrey Trophy
This award is to recognize and encourage the sportmanship qualities of a a young Quebec sailor.
Recipients: Gabrielle Laforce, Martin Robitaille
Gabrielle had known all year round worked with doggedness during the races in which she participated for ever manage to finish her races. Gabrielle has learned a sad news on a personal matter at the time of CORK, but nevertheless, she knew how to return and win the regatta. Gabrielle has always set goals for success to improve throughout the year. She is becoming very popular among her teammates of the Quebec sailing team and her team of CVL.

Martin is one of the great who is always there to help others. His sporting spirit and mutual aid makes Martin a person appreciated and loved by all. He is the first on water, participates in all the camps and is among those of the team that trains the most. His greatness of soul is at the height of his 6 feet 4 inches. His participative spirit, sporting and mutual aid developed makes of Martin a person appreciated and loved by all.

Race Officer of the Year
To recognize a member who has been significantly involved in a race management activity which has provided recognition to Quebec sailing and the FVQ.
Recipient: Madeleine Palfreeman
Madeleine was the race official for Mobility Cup, Sail East, the Quebec Cup and the Canadian Championship F18 catamarans in 2008. She also officiated at CORK for the Off Shore Regatta.

Instructor/Coach of the Year
To recognize an instructor or a coach who has contributed exceptionally to a training or a racing program.
Recipient:Olivier Charbonneau
Olivier participated in all major events including the dinghy Championships Laser and Optimist. He has known to allow its 20 athletes to slide in the program of the Quebec sailing team by their performance. He is ending a career of nearly 10 years in sailing.

Club/Sailing School of the Year
This award is to recognize excellence in all programs organized by a club or a sailing school (training, racing, cruising or special event).
Recipient: Club de voile des Laurentides
During the last year, the Laurentian Yacht Club was a club that has been very involved in the province. Whether at the level of his team competition that has grow from year to year or of its sailing school, the CVL was one of the strongest clubs in Quebec. His involvement in the FVQ and dedication during the event organization allowed the club to demonstrate the richness of its members who do not hesitate to get involved to volunteer in sailing.

Event of the Year
This award was established to promote and encourage member clubs to host provincial, national or international regattas. Race management, public and media awareness, as well as innovations in regatta/event management are the principal selection criteria.
Recipient: Mobility Cup 08 PCYC/AQVA
The international regatta brought together 47 navigators divided into two Flotillas and the participation of four countries: Canada, the United States, England and New Zealand. All took part in the competition according to their skill in sailing and not according to their physical disability. The event was an organisational and financial success, which brought together no less than 100 voluntaries to guarantee success. It will have allowed inter alia improving the accessibility of places to the yacht club and preparing the revival of the program of adapted sailing in Quebec City.

“Optimist” Athlete
This award is given to a Quebec “Optimist” sailor who has demonstrated exceptional results and/or improvements within the last sailing season.
Recipient: :Frédérique Tougas
Frederique is an elite athlete in Optimist. She finished 3rd in TRY, 2nd SailEast, best performance from Quebec province at the U.S. National and the ACC's. Finished 14th girl on 92 with the ACC's.

Young Athlete of the Year
Must have a record of outstanding achievement in provincial and/or national competition in the previous twelve months.
Recipient : Olivier Corbeil
Olivier had very good performance in Quebec still finishing first in all events which he participated. In addition, he has achieved a very good performance in the Atlantic Championship in New Jersey (27e/3e Junior), Laser Canadian Championships (15th / 5th Junior) and 2nd at Youth Nationnal. Olivier is an exceptional athlete who has a great talent for sailing.

Special Mention of the nomination Committee:
Geneviève Beaudoin-Cloutier
Genevieve finished 7th at the Canadian Championships and has been ranked 8th in NQR's. She is distinguished by its overall improvement from double to single in less than a year. For the quality of her training program (who is the most committed to her training) and perseverance that won her a marked improvement in her performances in a year and the best quebecois results at NQR: -absolute dedication in her development; -she is ranked 1st girl in elite at NQRs for the 2009 season; -Travel in Europe for two races -excellent shape.

Must have a record of outstanding achievement in national and/or international competition in the previous twelve months.
Recipient : Stéphane Locas
For its Olympic participation in the Games 2008

Sailor of the Year
The Sailor of the Year trophy recognizes an exceptional achievement by a Quebec sailor. The Sailor of the Year trophy is the FVQ’s most prestigious award.
Recipients: Sailors – Retour aux Sources
Return of the Sources was the most important event cruising of pleasure that the Federation set up. As part of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, it allowed a sixty marine Quebecois sailors to cross the Atlantic starting from Quebec City to La Rochelle in France. A total of 25 boats, including 14 with skippers and crews Quebecois took part in the event. Congratulations to the winners!

Congratulation to all the recipients!

Congradulation to all winners and nominees!

André-Dionne Trophy (volunteer of the Year)
Nominations :

  • André Robitaille
  • Paula Stone

    Trophy Claudrey (Sportmanship)
    Nominations :
  • Gabrielle Laforce
  • Martin Robitaille

    Race Officer of the Year
    Nominations :
  • David Covo
  • Madeleine Palfreeman
  • Patrick Patterson
  • David Pelling

    Instructor/Coach of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Olivier Charbonneau
  • Carmen Denis
  • Nicolas Kim
  • Catherine Lanoix
    Club/Sailing School of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Club de voile Laurentide
  • École de voile Trois-Saumons
  • Pointe-Claire Yacht Club

    Event of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Mobility Cup 08 AQVA YCPC
  • Return of Sources

    “Optimist” Athlete
    Nominations :
  • Evan Berard
  • Caroline De Alcala
  • Fannie De Alcala
  • Tristan King
  • Victor Sullivan
  • Frédérique Tougas
    Young Athlete of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Chanel Beaudoin-Cloutier
  • Geneviève Bougie-Bastien
  • Olivier Corbeil
  • Martin Robitaille

  • Stéphane Locas

    Sailor of the Year
    Nomination :
  • Sailors – Return of the Sources
  • Friday, November 14, 2008

    Annual Meeting of the FVQ Tomorrow

    From the FVQ website:

    Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the corporation The Quebec Sailing Federation Ltd will be held on Saturday, November 15th, 2008, at the:

    Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club Located at 1350 Lakeshore Dorval, Québec, H9S 2E3. (514) 631-2720

    The assembly be called at 16 h 30 Given in Montreal, this 22th day of August 2008. By decision o[the Board of Directors.

    Claude Vallières, President

    Agenda 2008 and minutes from 2007

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Race in an old class? No worries!

    Sometimes I wonder if a new fancy class will ever sail into Montreal and take over the racing scene by storm. Quite a few newer, more expensive classes could blow "Classic" but otherwise viable classes out of the water. Well, me and my old Shark will be around for a while. Yep, own a Laser, Shark, Etchells? Relax, there ain't no significant bunch of buyers out there buyin' freakin' fancy, fast, fresh one designs that will threaten to retire the oldsters. The Wall St Journal video below confirms it. Hold onto your old hull and check the stitching on your rags, the stormy weather is here for a while!

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    Winter racing makes local Laser fleet attractive

    One of the most exciting developments in Montreal sailing this year has to be the growth spurt of the Laser class. No, I'm not saying there is suddenly a huge fleet. But after years of limited or no Laser racing, this class shows real growth and viability. Readers of Montreal Sailing may know that this editor has yearned for the dawn of more single-handed dinghy racing here. Why?
    • We need inexpensive sailing in Montreal, where high club fees are an option, not a necessity. Venture SC is very, very cheap! Even storage in the backyard or garage is viable, though less convenient.
    • We need a class where you can go and race without always searching for crew first.
    • We need classes that practice the art, skill, and fairness of one design racing.
    • We need classes that can offer local, regular races and regattas,
    • and the chance to travel to away-regattas for more excitement and challenge.
    • Finally, we need classes where beginners and veterans, casual and highly-skilled can all find thrills.
    Well, the Laser class is making good progress in fulfilling that criteria. The catches to sailing a Laser is that physical fitness helps in becoming a lot more more competitive, and you have to accept that getting upended and wet will happen. Still, there are many older guys ably sailing Lasers sitting straight up!

    Now, the Laser class is facilitating yet another advantage over other classes, making the boat very attractive to racers. Winter racing down south! February can be a mighty tough month to take in Montreal. The temperatures can start to wear you down by that point. Well, the District 2 (Quebec) Laser blog is suggesting a trip to Florida in February for racing in up to three regattas, all between February 7-15. Wow! A week of warm weather and three regattas in February for the "Masters" class. The idea is that if four people go, then 2 can drive the boats down, two fly. Then they switch for the return trip. That way you only need to drive one way. Brilliant!

    As far as I know, there are only two other fleets in Montreal racing that are part of classes with winter sailing in Florida. There is the Star fleet out of CNDM. As regular readers of Montreal Sailing know from the reports of Alain Vranderick, they attend the venerable, prestigious Bacardi Cup. There is also the Fireball fleet of which some do a smaller regatta that by reports has also been a good party. These are great classes. However, if the above criteria is relevant to you, the Laser becomes the only choice I know of.

    The Laser regattas for which attendance is suggested are major events.
    1. Florida Master's Championship at the Palm Beach Sailing Club. The annual Florida Master's Championship racing for the Jack Swenson memorial 'Dirty Old Man of the Sea' trophy.
    2. Master's Midweek Madness, Jensen Beach at the US Sailing Center, Martin County. During the middle of the week
      between the Jack Swenson Memorial and the Master's Midwinters East.
    3. 2009 Master's Midwinters East at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. The end of the Master's week of winter sailing in Florida. This year returning to Sarasota which is a great fun town with beach sand like talcum powder. Better yet, the very nearby Sarasota airport has direct flights to Montreal.
    Incredibly, these are not the only Laser regatta possibilities in Florida during this time period, and over the winter. There is the Laser Radial championship for women, high performance regattas, youth sailing...

    Personally, I was shopping for both a Laser and a Shark last season, and found a Shark first which quickly consumed more spare bucks then I had. So, the Laser got deferred. However, since I have the wife's relations near these sailing venues it is even more tempting to shop again, if only for the combined family and winter sailing possibilities! One of my old crew buddies, Toby J, is at Venture with a Laser, and more great folks sail out of there too. Louis is working PCYC, and there is a group at HYC too. There is a good-sized Laser fleet at my club, BYC, though they aren't racing; a lot of clubs seem to have a bunch of Lasers on racks or on the hard.

    Yup, lots of possibilities in this class.

    Monday, November 03, 2008

    CYA Regatta of the Year awarded to PCYC for 2008 Mobility Cup

    From the CYA website:

    This award recognizes a regatta whereupon all aspects of race management have resulted in an overall organizational success.

    The 2008 recipient of the CYA City of Kingston Regatta of the Year is Mobility Cup hosted by Pointe Claire Yacht Club and the Association Québécoise de Voile Adaptée.

    The Mobility Cup has become a truly international event. Every summer competitors come from across Canada and the United States as well as Europe and as far away as New Zealand. Billed as a "regatta of possibilities" Mobility Cup´s inspiring format brings sailors that may have never sailed before to the start line with Mobility Cup champions that have gone on to represent Canada in the Paralympic Games. The Pointe Claire Yacht and AQVA aimed high in their planning and the event exceeded expectations.

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Blues For Sail / Blues A Pleine Voiles

    Coming soon: a benefit concert for the AQVA.

    Dawn Tyler Watson and Paul Deslauriers will play Bourbon St. West on November 9th. Doors open at 7 pm, tickets are $20. Bourbon is a good venue for a show. It's located at 1866, boul. des Sources in Pointe Claire. See the sidebar for a link to the AQVA for this great association that enables sailing for sailors with mobility impairments.

    Thanks Paula for getting the word out! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    Pas De Deux 2008: Jake & Cathy Crash the Etchells Party

    Jake & Cathy (seated on the left) sailed today. Pictured also, but not racing today is Marbeth.

    It was an extremely light wind day, and Jake & Cathy took the lead from us in our Shark very quickly in this fun pursuit race. We were the scratch boat. The Tanzer 22 was the boat to sail today. Being a J.A.M sail distance race with significant sections off the wind, the big masthead genny served them well. Of course Cathy always sails both high and fast, and Jake had the strategy just right. By staying high upwind to Baie d'Urfe they managed to be less affected by the wind knock near Dowker's Island, and they did not have to throw in the extra tack before reaching the windward mark. Boats that went left had a wee bit more wind, and less current to deal with. It was only on the last leg that the wind picked up significantly, allowing David Covo's Etchells to gain its stride, and nip in front for the race victory. Well done David. The Fichten's Sine Wave was next followed by the good lookin' Etchells pack. Sawiki, is a Grampian 26 sailed by a regular contender for white sail Top Dawg, Ben Waring from BYC. The Warings did very well today too, finishing in the top tier.

    Another very pleasant day on the water, was followed by a chili lunch and good draft at PCYC. This race has a twist in that the big trophy is awarded to the club which has a combination of best finishes and the most boats competing as the winning criteria. Once again, PCYC edged out RSt.LYC by a slim margin.

    If you're boat hasn't been hauled out for the season yet, today was a good day to be sailing in Montreal

    Friday, October 03, 2008

    Rum Race 2008: Results

    Here are the results from the Rum Race last week end. It was a good turn out, a lovely mild day, and very light but useable wind.

    1. Tac Tic, Brian Palfreeman, Etchells, 305
    2. Eminence Grise, David Covo, Etchells, 263
    3. Impudence, David Lowther, Etchells, 931
    4. Nuisance, Toby Bryant, Shark, 324
    5. Sine Wave, Jake Fichten, Tanzer 22, 835
    6. Kajak, Anthony Lowther, Kirby 25, 212
    7. Evil Waves, Yves Leger, Santana 20, 464
    8. Ariel, Erica Moore, Mirage 24
    9. Chinook, John Macleod, Mirage 24, 250
    10. Mainsail, Ralph Stocek, Shark, 901
    11. Alan Limburner, Hunter 34, 148
    12. Bruno Frank, Alberg 30, 297
    13. Prozac, Carl Lee, Beneteau 311,
    14. Tanzer 22, 2037
    15. Tiny Dancer, Richard Blackburn, Catalina 25, 303
    16. Erindira, Robin Drew, Shark, 1824

    - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Saturday, September 27, 2008

    Arrggh, it's the race for rum maties, or a frostie Sunday!

    From the PCYC website: "The annual Rum Race is on again and definitely not to be missed by all you skallywags. Or you'll be drinkin' from the bottom of the barrel. Rum's the game and by gawd with rum you'll gain your fame. Sunday Sept 28 11:00 AM start for all!"

    I'm torn between this fun race and the first race of the RSt.LYC's Frostbite series - groan. Anyway, I'm going to have fun working on the boat Saturday while listening to the Pogues to mentally prepare myself. Then, it's BYC's outrageous Oyster party in the evening. Hopefully, I won't be too hungover and lacking sleep to make it to one race or the other! If you see me on the racecourse you've been warned! I might be generous and let the crew decide which.

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    PCYC Open

    The Laser Class District 2 blog has posted the results of its last regatta. It was held at PCYC last week end jointly with the Fireball Class' Screwball Regatta. They had a good turnout of 10 full rig Lasers and 3 Radial rigs. I noticed Toby Jennings placed 6 in his first season in a dinghy. Also Pierre Jasmin who normally sails a nice stable Etchells took 2nd. Cool. Congratulations to the competitors and organizers. It has to be noted that the Laser Class is a real up and comer in Montreal sailing with a lot of one design regattas to choose from. Click title for full results. It is just great to see affordable racing coming to Montreal!

    1 Lisa Pelling

    2 Pierre Jasmin

    3 Tim Marshall

    4 Louis Beauregard

    5 Marc Lalancette

    Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Screwball 2008 musings....

    Joe Jospe has a gift. He's a great sailor. He also is a pretty good writer. He has once again penned a regatta report where he shows little preoccupation with the results. By the way, he and Tom Egli won 4 of the 7 races and placed 2nd in the other 3. What he does do is fondly capture the atmosphere and camaraderie in the Fireball class. Click the title to go to the Fireball N.A. website. There you will find Joe's report, full results, and at the end, a literary twist - a poem written by Stephanie Whittaker lamenting and celebrating the sailors who migrate to other classes, yet return for the Screwball. Oh, and because results do interest a few readers here and there, I'll also insert the top five at the bottom. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    "The Annual Screwball Regatta marks the finale of the local racing season for the Fireball fleet. Over the years, this sad reality has encouraged participation, has allowed certain traditions to develop, and has generally proven to be a highlight of the Quebec Fireball racing program. This year, we seemed to get a lot of things just right. Eleven PCYC boats were joined by three more from Ottawa. To add a little mayhem to the course, we were also graced by the presence of eleven Lasers in their last event of 2008.

    One of the themes discussed at length was the issue of global warming. Screwball heralds the end of summer and is notorious for providing wild and cold conditions. As advertised, Sunday was pretty chilly and breezy. The conclusion was that we found no evidence of global warming on our part of the lake. We did find one resourceful sailor warming up in a sleeping bag by her boat in the morning before heading out to sail. Who knows how long she had been there? More on the evening before shortly…

    A second emerging theme of the event is its international flavor. In 2007, three Americans and two Brits joined us. They must have been scared off this year because they didn’t show, but we had one visitor from Germany, and one competitor who has just returned from years of living in France. Anna Troetschler and Etienne Portelance seemed to fit right in with the group.

    The Race Committee, headed by Don McDonough, did an excellent job, coordinating the two fleets through seven races throughout the weekend. We sailed in a variety of conditions, and the racing was challenging and fair. Screwball provided moments of glory for many of the teams racing. Paula Stone and crew David Johnston put together one of their finest upwind legs ever. Jason Magder and Stephanie Whittaker were surprisingly fast in the right conditions. Others would sail extraordinarily fast, and then capsize in quite spectacular fashion. One of the more impressive displays was the first race win by Pierre Carpentier and Tom Bird. Unfortunately Pierre subsequently remembered that he had partied a little too hard the night before. Pierre’s hangover and their results got a little worse with each passing race. More about partying soon…

    The Fireball fleet has long been held hostage by the Crew’s Union. At the end of the racing on Sunday, this group awards prizes to all, highlighting some of the funnier things that have occurred during the regatta and the season. Andrew McCrae, Tom Bird, and Tom Egli ably represented the Crew’s Union this year. No one really knows why Andrew, a helm, is allowed to do this, but this remains one of life’s unanswered questions. Even the Race Committee earned prizes. The prizes and the explanations were fun, and it was clear from the smiles on the faces of every competitor that we had all had a really good time. And talking about a really good time….

    On Saturday evening the Club had a fantastic dinner. The cuisine was Greek, and the food was great. The wine flowed freely. Entertainment was graciously provided by John McGuiness as Master of Ceremonies and leader of the band, Donald Slessor and Stephanie Whittaker. John is an old hand at this sort of thing, and his comfort with his guitar and the microphone was pretty obvious. Donald sings very well and has been honing his guitar skills since Christmas, when his family decided he needed a new toy. Stephanie was drafted to be PCYC and the Fireball fleet’s poet in residence. The results were impressive. The attendees were educated on the history of Malcolm Van Haeften’s boat in rhyme and to music. Who knew that Malcolm owned a boat once named “Doggy Style”? Cats Paw sounds so innocent. It is amazing what can be done with a paint brush and an editor. The musical highlight of the night was the first ever public rendition of Stephanie’s creation, GNS Tuesday, sung to the tune of Hotel California.

    And the partying continued until some of us remembered that we had one more day of racing ahead. Screwball 2008 was a terrific event and a fine finale for the season. Have a great winter and we hope to see everyone out on the water in their brand new Fireballs in 2009."

    1. J.Jospe/T.Egli
    2. S.Waldie/D.Gelston
    3. A.Troetschler/R.Thompson
    4. A.Spurdle/R.Lausten
    5. A.McCrae/E.Portalance

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Good Neighbours Racing, Series C, Races 4 & 5

    The Master, Jake Fichten, and to his left Bruce, tops on the bow, and Cathy, who makes her competitors fritter when she's on the tiller. Not pictured is Marbeth who works the cockpit, and makes their  Tanzer 22 team on Sine Wave most complete. They won the first race Sunday - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Oh yeah, another great fall afternoon on the water with 2 more GNS races last Sunday. The forecast was for a big 20 knot wind and more. I prepared for it by going down to the club early and prepping the Shark. Re-measured rig tension, found it to be in neutral setting. Then I added two more turns of the turnbuckles to tighten up the sidestays, as per the tuning guide. Pushed stuff that would fall out of the way in the cabin, and got the #2 genoa ready for use.

    Naturally, as time approached to leave the slip, the big winds had yet to materialize. Certain they would come, but heeding my own advice in the last column, we put up the #1 genoa for the winds of the moment. I left the shrouds tighter in anticipation of the higher winds. Leaving the BYC harbour with the others, I could see the neighbours, Etchells, Sharks and Tanzers of PCYC in the distance. As we converged near the race committee, clearly none of the boats were struggling with their sails up. The wind was pretty easy. I eased the backstay, left the genoa fairleads forward, and we raised the #1.

    I love that short period of time just before the countdown begins up to the actual start. Everybody is testing their boats upwind, riding the start line, checking wind direction and line angle, circling behind or above the traffic, and checking out their buddies and competitors' set up. It's paradoxically exciting and relaxing if you're there in plenty of time before the start. There is anticipation of fun racing, and also time to relax once the strategy is set and the boat is moving well.

    Unfortunately, we never got the boat moving well! Learning a Shark in light winds is awful! I think the cardinal rule is lay off for speed. It's tough resisting my clear tendency to pinch. The tell tales continue to seemingly lie to me about how the wind is moving. That probably is foolish blame! The outside tell tale always indicates turbulence, making me want to head up. Back at the dock after racing, I measured and found them 18" back from the luff. I stuck on a new set about 7" back, hoping that will help next time out. We also messed up or spinnaker launches, but hey, when enough pain has been endured, the repetitiveness of lousy trim and helm will give way to our turn!

    The Tanzer 22s and Etchells seem to glide effortlessly through the water in the light wind. So did the Sharks sailed by the local best! That is contrary to the Shark's reputation in light wind, as I understand and experience it. Kudos just have to go to the T22 Sorceress, sailed only by Beverly and Susan, big masthead kite and all. At one point, they easily slipped by us close hauled, collapsing our sails and stalling our boat right at the windward mark!

    The two races saw different results as the wind went from light to lighter. 

    The Fichten's Tanzer 22, Sine Wave won the first race, followed by the Shark, Crisis, and another Tanzer 22, Evergreen. In the next race, two Sharks, Nuisance, followed by Crisis, won PHRF3. Evergreen was first Tanzer 22 in 3rd. Nuisance, the new Shark in town, is having great races, really giving the established Top Dawgs a scare, and often ahead.

    In PHRF 1, it was all Etchells Sunday, and Dick Steffan's took the first bullet. The next race saw different results with Allegro leading the Etchells over the line. It was pretty neat to see the order switched up so much amongst the Etchells with 4 of them exchanging final ranking in the two races.

    Moonstruck, the Niagara 26 took two bullets in white sail to show who's in charge.

    Just as we entered the sheltred entrance of the harbour, the winds kicked up, and before we finished tying the boat up, big white caps were giving away to yet bigger, more forceful waves.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Racing in wisps of air: for character building, or for turkeys?

    Today, the Turkey Bowl was an exercise in persistence, a race of subtle helm and heel, and sails searching to attach air. All for turkeys. The better a competitor placed, the more raffle tickets received for fresh turkeys. Funny how this mighty contest draws more contestants than some pretty serious and heavy silverware.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Labour Day's Sunday results

    Here are the top results from the Sunday racing of HYC's Labour Day Regatta

    J24 Quebec Championship (6 boats)
    1. T. H. Barbeau, Navtech
    2. N. Mabboux, Bay Gull
    A perfect 3 wins out of three races for Navtech.

    PHRF 1A (8 boats)
    1. Dick Steffan, Uhu
    2. Alan Gray, Slim
    3. Pierre Jasmin, Vivace
    Uhu took 2 bullets and a 2nd.

    PHRF 1B/2 (4 boats)
    1. Ron Harris, Jazz
    3 bullets out of 3 for the aces on Jazz

    PHRF 3 (5 boats)
    1. Paul Baehr, Sudden Impulse
    Sudden Impulse wins a battle where  only 3 points separated the top 3

    White Sail (5 boats)
    1. J. Nasser, Maverick
    Again, only a 3 point spread amongst top 3. Shigiwac takes bullets in first 2 races, but suffers a (6)DSQ to take 2nd overall.

    Kudos to all the racers who got up the morning after Saturday's long distance race and party. They raced while the rest of us cruised home! (Nothin' wrong with the latter pleasantry either of course!) 

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    GNS Series C, First Race short but very sweet

    The winning Etchells - Ralph Montreal Sailing

    Wow, I missed an exciting but very short race, the first of GNS Series C on Tuesday, August 25th! The Sharks and Tanzers both had finishes that couldn't be closer. The racers were certainly fewer than Series B. I think that is pretty typical for Series C, but this was pretty low. Those of us who didn't make it missed a great race judging by the results.

    A new Shark is on the scene. Nuisance, #324 sailed by Pierre Carpentier on the stick, and George's former crew, Toby midships and Jen on foredeck. The Sharks had 3 boats in PHRF 3for this first race of the fall series. Nuisance, and Crisis, #1465 finished in an exact tie! Each had an elapsed time of 22:16. Each team was awarded 1.5 points for the finish instead of the usual 1 and 2. Close behind was the Shark Eclipse, #1048 just 10 seconds later. What a great way for Nuisance to enter the scene!

    The Tanzer 22 fleet of PHRF 3 had equally exciting but brief racing. 4 Tanzer 22s raced. First over was Sine Wave, #835 in 24:21. Next over in an infinitesimal 3 seconds later was Sorceress, #840. Way to go girls! Goin' Strait, #2111 and Evergreen, #1618 were pretty close behind as well.

    Don't know why the race was so short and probably the times would have been farther apart had the race been the usual duration. Makes me think it's sort of like the short course of an Olympic medal race.

    In PHRF 1, 4 Etchells were out, and the victory went to Vivace, #699. Pierre's boat won by a more dominating margin, finishing in 27:48. The following Etchells, Impudence, #931, followed by #777, and Tac Tic, #305 all finished less than a minute apart, after the 29 minute mark. One J24 made it out.

    A White Sail fleet of 4 was won by the Kirby 25, Clipper. Two Fireballs came out and match raced. #14768 won that. A lone Laser also made it out for a spin around the marks.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    Turkey Bowl this Saturday!

    This is a popular fun race. Everyone gets tickets for the raffle of big turkeys post-race at BYC. The better you place the more raffle tickets you earn! Hot turkey sandwiches served after the race. Perfect for a great fall day! See you there.

    • Open to all boats with a SLVYRA handicap.
    • White Sail only
    • $7 cheap!
    • Register at BYC by 11 am
    • One start
    • Warning 13:00
    • Orange marks
    • standard Gold cup course (triangle, windward, finish to leeward)
    Notice of Race

    Monday, September 08, 2008

    Learning race set up in Sunday's race

    The Rahn family ( Father & daughter in this pic) are a powerhouse this season.

    I know, I know, learning the boat should be done before the racing begins. Study, practice, learn, practice. That isn't my reality though, so racing has to remain "fun". And, it certainly was last Sunday. Hooray! I finally got a better result in Good Neighbour Series racing.

    Yesterday, Sunday morning marked the first warning gun for what I consider the real beginning of fall racing. With nightfall coming too early for the weekday evening races, we now shift to the daytime on Sundays. What an interesting day it was too.

    The marine forecast by Environment Canada was for 10-15 knots from the northwest shifting to the southwest. When I got to BYC, other racers were telling me the forecast was for it to go up to 20 knots at some point in the day. Sailors get their weather forecasts from a number of different sources, and some are land, some marine, some fancy with maps and radar, some simply text. I have found the text from Environment Canada to be pretty reliable. Still, hearing others talk of more wind made me begin to doubt my understanding. Did I misread the forecast? Did a different source have better info? This is fairly important stuff! When on a Shark or Tanzer 22 set up with a big #1 genoa, you hesitate before switching to a smaller sail during a race. It doesn't take long racing downwind before a jibe or take-down of the chute is required. So there isn't a lot of time to change sails, and it can throw you off your game focus. Therefore, I find it preferable to make a correct call before leaving the dock.

    I looked at the light winds beyond the harbour and opted for the #1. Past experience has led me to believe it is generally best to go with the correct sail for the current condition, because you never know when the wind will make its change, and if the strength forecast will be spot on. On the one hand it could mean being overpowered later and having to scurry. I have concluded this is better than risking being underpowered in the present winds. That is almost a guarantee of being uncompetitive. Most, though not all racers it seems go with this same approach. A few had smaller sails and actually switched back up to a larger one for the second race. Occasionally, this approach means having too much sail as the wind whips up, and struggling through the race. Our races are relatively short though. For the Sundays of Good Neighbours, Series C, two races are held, and there is an opportunity to switch in between if need be. It turned out to be the correct call for our Shark. 20 knots of wind never materialized. The wind certainly did increase after we left the harbour but not to levels unmanageable with the big foresail.

    This is not to say it wasn't interesting with the puffs. However, I seem to remember one of the tuning guides saying set up for the lulls or the normal wind, and then de-power during the gusts. So that's what we did. I am still pretty ignorant and lacking confidence in setting up the trim. I confess I copied the block position for the genoa fairleads from other Sharks on the water. They all had their blocks set to a position on the track close to where the cabin begins. On our boat at least this means a tight foot, and a ridiculously fanned out leech, far from the spreader. I have had a lot of trouble figuring out how to make the Shark go, and I am not sure if this copy-cat approach led to trouble, or if some other variable causes me to have such an abysmal feel on the tiller. Usually, the slot I'm driving with is very narrow and difficult. I constantly fluctuate between pinching and falling off to much. When overpowered, as in the puffs yesterday, trying to find that precipice in between the two is most challenging. It doesn't feel good, and that less than precise knowledge makes me confident something is not right.

    On the one hand, you don't want the boat falling off, and making too much leeway, while overpowered. Yet, you don't want the boat falling into the wind, and losing power either. Learning where that precipice is, in between, where you have both height and power is a more difficult balancing act on the Shark so far, than with my Tanzer 22 before.

    Complicating the story further, are the tell-tales on the one season old North genoa I picked up. I know I am frequently stalling the boat going to windward. The outside tell tale flutters indicating turbulence. I alter course as precisely as I can, but often seem to make it worse. Sometimes it seems best when I let if flutter, and just go by the feel of power and balance in the helm. Something clearly remains very wrong.

    The first race we placed with the rear pack, but at least not DFL. At least two boats behind us. Things were improving.

    In the second race, I cranked on a bit more backstay tension, and payed more attention to the traveler. Our tacks are pretty bad, and a big part of it is me staring downward and struggling with the traveler! Still, once I stop snaking, the boat seems to go better.

    We had a very bad start, just back enough to be caught to leeward of everyone's sails and stalling. We made a quick tack to port, crossing the sterns of the fleet, and just ahead of the race committee's anchor line. This actually payed off quite well. Our progress up the right hand side of the course was clear and clean, though I got real anxious near shore where the wind felt fuzzy-wuzzy. How is that for a real technical term. We got to the windward mark in third position and held on to that till completion of the race. Essentially, once in third and realizing that the two Sharks ahead, Crisis and Eclipse were far enough to hold their own positions, I just watched, covering the rear. Ketchup tried to pass to windward on the last leg, so we blocked. Then, as we both passed a Tanzer 22 white sailing, they jibed to the right, while we stayed on the left. That made me nervous, but I felt our angle gave slightly more speed. I know standard tactics are to continue covering, but I felt any mix up with the infinitely more talented Ketchup would result in us being badly spanked! We finished in the same order. Taking third was pretty satisfying after finishing DFL and almost DFL for most of the time trying to figure this boat out this season.

    Gotta be amazed at amazed at how well some boats do! I didn't see the top finishers (lol) in race #1. In Race #2, Crisis won with just Tof and Hugh on board, managing everything! Eclipse, sailed by the Rahn family took 2nd, and have been fast all season. Peter has really figured the Shark out now! Ketchup sailed with an extra crew on board. George proudly raced with a tiny tot bouncing on his knee! How cool is that?

    In the second race, I believe the first Tanzer 22 to finish was Encore Une Fois. I saw them take up another boat at one point on the last downwind leg, but then decided I better watch my own course if I didn't want to screw up. I figured as long as they fought it out, I could continue happily along my way to finish ahead.

    After the race, we played with the genoa lead position. We moved it well forward, and thought the sail had a much nicer shape, and didn't spill out so far from the spreader. Phillipe was at the helm as I moved the block forward quite far. He thought it felt much better. However, I think the wind had also lightened up, so that could have been an interfering variable.

    We headed back to harbour satisfied. The race result at least indicated some progress had been made, even though there is a helluva way to go. While mounting the infernal motor on the stern, I noticed a huge wad of weeds on the rudder. Must remember to check for that, yet another interfering variable to understanding what the heck is going on with the boat.

    So, there it is, another installation in the learning process of the team Ambitious, on the mysteries of Sharks and fractional rigs. The draft beer at the club tasted pretty good. The crew must've had a good time too - I didn't have to pay for my suds!

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    Hudson Labour Day Regatta: Distance Race Results

    Pictured is George Stedman's Ketchup which won the Long Distance Race last weekend. Pic is from BYC Annual which is part of Sailweek - Ralph, Montreal Sailing.

    99 boats competed this year with, as is tradition, one big start, and scored according to PHRF. Here are the results I found interesting. Lets begin with the obvious, the top fifth of finishers according to PHRF handicapping:

    1. PHRF 3 Ketchup Shark 422 G. Steadman PCYC
    2. PHRF 1A Perceval J29 92 S. Thiffault CVL
    3. PHRF 1A Slim Etchells 1053 A. Gray HYC
    4. PHRF 1A Vivace Etchells 699 P. Jasmin PCYC
    5. PHRF 1A Allegro Etchells 956 L. Gloutney PCYC
    6. PHRF 1A Quill Etchells 1089 S. Lawrence HYC
    7. PHRF 1A Eminence Grise Etchells 263 D. Covo PCYC
    8. PHRF 1A Still Lost Boys Etchells 321 P. Laflamme HYC
    9. PHRF 1A UhU Lazer 28 209 S. Walkington HYC
    10. PHRF 1A Impudence Etchells 931 D. Lowther PCYC
    11. PHRF 1A Uhu Etchells 1263 D. Steffen R.St.LYC
    12. PHRF 1A Top Gun2 Etchells 1182 M. Pham PCYC
    13. PHRF 3 Nuissance Shark 324 P. Carpenter PCYC
    14. PHRF 1B Jazz J 22 693 R. Harris HYC
    15. PHRF 1B Bay Gull J24 1947 N. Mabboux PCYC
    16. PHRF 1A Tactic Etchells 305 B. Palfreeman PCYC
    17. PHRF 1B High Strung J24 2767 D. Cobbett HYC
    18. PHRF 1B Varmint J24 3782 C. Vittecoq HYC
    19. PHRF 2 Wotan Niagara 26 6 D. Godin CNDM
    20. PHRF 3 Blue Shark Shark 804 J. Frati BYC

    The results within the popular one design classes are always compelling information. The Tanzer 22 class was by far the largest group of competitors with 23 boats. Within each group of competitors, here is who did best. The order is simply as per 1st boat of class in the overall results:

    1. PHRF 3 Ketchup Shark 422 G. Steadman PCYC
    2. PHRF 3 Nuissance Shark 324 P. Carpenter PCYC
    3. PHRF 3 Blue Shark Shark 804 J. Frati BYC

    1. PHRF 1A Slim Etchells 1053 A. Gray HYC
    2. PHRF 1A Vivace Etchells 699 P. Jasmin PCYC
    3. PHRF 1A Allegro Etchells 956 L. Gloutney PCYC

    1. PHRF 1A UhU Lazer 28 209 S. Walkington HYC
    2. PHRF 1A Andanzas Lazer 28 211 P. Lhotsky R.St.LYC
    3. PHRF 1A Nom de Bleu Lazer 28 182 P. Hofer CNDM

    1. PHRF 1B Bay Gull J24 1947 N. Mabboux PCYC
    2. PHRF 1B High Strung J24 2767 D. Cobbett HYC
    3. PHRF 1B Varmint J24 3782 C. Vittecoq HYC

    1. PHRF 2 Wotan Niagara 26 6 D. Godin CNDM
    2. PHRF 2 Red Coat Niagara 26 34634 R. Tellier HYC
    3. PHRF 2 KifKif Niagara 26 34614 D. St-Onge CNDM

    1. PHRF 3 Sine Wave T 22 835 J. Fichten PCYC
    2. PHRF 3 Rocking Horse T 22 378 B. Hansen HYC
    3. PHRF 3 Tumbleweed T 22 2153 D. Seaman HYC
    4. PHRF 3 Encore une Fois T 22 1099 J. Linton BYC
    5. PHRF 3 Sloup de Jour T 22 1093 K. Hodgson HYC
    6. PHRF 3 Charisma T 22 20 K. Barrieau HYC
    7. PHRF 3 Shigiwac T 22 413 C.Campbell HYC
    8. PHRF 3 Knot a Clew-Sassy T 22 1531 M. Laventure HYC
    9. PHRF 3 Haida T 22 275 R. Metcalfe HYC
    10. PHRF 3 Sorceress T 22 840 B. Gilbertson BYC

    1. PHRF 3 Lablatt Bue Mirage 24 24121 A. de Vries IPYC
    2. W.S. Fol Amour Mirage 24 128 D. Masse CNDM
    3. PHRF 3 Jazz Mirage 24 15970 R. Sherpardson IPYC

    Full Results for those of us deeper in the standings, and irregardless of class sailed!

    Thursday, September 04, 2008

    Mobility Cup 2008 Wrap Up

    Jen Davey wrote this post which appears on the CYA news page. As a source of sailing news, the CYA website has been improving over the years. Since one of the reasons Montreal Sailing was created was the dearth of sailing news, it's nice to see them and other sources like SLVYRA making progress. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Mobility Cup 2008, hosted by the Association québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA) and the Pointe Claire Yacht Club has wrapped up after a very successful week of racing. 42 athletes with disabilities from around North America, as well as Great Britain and even New Zealand were treated to PCYC’s warm hospitality over the five day event. Despite all-too-frequent light and shifty winds, both the Silver and Gold fleets were able to complete a full series of races, with a drop for each group, thanks to the patience and expertise of Principal Race Officer Madeleine Palfreeman and her skilled team.

    Racing was tight in both fleets, and a glance down the list of final results will quickly reveal the depth of competition in both Gold and Silver. The 19-boat Silver fleet was won by Richard Dionne, of Shediac, NB, whose loyal visits to AQVA’s annual regatta, the Coupe du Quebec, surely helped him decipher the classic tricky Lac St Louis shifts. In second place was Tim Ripley of Randolph, New Jersey with Johanne Daly, of the AQVA program, rounding out the top three.

    In Gold, Merle Hickey of Calgary opened the series with a commanding pair of bullets, then continued to sail strong all week to finish first overall of the 23 participants. In second place, in a breakout regatta, was the youngest competitor of the fleet, Helen Dam of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. At 16, Helen has been training hard in her Martin and her dedication was really on display as she sailed an extremely consistent regatta in extremely inconsistent conditions. Kingston’s Audrey Kobayashi, who divides her time between the Martin and the Paralympic-class Skud, returned from a hectic few weeks of racing to take third.

    A couple of special prizes were also awarded at the Closing Ceremonies. The René Dallaire Award for top Sip n’ Puff finisher in Gold was awarded to Chris Loscerbo of Vancouver Island, BC, whose 8th place would likely have been higher had it not been for an OCS in race 5. The Darren Tucker Award for Tenacity was given to Dan LeBlanc, another sip n’ puff sailor from Vancouver, for his relentless determination to finish all races despite several stressful equipment breakdowns and his tremendous attitude towards improving his sailing.

    All week, there was a strong focus on coaching with several guest coaches helping on the water and leading animated de-briefs. Paralympian Danny McCoy, former National Team coach Marc Littée, Ontario provincial coach Matt Dubreucq, along with very accomplished local coaches Jamie Allan and Pierre Carpentier all provided excellent feedback throughout the week.

    As with all AQVA events, there was a spirited and ever present social side including daily Happy Hours and prize giveaways during de-briefs, a huge BBQ on Tuesday night, and a lovely closing banquet on Thursday that began with a beautiful meal and ended with Karaoke and dancing until the wee hours. The last special prize awarded was the newly inaugurated Sambuca Cup, which went to Danny McCoy for his unyielding dedication towards the cause of fun.

    AQVA wishes to thank the many people who made this event possible. At the top of the list is surely Regatta Chair Paula Stone, who worked tirelessly for the past year to make sure it would happen, with support provided by co-Chairs Scott Lutes and Pierre Richard. Thank you to Chief Judge Dave Pelling and Protest Committee Joe Jospe, Tom Egli and Rob Levy. A special word of thanks to our ‘gold level’ corporate sponsors, Pfizer Canada, Dawson College, Constance-Lethbridge Rehabilitation Centre, Sunrise Medical and CN. A huge ‘merci’ goes out to the Pointe Claire Yacht Club, its administration, staff and members who have been very accommodating since day one; as well as to a couple of other yacht clubs on the lake, Beaconsfield and the Royal St Lawrence, who also provided help. Finally, thanks also to the skilled AQVA staff team and the many, many volunteers who helped in the planning and execution of the event. At last count, the volunteer total was close to 100 strong!

    Congratulations to all competitors, organizers, and volunteers, and we’ll see you next September in Toronto!

    Jenny Davey


    Tuesday, September 02, 2008

    The “Annus Horribilis”

    This Shark is coming along nicely with much work, but it needs to be patient for its skipper to fulfill its potential. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Dear readers of Montreal Sailing.

    Might you recall the year Queen Elizabeth II, reigning monarch of the British Commonwealth, including 16 independent states and their overseas territories and dependencies, declared openly in a blunt speech that she had had a horrible year, her “Annus horribilis”.

    It was 1992, and the reigning Queen regnant was describing the year in which she endured these hardships: her son the Duke of York would separate from Sarah; then, Sarah was photographed topless, kissing with her lover John Bryan; followed by the Queen’s daughter and Princess Royal would divorce her husband Captain Mark Phillips; disaster struck when one of her homes, the beloved Windsor Castle caught fire, being seriously damaged and resulting in the loss of a number of priceless artifacts; then, after the government pledged to pay the £40 million cost of castle refurbishment, a taxpayer outcry resulted in the Queen having to pay up herself, and worse yet, in order to raise the money she had to open her palace homes to gawking, plebian tourists. Oh, the humiliation; To make matters even worse, right on the heels of her Majesty’s speech, comes the divorce of her eldest son, the compelling but unusual Prince of Wales, Heir Apparent to the throne, from the controversial but popular Princess Diana.

    Oliver Bone and Stéfan Locas must surely know that most horrible pain when like the Queen’s very, very rough patch, everything seems to go wrong.. Finishing at the back of the fleet at the just finished 470 dinghy class regatta in Olympic racing. Not only no medal, no podium excitement, not even mid-fleet. Instead, the back… the very back. Sure, they are sailing amongst the best in the world. They are two of the best sailors in the world! We must not underestimate what a remarkable accomplishment it is for an underfunded, underdog team to make it to the most elite playground of the wealthy and powerful, the Olympics. Kudos. Does that make it any less painful to lose. To be honest, it wouldn’t for me. I think I would feel both lucky to be racing, and pain at defeat. Hey, wait a minute, that is what I feel!

    Yup, I too know humiliation. I too know pain. I too know what a challenging path it is to struggle for a recovery, a former status in jeopardy. Okay, okay, perhaps this working class commoner from a colony cannot quite feel the same scale of downfall, and misfortune. Perhaps this enthusiastic, but inexperienced skipper of club racing and casual classes has experienced only small ripples of height before falling ingloriously into the troughs. Still, I have an idea, and can sympathize. For I too have suffered my “Annus horribilis”. DNS, DNF, DFL. Whatever the difference in magnitude, irregardless, I feel crushed! I know what it is like to be underfunded, to have little or no coaching, run up debt, have limited time beyond having to earn a living, to struggle mightily… and in my case, stupidly…Still, I bet Bone and Locas would agree, no worthy challenge is for the faint of heart, and all experience can be used for a victory down the road.

    In years past in our Tanzer 22, Ambitious, we had great days, series, and seasons, won races, series flags, beat Tanzers and Sharks alike on good days. Now, this season, I launched a Shark, and ugghh, my worst season in memory began! First, after much toil, it finally felt at least time to put the boat in the water. That was late July, about half of the season, lost to metal grinding, fairing, paint dust, drilling fiberglass and riveting through metal. In reality, the early years in the T22 were much the same. Still, it should be a little better racing a new class the second time around. Also, the work upgrading the boat, and making it truly race-ready is in reality an on-going process for some time to come. Then, to make matters worse, we seem doomed to make the same silly novice errors as when I first began racing. Our team lacks consistency in membership, familiarity and skill. We get out to the racecourse late with zero practice. One recent evening, we foolishly sailed downwind from the start line, in very light, subsiding wind, to throw up the spinnaker, get a new crew familiar on the foredeck. Of course, the chute twists, tangles, and won’t sort out, and then as the current brings us far away from the start, the race timer countdown begins. I’ll just leave it at that! One day, we were late enough that it only made sense to go cruising instead. We should have the other night too. Even when starting well, trim and helm are so poor, the fleet is quickly lost. Not always! We occasionally have had a good leg, figure it out, just not consistently. Well it has only been a month and a bit, but it still hurts. I know what is needed. Part of it, is an empirical breakdown of tasks, documented (including marks right on the boat), then precisely, rapidly, and accurately executed (It helps to have a friggin' idea of what precisely to document of course). The other part is an intellectual appreciation of our game, an understanding both thoughtful and intuitive of strategy and tactics. Yaaah right, maybe some year!

    Dear readers of Montreal Sailing: all this to say that patience and persistence are virtues! So much has gone into boat refurbishing, trying to figure out the racing, finding crew, that in my annus horribilis, innocent blog subscribers have also suffered. Less news, pictures and commentary have been forthcoming as my preoccupation is to muddle through the season. It shall eventually improve. Just as the Monarchy is once again the fancy of its subjects, just as Locas and Bone will sail another day, and be champions, the Team Ambitious, and Montreal Sailing are here to stay a good while longer, and even reign amongst competitors!

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Mobility Cup 2008, August 25 – 29

    Canada’s international regatta for sailors with disabilities will be hosted this year by AQVA (l’Association québécoise de voile adaptée) and Pointe Claire Yacht Club.

    Similar to AQVA/PCYC’s annual Martin 16 regatta the Coupe du Quebec, Mobility Cup features a two-fleet format, with sailors divided into either Silver or Gold according to ability. Registration is strong so far, and 20-25 boats are expected on the start line for each fleet, for a possible total of 50 competitors from across North America, Europe and even New Zealand. Every year sailors and volunteers from disabled sailing associations across Canada get together for this event which is held in a different city each summer. According to regatta chair Paula Stone “ The camaraderie and spirit of Mobility Cup are unparalleled at any other regatta.”

    AQVA will be well represented with 12 sailors including Marc Landry who is a strong contender in the Gold fleet. AQVA founder René Dallaire will be racing in his Martin 16 which he controls by sipping and puffing on two straws, as well as two sailors from British Columbia who will also be using this amazing technology which allows a person who is paralyzed in all four limbs to sail independently.

    A final fundraising drive for Mobility Cup is still in full swing. Funds have been raised to cover AQVA’s share of the costs of the newly renovated, fully accessible PCYC washrooms as well as the main regatta costs. However, AQVA is hoping to raise additional funds in order to refresh its aging Martin 16 fleet, obtain a coach boat, as well as to assist the Quebec City branch of AQVA in revitalizing their adapted sailing program. Donations can be made on-line at or by mailing a cheque payable to AQVA to 35-2025 Quesnel, Montreal, QC H3J 2K9. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations over $20.

    Editor’s note – A big thanks to Paula Stone who sent the above report on this big event. She, all the volunteers, and the AQVA have an impressive organization. I have sailed the Martin 16, both helming and riding shotgun for other sailors. These are graceful, stiff boats, real beauties that can also handle tough conditions. Lin has assisted with the hoists for launching sailors. The Mobility Cup is one of the largest, most important events on the Montreal Sailing Calendar. The AQVA and PCYC deserve real kudos for making it all happen! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Saturday, August 09, 2008

    Live Bold Olympic Sailing Coverage on Television!

    Wow, as I write this post, I'm watching the first race of the Finn class which I recorded off the live broadcast from 1 am. The boats are heading for the finish. On the last run there were big changes in the order of competitors. Canadian Chris Cook finished just ahead of British superstar Ben Ainslie. Beautiful shots of the boats. Catch it on CBC's new "Bold" network. Definitely worth it! I'm heading out of town in less than an hour and will miss a lot of it. Hopefully my hard drive will have enough space to record a lot of it. See my previous post for the schedule on Bold TV.

    Ralph - Montreal Sailing

    Thursday, August 07, 2008

    VO2 Max Takes Top Montrealer at Ongoing Shark World's

    The 2008 Shark World Championship is a changing slate as the racing progresses. Formerly Jin's Blue Shark held the position as top Montreal sailors. Now, they have been dethroned by another team from BYC, VO2 Max. The "V" is Nick Van Haeften and the "O2" are Osbornes, Don and Matt.

    VO2 Max was having a tough time compared to their usual place near the top. This time they have been mostly mid-fleet. However, they have had great results in the last 2 races placing 5th and 7th out of the fleet of 46. Looks like they have found their groove.

    • 15th, VO2 Max, Don Osborne, Nick Van Haeften, Matt Osborne, BYC
    • 25th, Blue Shark, Jin Frati, Nicole Hainault, Paolo Teatini, BYC
    • 34th, Sudden Impulse, Paul Baehr, William Shishakly, David Bowen, BYC

    Wednesday, August 06, 2008

    Paul Baehr's Sudden Impulse Gets a Good Performance at Shark World's

    The 2008 Shark World Championship continues in Hamilton, and now the results of three races have been posted. The BYC team on Blue Shark scored a third in the first race, which has kept its overall position in the top third of the fleet. That also makes them the top Montreal sailors at one of the most competitive keelboat regattas in Canada.

    The Montreal team on VO2 Max that placed 4th overall in a previous Shark World Championship has had a tougher time this year. They sailed each race to roughly mid-fleet positions.

    Most brilliant is the good show by Sudden Impulse in the third race, getting their best place, 10th in the fleet of 46.

    Pic (by Porter) of Paul's Sudden Impulse racing at Gold Cup last year.

    Tuesday, August 05, 2008

    Jin On Fire at Open of Shark World's

    Wow! Jin Frati's Blue Shark from BYC has taken 3rd place in the first round of the 2008 Shark World Championship. Racing is taking place right now at Hamilton's RHYC, but so far, only the results of the first race have been reported. Three teams of Montreal Sailors are competing in the fleet of 46 boats at the regatta which runs from August 2nd through the 8th. Here are the positions of the Montreal sailors:

    • 3 - Blue Shark: Jin Frati, Nicole Hainault, Paolo Teatini, BYC
    • 28 - VO2 Max: Don Osborne, Nick Van Haeften, Matt Osborne, BYC
    • 36 - Sudden Impulse: Paul Baehr, William Shishakly, David Bowen, BYC
    Click title for full results so far.

    Sunday, August 03, 2008

    Sail East Results

    Here are the top finishers from the Sail East Regatta hosted by CVL, just completed today. For full results click here.

    420 Class

    1 Jack Neilson & Will Franklin Thorpe, BYC
    2 Matthew Osborne & Timomthy Dennett, BYC
    3 Chadd Sessenwein & Rebecca Moskob, BYC, PCYC

    Byte Class
    1 Marie-Pier Alary, EVO
    2 Corine Boivin, CVS
    3 François Vachon, CVS

    Laser Class
    1 Maxime Gagnon, PNCR
    2 Jean-Luc Robitaille, Ontarezi
    3 Jonathan Boisvert, CNDM

    Laser 4.7 Class
    1 Gabrielle Laforce, CVL

    Laser Radial Class
    1 Chanel Cloutier Beaudoin, CVM
    2 Dominique Racine, RStLYC
    3 Caroline Morgan, RStLYC

    Optimist Class
    1 Tristan King, EVO
    2 Frederique Tougas, CVL
    3 Evan Berard, PCYC

    Windsurfing Class
    1 Audrey Caron, MultiVoile 4 saisons

    Saturday, August 02, 2008

    Award Series Race #3 Turns To Drifter

    Roy Carter in command of his Alberg 37 at the start line. As with all MS photos, click to enlarge - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

    Last Thursday's race started out okay with a very light wind, but ended with boats finishing mostly thanks to the aid of the current on the last leg. It was questionable how much even the Etchells were moving in the wisps of air versus the current, but Luc Gloutney crossed first. A pack of Etchells had an interesting cluster of boats on the last leg, where right of way proved a factor.

    Chris Paynter who led the PHRF 3 race to the windward mark in his Tanzer 22, then got the last lovely puff of wind, and rode that to a victory. It was a night for the Tanzer 22s and even Ariel the Mirage 24, which left the 2 Sharks behind. This evening can stand as yet another confirmation of the Tanzer 22's superiority in light, wispy wind. Still, to his credit, Don McDonough's Shark team stayed in there, managing to finish the race, before all evidence of wind left the lake. Shark #901 a little further back missed the last gasp of air, and drifted a little off to the left of the finish line for a DNF.

    The J30, "Breakaway" fulfilled the challenge of its name with 1st in the White Sail class. For a really remarkable feat, Roy Carter piloted his heavy beauty, the Alberg 37 across the line for an impressive 2nd place, heck, wind or no wind! Laird Glass did very well, taking 3rd in his Tanzer 22.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    Shark Still Teething

    Well, it looks like I am finally going to get a little racing in. Readers of Montreal Sailing might recall I picked up a Shark to try my hand at racing with what some believe is the best racing class in Canada. The boat was a very fair deal, and I knew that I would be spending a lot of time making changes to set the boat up like the great examples of Sharks at Beaconsfield Yacht Club. Well, a lot of grinding metal, changing of rigging, standing and running, fixing up spinnaker gear, riveting, and so on, the boat, currently called Mainsail, has begun its transformation from a solid, basic club racer to a bona fide member of the Montreal Shark community. I hope its previous owner will approve and enjoy a sail on her one day.

    This is not to say that both the boat and the skipper don't have a lot more improvements in store. Frankly, I stink! DFL, or close to it is the standard to better at the moment. After a couple of club races, and one regatta, further evidence in the standings have shown how difficult this boat is to learn. All seems well until we sail anywhere near another Shark and see how slow and low we race.

    Hopefully, a couple of simple changes, like tell tales I can see on the opposite side of the sail, getting the windex back on, and getting more familiarity with the boat will have us more competitive before too, too long. Other issues will be more challenging. I picked up a North genoa at the Shark regatta in Oakville, and some reasonable sails from Paul Baehr, at a better than fair price. I still owe him a few beers. This was a huge improvement. However, sails and trim are still a dark area. I tried an old main sail in the last Good Neighbours race, primarily because it had the correct numbers on it. For some reason, this sail has a bizarre belly along the foot that can't be right! No amount of outhaul, vang, and cunningham changed its shape. Without a black band indicator, perhaps it was simply the halyard. We were just guessing at genoa trim, but didn't get its cunningham sorted out, so sailed with scallops in pretty strong wind. Pointing was so poor, I had to luff up to avoid boats, and overstand the marks to make sure I would nail them.

    Of course none of this (particularly my helmsmanship), had anything to do with our placing DFL. That responsibility, I am relieved to say goes to our confident foredeck crew, June. We had decided not to fly the chute on the first run due to high winds and a report sent to the back of the boat, that the running rigging looked wonky. One of my pending upgrades is new Harken #6 winches for flying the chute, as yet uninstalled. The crew thought this decision applied to the race in its entirety, and dutifully removed the sheets, being as neat as they are. The wind softened for the next sausage, and approaching the mark, I called for the spinnaker pole to be mounted. The crew looked at me in a quizzically fashion... Left to white sails on that leg we lost many boats passed earlier in good shifts. Still, not a crewmember to sit back, June lept in to action, and prepped the lines for the next downwind leg. She had them attached to the sail and led around the forestay with impressive speed. Obviously, feeling like a cat leaping around the boat with nary a change in the hull's balance, she stood up straight on the leeward cockpit seat, and bent over at the waist to thread the rope through the last block at her feet. Of course, that was the perfect time for a healthy puff to heel the boat smartly, and give us a burst of speed. June gracefully launched into the air, and exhibited a remarkably beautiful swan dive into the water!

    Hooray! We now had the most splendid excuse for our certain DFL. Even better yet, this being my first real "crew overboard" emergency, I am pleased to report a recovery of the sailor within approximately 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. We actually closed in on Shelby's Tanzer 22, but he still crossed ahead. We had an exciting evening, a story to tell at the clubhouse, scotch to warm our still cheery, but wet celebrity, and finally, a lot more sailing to look forward to.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Results: Venture Laser open

    Here are the results of the first Laser regatta of the season, the Venture Laser Open.

    1 126565 LISA PELLING
    2 160929 JORDI QUINTIN
    3 188649 PIERRE JASMIN
    7 29427 DONNY STRATH
    8 66262 BILL STRATH
    9 175022 PETER GUTKOWSKI
    10 92843 ANDREAS SCHWAB
    11 66645 NICK VIGLIOTTI

    The next stop on the Laser circuit is SailEast August 1st-3rd.

    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Venture Laser Open Today

    Today, is the first Laser Regatta of the Quebec Laser Circuit 2008. It's being held at the Venture Club of the Pointe Claire Sailing Base in Valois Bay and is open to both Radial and Full Rig. Have a blast gang!

    Infos :

    Venture Club link

    These regattas are important developments this year in developing dinghy racing and affordable sailing!

    Ralph - Montreal Sailing

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Canadian Olympic Sailors To Get A Lot Of TV Coverage!


    CBC's digital channel bold is home to exclusive, live daily coverage of Sailing events for BEIJING 2008: THE OLYMPIC GAMES. Starting Friday, August 8, bold will telecast more than 250 total hours from Beijing, including more than 150 hours of combined live coverage.

    Peter Rusch and Fiona Kidd will track all the sailing action and medal hopefuls from Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center.

    Please see the full broadcast schedule below or visit Viewers can contact their local television service provider or visit for information on how to subscribe to bold.


    SAILING ON bold

    (Schedule subject to change)


    Saturday, August 9 Keelboat Heavyweight Dinghy-Finn 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Keelboat Heavyweight Dinghy-Finn 11:15 a.m. ET

    Sunday, August 10 Skiff Dinghy-49er 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Skiff Dinghy-49er 2 p.m. ET

    Monday, August 11 Windsurfing RS:X Men’s and Women’s 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Windsurfing RS:X Men’s and Women’s 12 noon ET

    Tuesday, August 12 Men’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser / 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Women’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser Radial

    Men’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser / 12:30 p.m. ET

    Women’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser Radial

    Wednesday, August 13 Men’s 2 Person Dinghy 470 / 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Women’s 2 Person Dinghy 470

    Men’s 2 Person Dinghy 470 / 12:15 p.m. ET

    Women’s 2 Person Dinghy 470

    Thursday, August 14 Skiff Dinghy-49er 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Skiff Dinghy-49er 12:15 p.m. ET

    Friday, August 15 Multihull Tornado / Men’s Keelboat Star 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Multihull Tornado / Men’s Keelboat Star 11:15 a.m. ET

    Saturday, August 16 Heavyweight Dinghy Finn Medal Race / 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Women’s Keelboat Yngling Medal Race

    Heavyweight Dinghy Finn Medal Race / 12 p.m. ET

    Women’s Keelboat Yngling Medal Race

    Sunday, August 17 Skiff Dinghy-49er Medal Race 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Skiff Dinghy-49er Medal Race 11:15 a.m. ET

    Monday, August 18 Men’s 2 Person Dinghy 470 Medal Race / 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Women’s 2 Person Dinghy 470 Medal Race

    Men’s 2 Person Dinghy 470 / Medal Race 11 a.m. ET

    Women’s 2 Person Dinghy 470 Medal Race

    Tuesday, August 19 Men’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser Medal Race / 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Women’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser Radial Medal Race

    Men’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser Medal Race / 11:15 a.m. ET

    Women’s 1 Person Dinghy Laser Radial Medal Race

    Wednesday, August 20 Windsurfing RS:X Men’s and Women’s Medal Race 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Windsurfing RS:X Men’s and Women’s Medal Race 12 noon ET

    Thursday, August 21 Multihull Tornado / Men’s Keelboat Star Medal Race 1 a.m. ET LIVE

    Multihull Tornado / Men’s Keelboat Star Medal Race 11:45 a.m. ET