Monday, April 28, 2008

Canadian wins at 40th Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères

The CYA website has the report below. How exciting that Canada has so many contenders for the upcoming Olympics! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing:

"For the second year in a row a Canadian has won an event at Hyeres. Mike Leigh, in the Laser class, competed gamely all week, remaining amongst the top 3 through some challenging days and putting together a solid medal race to wrap up the event. Mike has performed exceptionally well since winning the berth to represent Canada in Beijing. His Laser Radial World Championship has now been followed up by this outstanding performance at one of the premiere events on the circuit.

"The competition in the Finn fleet was its typical tight fight, Canada's Chris Cook was looking solid in the Medal race when a random wind shift inverted the fleet. Cooker hung tough finishing 6th in the medal race and 8th overall. David Wright also in the Laser class rounded out the Canadians in the medal races, a first for Dave and a top shelf overall finish of 9th overall."


The last day of racing with its medal races saw light and shifting winds which are what competitors are expecting at Qingdao for the Beijing Olympics. Earlier in the regatta, conditions were very heavy winds and steep, close waves, so they have seen it all, making the victors all the more impressive.

Bravo for Dominique Vallee (Multivoile) in the Womens' RSX, Genevieve Bougie-Bastien (RStLYC) in the Laser Radial and Oliver Bone and Stephane Locas (BYC) in the mens' 470. While finishing back in the standings, they are afterall among the world's best. Montreal Sailing is among their biggest fans!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fundraising Party for Bone & Locas!

Levée de fonds - Fundraiser


Billets/Tickets:$20 Contactez/Contact:

Shani Rosen at

Door prizes -Tirage de prix




Thursday, April 24, 2008


Below is Tommy Wharton's latest post to the CYA site. Oliver Bone and Stéphane Locas (BYC) picked up an 11th in their best race, before the 470 fleets were divided. The other two races resulted in mid-fleet positions. When the fleets were divided they were placed in the silver fleet where they are currently 4th overall within that grouping. Genevieve Bougie-Bastien (RSt.LYC) took 28th in the most recently reported Laser Radial race. Dominique Vallée (Club Multivoile) is now in 32nd in the Womens' RSX. - Ralph Stocek, Montreal Sailing

Report by Tommy Wharton
National Team Sailing Coach
Wednesday April 23, 2008

What a difference a day makes! Day Three of Hyeres Week was blown out due to a strong “Mistral” breeze which held most fleets ashore. The 470 Men and Laser Radials were actually sent out to the racecourse, but the puffs were easily in the 30 plus knot range. The Race Committee made the smart decision on Tuesday to abandon racing for the day. On Wednesday, Day Four of the event, fleets with two fleets had been divided into their respective gold fleets, and all Olympic disciplines were ready to commence racing again with many sailors excited to get the opportunity to discard their worst score (at five races). The sail out brought a pleasant building westerly in the 7-10 knot range, but there were forecasts that outlined a possible switch to a sea breeze direction later in the day.

This is exactly what happened, and it led to a very complex day on the water. It depended on the racecourse, but many races were abandoned when this 180 directional change happened, and if wasn’t abandoned it made for some massive lead changes. In the Laser Gold Fleet, David Wright sailed to a solid 3rd place in the first race of the day, and followed this up with a 20th to shoot up the overall rankings to 12th overall. Mike Leigh had a strong 10th in the first race, while sailing to his drop in the second. Mike’s consistency so far still leaves him 2nd overall, and he enters the final day of racing before the medal race on Friday well within sights of the overall leader from New Zealand. Well done Mike!

In the Finn Fleet, Chris Cook started with a strong 6th place in the first of his three races. After this race, he was a strong first overall. Unfortunately, the next two races did not go to plan and Chris now sits in 6th place. Tomorrow will be a big day for Cooker, with some ground needed to be made on the leaders, but the double point medal race on Friday will be super tight and ultimately decide the podium finishers. Tornado sailors Oskar Johnasson and Kevin Stittle are on the cusp of medal race potential here, and are also looking for a strong showing tomorrow to set up this showdown on Friday.

** Canadian Results:

6th – Chris Cook

2nd – Mike Leigh
12th - David Wright
107 - Abe Torchinsky

Laser Radial
36th – Lisa Ross
66nd – Keamia Rasa

13th – Oskar Johansson and Kevin Stittle

21st – Gordon Cook and Ben Remocker

470 Male
42nd – Stephane Locas and Oliver Bone

RSX Female
23nd – Nikola Girke
32nd – Dominique Vallee

RSX Male
61st – David Hayes

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here is a report by Tommy Wharton, National Team Sailing Coach just posted on the CYA website. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing.

The 40th running of the Semaine Olympique Francaise de Voile (SOF regatta) has not been without it’s drama. Day one was sailed in big breeze and crazy seas, with fleets racing in the afternoon treated to pelting rain and limited visibility. The day started actually quite nice, but it just went from bad to worse as the racing went on. Looking at the score card the first day, across the fleets there were few boats who managed to put together two consistent races. Thankfully, the second day of the competition had sunny skies and a nice 10-16 knot westerly, a classic Hyeres day of sailboat racing.

Canada has representatives in eight of the ten Olympic classes here, with seven of Canada’s 2008 Olympic reps in attendance as well. All fleets are deep in talent, as Hyeres week represents the first official “Grade one” of the European circuit. Racing continues for the next three days, with Friday reserved for the top 10 medal race in each Olympic discipline.

CST Finn Sailor and 2008 Olympic rep Chris Cook opened the regatta with a fantastic 2,3 to be leading the regatta after the first day. Day two started with a little misstep (16th), but Cooker turned it on with a convincing race win in the second race. He currently sits in second place overall. Olympic rep Mike Leigh also started the event with a solid 2,3 in the Laser fleet, and followed this up on day two with an equally solid 2,4. He also sits in 2nd place overall after four races. In the 49er class, China-bound Gordon Cook and Ben Remocker are showing how their hard work is paying off with consistent set of scores so far and currently lie in 10th overall. Another highlight of the event so far is RSX Olympic rep Nikola Girke, who had a fantastic second day and currently sits in 14th place overall.

Tomorrow’s racing is calling for 25-30 knots, with gust in the afternoon up to 35 knots. Sounds like fun. The big question in the boat park is if there will be racing, but if one event can pull it off, it is Hyeres. Stay tuned for all the action.

For full results, please check
There are also complete updates at, and please check this CYA page for daily regatta reports on the Canadian team.

** Canadian scores after 2 days of racing:

Finn (56 boats)
2nd – Chris Cook

Laser (156 boats)
2nd - Mike Leigh
19th – David Wright
119th – Abe Torchinsky

Laser Radial (78 boats)
27th – Lisa Ross
54th – Keamia Rasa
76 – Genevieve Bougie-Bastien

49er (42 boats)
10th – Gordon Cook and Ben Remocker

Tornado (21 boats)
15th – Oskar Johansson and Kevin Stittle

RSX Women (61 boats)
14th – Nikola Girke
35th – Dominique Vallee

RSX Men (92 boats)
52nd – David Hayes

470 Men (75 boats)
48th – Stephane Locas and Oliver Bone

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Day at the 40ieme Semaine Olympique Francaise de Voile

Montreal Sailor Genévieve Bougie-Bastien (RSt.LYC) left early for Europe to maximize her training. She is one of the many Canadian competitors at the S.O.F. in Hyeres, France. Genévieve sails in the Laser Radial. Also in Hyeres for this regatta are Oliver bone and Stéphane Locas (BYC) competing in the 470, and Dominique Vallée in the RSX class.

The conditions were incredibly tough on the first day of racing, with winds reaching 25 knots with short, deep waves. Some of the Canadians on the Olympic quest are at the top. Chris Cook of RCYC is in 1st overall in the Finn class! Michael Leigh is in 3rd overall out of a field of 149 competitors in the Laser class! Gordon Cook and Ben Remocker are in 10th overall in the 49er class! Oskar Johansson and Kevin Stitth are also doing superbly, 15th overall in the Tornado.

There is a lot of capsizing going on, particularly in the 49er skiffs which are having spectacular wipe-outs. The website is slow and freezing up, so getting news is tough. I imagine a lot of the competitors’ first objective is to stay upright.

Montreal Sailing shouts out OI OI OI! for Locas, Bone, and now for our most recent favourite international competitor Genévieve Bougie-Bastien. Damn the conditions and have a blast Canucks!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Laser SB3 Keelboat dominates beyond our waters

Photo by Richard Langdon, Ocean Images

In case someone didn't realize, yes, the new OD class post was an April Fools' joke. Indeed, I am the last person to consider such an option, as such newer designs are not remotely in my budget. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but notice the news this morning. It almost made my jaw drop. The Laser SB3 class (Fools' class) has had to cut off registration at the upcoming World Championship as entries had reached 120.

120... for a new KEELBOAT class... WOW!

I think this boat, or one like it, may reach North America in a big way, particularly once beyond the current recession. I will be one of the last to join. Not because I'm not anxious to try one. I'd like to ride this speedster more than anything else right now. Rather, because I need, and benefit from the availability of cheap, older boats, and this is a modern design that is still pricey on the European used market. With SB3 production beginning soon in Rhode Island, numbers, used boats, and prices may eventually change if the class becomes as popular in North America as other parts of the world. There has even been suggestions it should become an Olympic class. Simple, fast, now we just need the 3rd winning factor to reach the masses like me: inexpensive!

Whatever, time to stop dreaming. I have a Shark at the club along with my T22, wonderful boats. It's already the afternoon, time to resume applying that rubbing compound. Remarkable how these boats' oxidized gel coats come back, again and again. I must say, it feels good to be in the boatyard.

Yah! The season is approaching, and I am getting excited! Montreal is a fine place to be right now. The weather is warm and sunny, the boat yard is becoming populated with friends, and we have good 'ol boats to get ready for a season of great competition and fun. See you out there.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New one design keelboat sweeping key Montreal racers

A new keelboat class is coming to Montreal, and in a very big way. Montreal Sailing has been told that for a number of months, a group of key Montreal racers have been planning to found a new one design class to race in the Montreal area. Starting with only three people, the group has been rapidly growing. The working group has held very quiet, but serious meetings, meant to consolidate and grow racing in the region. So far 11 members of other O/D classes have committed to purchasing boats, and so have 4 crew members of several other racing boats. In addition to that, 8 other racers who have heard about the project have expressed serious and eager interest. All this before the class even officially begins to campaign with Montreal racers. This new class looks like it is about to sweep the Montreal waters like a July thunderstorm. Once word gets out and becomes official, the new class is confident, a great many of racers in other classes will jump in. This appears to be a very ambitious plan.

The new class will race the Laser SB3. This 3 person modern keelboat racer has taken Europe by storm, and is now going to be manufactured in the United States as well. It is part of the new “Sportboat” breed It is incredibly fast, simple, very light, easily towed by normal cars, quick to set up and ramp launch. I had a look at some pictures, and clearly it is like a big modern dinghy with a contemporary, lifting bullet style keel. It is a non-hiking class. Not only that, but while being very fast, it was designed for ease of racing with low sheets loads, modern asymmetrical, and so on. Oh, and, yes, its new, so pricey! However, the new class is arranging for assistance in purchasing boats both new and used. Apparently, lower financing rates have been arranged, and organized delivery of boats will be made for an organized, collective, deep discount purchase. The class will also encourage and support ownership “Syndicates”

So who are these people? Well, they are clearly hesitant to discuss the project too much until some final details are in place. They plan a large meeting for all racers to attend in about 5 to 6 weeks where a Builder representative shall make a presentation. Montreal Sailing knows the initial three are members of the RSt.LYC, and PCYC. The classes they sail are the Laser 28, and Fireball. Since then, members of other classes who heard about the project have joined in the planning meetings and committed to purchasing boats. They are racers of the two classes mentioned and also the Etchells, 2 Tanzerites, Lightning, 3 Sharkies, J24, a J27 (or J29, not sure). Rumour is that the interest in the Fireball fleet, and other smaller high performance classes is almost rampant.

Montreal has long been a region that races very old boats. Competitors can now easily find O/D racing boats for $5000. This is a great advantage of classes racing boats from the 70's and even older. However, 2 trends seem to be working in favour of this new class taking over the whole scene within a few years. First of all, many racers are tired of the old tubs we've been coaxing around the course. The new SB3 organizers say how much worse can it get than trying to finish an evening race in July or August in ugly slugs like Sharks, Tanzer 22s, or other such tanker keelboats. Or worse, those tired, old, teeny tiny, wet woodies with a boom you can't get under anymore. Secondly, many racers of quick boats like the Fireball, Laser 28, or Etchells are yearning to have ONE BIG FLEET that is also highly competitve! While the discourse is coursing through the veins of key players within these fleets, keen interest has been expressed by others on Lac Des Deux Montagnes who have ran into a wall in terms of racing with growth halting, or even reversing in some fleets. Some of the interested racers who already compete internationally, apparently are also keen on being able to contest the best in Europe, and believe the class with a new U.S. Builder is about to take North America in a revitalization of competitive O/D racing.

Hmmm... Lets see, me and two other owners sell and put together a downpayment, pick up a discounted used boat, and get a low interest rate. Hooo, time to revamp the home budget?!? Stay tuned to Montreal Sailing for more news and the date of the first official meeting open to all Montreal racers. Lets see, when is 5 or 6 weeks from now. What's the date today?