Friday, February 22, 2008


Or swallow a lot of water!

Click to zoom.

Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who Ya gonna Call?

PCYC has great members who can support our racing. Here is a gaggle of them surveying the course off their committee boat, Ajax, and one of the crash boats alongside. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Who says you can't race Lasers!

Pic from the blog Rule 69.

Yesterday, Montreal Sailing presented a pic of Paul Goodison, horizontal on his Laser, hiking it to windward (see below). Owwww.... A steady, heavy breeze on a long windward leg show up the pussies with trapezes or sit-in and up cockpits don't they? On the other hand, Goodison's Olympic form doesn't mean you can't sail a Laser! This fellow was competing at the recent Laser Masters World Championship. Bravo, he sure gives me hope!

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Proper Yacht

Not a sheet in the teeth type racing shot, but isn't Windlark a handsome boat?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rahn Father & Son win Wayfarer Mid-winter's

A big congratulations to Montreal sailors, Peter Rahn and his son Alex, 1st overall in the Wayfarer Mid-winter Championship in Lake Eustis YC, Florida. They took five bullets to win with a deceptively healthy lead. After 4 races they had been tied for the lead with Jim and Linda Heffernan from North Carolina.

It had been three years since the Rahns had sailed their Wayfarer dinghy, Shadow. It seems they haven't lost their touch which challenged them with all sorts of wind from whispers in the beginning to strong winds at the close of the regatta.

In race #1 the Rahns did well in light wind to take an early lead on the first beat. That lead switched hands as zephyrs took over changing parts of the course. On the last leg, the Rahns moved back into first, but watched the fleet creeping up on them before taking the race win. With the wind dying the fleet returned to shore for lunch.

The wind filled and backed considerably, and the race committee moved closer to shore. One boat was recalled at the start of race #2 and the rest got off with the pack going left a little favoured over the group going right. While the left group got to the windward mark first, a small lift on the starboard layline helped those on the right (including Peter and Alex) close the gap. The Rahns made good on a number of boats over the next beat and run, went to the left side, and finally managed to hold off a challenge for 3rd place.

The next day saw winds of 4-5 mph, and a race course with a reaching leg. Peter and Alex got a good start in race #4, and worked the center of the course. The best spinnaker work helped the Rahns win the race. They also took race #5 in which some backing wins made the finish line a little tricky, though perhaps not as tricky as docking post-racing with an alligator nearby.

The final day of racing was a very different environment, with winds of 16-18 mph, gusting to 22 or more. Boats were on a plane as they made their way to the starting area under main and jib alone. So all opted to keep their chutes stowed.

A melee near the committe boat made the start exciting with one boat performing a 720. Peter and Alex got away safely. Rounding the weather mark, the Rahns bravely raised their chute and also threw in a well-executed gibe, much to the pleasure of the spectators. Now, it is important to remember where they are sailing. One boat, threw a spectacular capsize, and dug its mast into the mud. Once upright, with the help of a patrol boat, the hull was found to already have become home to a variety of fish and one small gator! With capsizes and shifty winds over 20 mph, the race course was shortened for the final leg.

The Rahn family, regularly race a Shark out of BYC during the summer months.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Who ya gonna call?

One of the things I like about sailing, aside from the competition of course, is the people I get to meet and have fun hanging out with. June here sailed with me at the Tanzer 22 North American Championship, and the Hudson Annual Regatta. She is a regular at BYC and has a lot of experience on the foredecks of Sharks and Tanzer 22s. When you need someone on the pointy end to do the job right...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

J-24 U-Gotta Regatta Crash And Burn Vid

Well you've got your J24 or your Tanzer 22 with BIG chutes, or your Sharks with the little hanky. Hmmm, maybe the Sharkies figured somthin' out...Play the video...

Mike Leigh becomes Canada's Olympic Laser Contender

Report from CYA News. Click pic to enlarge, it's worth it! Crash photo from regatta website

- Ralph, Montreal Sailing

2008 Laser Worlds – Final Day

Defending champion Tom Slingsby of Australia successfully defended his crown and is the 2008 Laser World Champion. Although the event did not end as anyone would hope with a day long postponement and finally an abandonment of the final races the Slingsby is a quality and deserving champion. With 10 races in the books no one can question the validity of his title it was well earned and hotly contested. Slingsby posted a pair of bullets in races 9 and 10 to wrestle the championship away from week long leader Julio Alsogaray of Argentina, whom ultimately ended up with the Silver Medal followed by Spain’s Javier Hernadez who wins the Bronze.

Radical seas and winds that posted recorded averages in excess of 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots ultimately forced regatta organizers to abandon racing for the day. The finality of the event hit home in many ways as this was the final country qualification event leading up to the Olympic Games and also an individual selection event for some countries. Canada was among those countries using the event as an individual qualifier.

The impact on Canadian sailors results in Mike Leigh qualifying to represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games. Mike’s 23rd place performance was top amongst the Canadian contingent that included Abe Torchinsky (35th overall), Bernard Luttmer (40th overall), and David Wright (46th overall) as the other Canadian’s in the hunt for the Olympic berth following the division of fleets into Gold, Silver and Bronze after the first six races. As an early front runner Abe Torchinsky set the pace for the Canadians, but as the event wore on the consistency of Mike Leigh won out. Each and every Canadian Laser sailor should be pleased by the efforts they put forth over the duration of this campaign. It has been a long time since Canada has had as many quality competitors amongst the worlds best. At present Canada has 5 athletes amongst the top 50 in the World rankings including Mike Leigh 5th, Bernard Luttmer 15th, David Wright 30th, Mike Kalin 34th and Abe Torchinsky 41st.

The focus for Mike now turns to the Olympic Games. A series of solid scores throughout the down under circuit give reason for optimism. Mike’s score line includes, a Gold Medal at the 2007 Sydney International Regatta (Dec 07), a Silver Medal at the 2008 Australian Nationals (Dec 07 - Jan 08) and a 5th place finish at the Sail Melbourne Asian Pacific Regatta. Stay tuned to the CYA pages as we follow our athletes preparation and ultimately their performances at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Day Four Report - LASER WORLDS

Pic from regatta website
Report from CYA website:

DAY FOUR LASER WORLDS – Six Races completed

Report Date: Monday February 10, 2008
By: Tommy Wharton

It took a 9:30 am start (and a 7:30 coaches meeting!) to get three much needed races in to salvage the qualification series at the 2008 worlds. After having only three races after three days, the Race Committee took no chances and had all the sailors out extra early to take advantage of a promising weather window. The wind co-operated and three very long (almost 80 minute) races were completed. A drop was introduced after five races, so the splits for Gold, Silver, and Bronze are now done. For Canadians, the 08’ worlds is their respective Olympic trials, so many Canadians were vying to move up the leader board as well as make the cut into Gold fleet. Of the nine entered, only four sailors are left, and they include Abe Torchinsky, Mike Leigh, Bernard Luttmer, and David Wright.

Last year’s World Champion and Terrigal/Gosford native Tom Slingsby, now leads the event after a very consistent day. Currently he is dropping a 5th, an amazing result as it has been very difficult to be consistent due to the variable conditions found so far. Top Canadian remains Abe Torchinsky, who posted two solid races, a 12th and an 11th. In the last race, Abe was in the running for another top 10 but was herded to the wrong mark by the race leaders. By the time he figured out the correct course, it was too late and this is the reason for his deep last race (a 45th). Still, Abe has been on fire, and sailing his best to remain amongst the top group here. Three Canadians posted their best results of the series so far with Mike Leigh racing to a 4th, Bernard Luttmer to a 5th, and Dave Wright to a 5th.

So basically a new regatta begins. Six races over the next three days, with only one drop to be taken in gold fleet. It is not unheard of to sail an average day yet still post a 30, 35. The forecast over the next few days is showing more of a standard sea breeze direction, but anything is possible as the weather has been unpredictable at best. Stay posted for further updates.

Results after 6 races (157 boats)
1st Tom Slingsby AUS – 11pts
2nd Julio Alsogaray ARG -15 pts
3rd David Weaver NZL - 17 pts

Canadian Results
17th Abe Torchinsky – 43 pts
33nd – Mike Leigh – 65 pts
35th – Bernard Luttmer – 67 pts
48th – David Wright – 82 pts

65th- Mike Kalin
79th – Luke Ramsay
92nd – Chris Dold
110th – Anthony Boueilh
121st – Lee Parkhill

Report by Tommy Wharton
National Team Coach
Canadian Yachting Association

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Well tuned J24

David Cobbett's High Strung. The J24 Class had 9 boats doing one design racing at HYC's Labour Day W/E regatta last season.

Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Laser Worlds 08 - First day of Racing Report

Pic from regatta website.
News from the CYA website:

Two Races Completed

Report by Tommy Wharton

Finally the 2008 Laser World Championships got underway yesterday with two races completed in all qualifying heats. The first day of racing was officially lost on Thursday due to extreme thunderstorms, and on Friday a tricky 7-12 knots filled in for all the eager sailors. The wind was not that stable however, and it was not uncommon to see both sides of the race courses with different breezes, big lead changes occurring, and very inconsistent scores amongst the 157 competitors. Many pre-regatta favourites suffered tough days, including world #2 Paul Goodison (47th overall), Andreas Geritzer (57th) and Andrew Murdoch (78th).

On the Canadian side, young Abe Torchinsky, from Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, lit up the racecourse with a 3rd and 5th. He sailed incredible and is currently tied in 6th overall with 2007 World Champion and the #1 ranked Laser sailor in the world, Tom Slingsby. Veteran Mike Kalin from Kingston, also had a fantastic day, posting a 8 and 9 to sit in 13th place right now. After these two, the remaining seven Canadians had some tough races, but many came back from very deep roundings early to post scores that may turn out to be not that bad if the wind and weather stays this unstable. Don’t count anybody out of this regatta, it is way to early to call.

The racing continues today and tomorrow with two races a day. At the end of racing on Sunday, providing we get enough qualifying races in, the sailors will be allowed to drop their worst score and fleet splits will be made (into Gold, Silver, and Bronze). After this, three days of finals will take place, with two races a day planned. So lots of racing remains, the extended forecast has some unstable weather coming, my bet is on a pretty high scoring series for many. The key ingredient will be consistency, and never giving up on a race. Stay tuned for more daily reports at the conclusion of each racing day.

Note: regatta website can be found at
Updates can also be found at

Overall results (after 2 races) – 157 boats
1st – Julio Alsogaray – ARG – 1,1 (2 pts)
2nd – Matias Del Solar – CHI – 2,3 (5 pts)
3rd - Vasilij Zbobar – SLO – 4,2, (6 pts)

Canadian results
6th - Abe Torchinsky – 3,5 (8)
13th Mike Kalin – 8,9 (17)
44nd Mike Leigh – 14,23 (37)
45th Chris Dold - 21,16 (37)
50th Bernard Luttmer - 17,25 (42)
64th Anthony Boueilh - 26,21 (47)
69th Luke Ramsay – 32, 17 (49)
90th Dave Wright - 23,35 (58)
100th Lee Parkhill – 25,36 (61)

Report by Tommy Wharton
National Team Coach
Canadian Yachting Association

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Who ya gonna call?

Every yacht club has a number of members and staff who form a core group that we depend on most for the quality of our summer fun. These people need to be praised and thanked constantly, to say the least! One such person is Mike Paynter who is crew-extraodinaire on his father's Tanzer 22, a flawless race committee leader, and a main linchpin in BYC's staff team.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Miami OCR Wrap Up

Without a doubt, the guy pictured above is one of Canada's up and coming, a sailor who could be challenging the best everywhere. Who you ask? Robert Davis. To say this young sailor did well at the just concluded Rolex Miami OCR would be an understatement. Indeed, Davis made it to the Laser medal round final race by getting 8 top ten finishes, including a bullet. Robert Davis sails out of Kingston, and has got to be one of the Canadian stories of this regatta. Also performing big time in the Laser class is Geoff Abel who finished 10th overall, and actually bested Davis in 6 of the individual races. Canada had 7 competitors in this class.

In the 2.4mR Class, Canada had three top ten contestants and 6 in total.
  • 3rd, Paul Tingley
  • 6th, Allan Leibel
  • 9th, Bruce Millar
Canada did well in the Laser Radial Class, shut out of the top ten by a small margin. This is where Montreal's young women are showing they can be the story of the future. Keamia Rasa, Isabella Bertold, and Lisa Ross finished 12, 13, and 14th respectively out of a strong Canadian prescence of 11 entrants. Below are the exceptional Montreal sailors in this class.
  • 32nd, Nicole Bastet
  • 34th, Geneviève Bougie-Bastien
  • 36th, Laurence Bonneau-Charland
  • 38th, Jessica Lombard
2 of three teams had top ten finishes in the Skud Class. John McRoberts and Stacie Louttit took 3rd overall, and David Cook and Brenda Hopkin 4th! Cook and Hopkin sustained damage to their keel that could not be repaired in time for the final day's racing. Another Canadian team Richard Watters and Audrey Kobayashi, gave them their Scud to continue racing, making their performance possible.

Tyler Bjorn crewing for Brian Cramer in the rock star-laden Star Class took 36th overall.

31 Canadian entries competed in 7 classes.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Sharks will hold Montreal regatta in 2008

Pic from Shark website

The regatta schedule for the Shark one-design class has been posted. They have a huge number of regattas from spring through fall. 15 events are posted and 8 are official counter regattas. One of them is here in the Montreal area. Beaconsfield Yacht Club will once again host the Coupe de Québec on June 21st-22nd. The event will be a CSCA counter. That is, a regatta officially sanctioned by the Class Association, and counting towards the series points for the title of "Shark of the Year".

The Shark fleet should be in a much warmer mood by then.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tanzer 22s invited to the Nepean One Design Regatta

Montreal sailors of the Tanzer 22 Class have been invited to attend the Nepean One Design Regatta (NOD) again. The regatta will be held June 21-22nd. It has always been a highlight of my regatta calendar. Any Tanzer 22 sailors who would like to attend, need assistance with getting their boat there, or have any questions can contact me by clicking here, then "email". Also, if you would like to participate in any other Tanzer regattas this summer, contact me over the possibilities.

Cramer & Tyler second from right in the Star Class this week in Miami. Pic by Dan Nerny

Overall results for leading Canadians as of the end of yesterday at Miami OCR.

Name, Class, Place, (Fleet size)

  • Paul Tingley, 2.4 Class, 3 (25)
  • Robert Davis, Laser Standaed, 7th (23)
  • Lisa Ross, Laser Radial, 12th (39)
  • McRoberts/Louttit, Scud 18, 3rd (10)
  • Kelly/Terlson/Shaw,Sonar, 10th (11)
  • Cramer/Bjorn, Star, 39th(65)
  • Bury/Henderson/Abbott Yngling, 24th (28)
The heroes of Montreal Sailing are the Montreal area sailors of the Laser Radial class. They are Nicole Bastet, Genevieve Bougie-Bastien, Laurence Bonneau-Charland, and Jessica Lombard. So far, Nicole Bastet is leading the pack. Jessica Lombard has moved out of the fleet's cellar, a position I also know all to well! May I say to all, have fun, keep racing, and don't worry, the performance will come! You're there because you're already on the way!