Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Racing for Turkeys

The Turkey Bowl was a success as always. Indeed more boats than usual appear to have raced. This is a fun regatta, and beyond the usual racers, a good number of cruisers were on the course as well. It is a lot of fun. Rather than the usual up and down racecourse, we are sent up and down river and across too. The wind was very light and so it was a bit of a crap shoot for some boats. For example if you were trying to work your way against the current when the wind got pretty wispy, you were in bigger trouble than the faster boats who were already around the mark and going downriver. If you got around the downriver mark, and to the shore quickly you got a little more breeze to carry you along, than those following later, who could not make headway to shore. On the other hand, the breeze eventually filled back across the river carrying all boats.

Despite all the variables of course good racers almost always do well. This race was no exception, with the very formidable Rahn father and son taking first place in their Shark, Eclipse. I thought it was very exciting to see the young Lowthers come in second place in the family's Kirby 25 (picture here by Heather Deeks, click to blow up and check out the grins, life is good!), triumphing over the exceptional sailing skills of his father in the Etchells, who came in third.

The race course of the Turkey bowl overlapped with the Firebals and Lasers holding their own races as well. Alas, so be it if we all insist on racing the same day. Better that, than not racing!

Many turkeys were raffled off, post-race, and the higher one placed, the more raffle tickets awarded. A lot of hot turkey sandwiches slathered in gravy were washed down with cold beer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Keep your heads down

Here is another photo from the recent Soling World Championship. Unlike the first post, the picture here doesn't quite do the graceful lines of the boat justice. As the sail identification shows, it is not one of the boats with sailors known in Montreal. Of course most of us are all too familiar with this scenario though. Oi, there could potentially be quite a headache here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Whoops, Wrong Day. It's the Turkey Regatta!

I'm posting this with my phone for the first time. Hope it works. I may made an error on the previous post. Today may be the day we sail for turkeys, not chili! The higher we place the more raffle tickets for turkeys. I'm looking to win a turkey at least!

Chili bowl Today

Today is the running of the Chili Bowl. This is a distance race I believe. In any case it is a fun race, and we shall be there. Hot chili and cold draft anticipated at BYC post-race. Two of the top contenders are pictured above, Eclipse and Encore Une Fois. By the way, Encore Une Fois are the BYC club champions this year. Thanks to Heather and Brent Deeks who took this amongst many great shots.

Ralph - Montreal Sailing

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Peter Hall: 3rd at 2009 Soling World Championships

The 2009 Soling World Championship took place at the Etobicoke YC, and has just concluded. RSt.LYC sailor Peter Hall, along with Phillip Kerrigan and Gavin Flinn, took the 3rd podium spot. 24 crews raced including some heavyweight names, long-standing members of the class, and a strong Canadian contingent. Winners were Canadians Bill Abbott, Paul Davis, and Joanne Abbott. In the middle for 2nd overall was the German team of Roman Koch, Maxi Koch, and Gregor Bornemann. Many readers of Montreal Sailing know Paul Davis, either from racing against him in the Shark class, or buying a North one design sail from him. Readers of Montreal Sailing may also recall Peter Hall putting in a stellar performance in the recent Lightning Masters Championship.

Hall and crew took one bullet, two seconds, and a third out of the 9 races, and pulled ahead of Canadian Olympian Hans Fogh and Brazilian George Nehm who were tied for 4/5th only 3 points back. Fogh actually had more race wins, but Hall was more consistently ahead, and had a lower number as his drop race. Up to the last race, including what would become the dropped race, Nehm was ahead, and Hall and Fogh were tied in points. Actually, winning the regatta was within reach of quite a few boats right to the very end. That's the greatest isn't it?


Monday, September 21, 2009

Race 9 | Lightning World Championship on Sailgroove

Race 9 | Lightning World Championship on Sailgroove

Posted using ShareThis

Congratulations to the Montreal sailors who competed at the just-finished Lightning World Championship in nearby Mallets Bay on Lake Champlain. You can see some of them in this video of the last race.

Jamie Allan, Jay Deakin, and Marc Litee did best of the Montreal fleet, scoring 18th overall out 60 boats competing. Alain Boucher, Chantal Leger, and Terry Line also had a good regatta with a mid-fleet position overall and 12th in their best race. I believe they were the boat in this video with the good start squirting out from the pin end. Lets just not talk about their bang up at the windward mark later in the video! Montreal fleet stalwart Michael Holly Jr. with Pat Litee and Marc Robin placed 37th overall.

The Lightning class has had a higher profile in Montreal, since they began participating in the local racing. It is cool to see them working out the boats and then following their regatta action. Congratulations to the whole fleet in Montreal.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We've Made Some Progress!

This photo is from the collection taken by photographer Bob Barratt. I'm ordering this one of us. - Ralph Montreal Sailing

This has been quite a season of learning this year. It is the first full summer sailing a Shark. It hasn't been an easy transition. No touchdowns, so to speak, but we have come along. On top of learning a different boat, we have new crew learning how to sail, and crew learning new positions. Add to that my being a slow learner and not a natural sailor, and we have quite a challenge. Therefore, a reasonable goal had to be ascertained. What would be reasonable? Not being DFL. I know that sounds like setting the bar awfully low, if we were going to be serious, even at the beer can level it wasn't too easy a goal! Our previous race boat was called Ambitious, and it has been wise not to switch the name of the current boat to the same, just yet.

Last season, after spending the first half, on the hard, working on the boat, we splashed, and we were repeatedly dead freakin' last. And I was feeling the humiliation. One big donkeybutt, that was me. Woe was me. Yep, I was drinking pint glasses of sorrow, and wallowing in it. The boat was still a mess, and inadequate, we were screwing up at more mark roundings then not, and lots of boats that I consistently finished well ahead of in the Tanzer were whupping our asses in the Shark. It was not an unreasonable goal, anything but dead "freakin" last... please.

We have had more DFLs this season, but generally we have moved up some. Inter-club racing began with us still DFL a lot, but we also would get "next to DFL" finishes, and even a little better. Hey, I was ready to take whatever progress we could get. Incremental change, I can handle that. It was helpful that we could only improve. Okay, I'll confess that I don't totally believe that. It still sucks. Still, it is good to be on the water and competing. We saw at least where we can improve. The odd occasion we would do better and see what was possible. We got a third halfway through the season. Last Sunday we got another third place, and better yet there were good boats that we triumphed over competing that day , and the two ahead were within fighting range. Everyone gets a good day.

Our potential is there. It is not a lost cause. David and I joined Nick on VO 2Max for the Ishkoodah, and we got yet another 3rd. That time, we were the 2nd Shark, and overlapping Eclipse, the first Shark at the finish line. Nick has been key in my getting more focused.

Then came the big challenge. People were saying we should go to the Shark World Championship, which was being held at Niagara On The Lake, Huh? I thought, are they serious? The reasoning was consistent from everyone who spoke to me. There is no better learning opportunity then a full week of racing against more than 60 boats that are the best of the class. Well, maybe so I thought. but how much humiliation can a guy take, and still make it to the next starting line? I decided initially, we would only go if we thought we might not be last yet again. I really do believe in "having fun", not worrying too much about placing, but there is a limit! Well, I was not sure we would get out of the cellar, but we did! At the World Championship we placed 52nd out of 63 boats. That was an accomplishment, as silly as it sounds. More importantly, we did become better sailors at that week-long, pan-in-the-fire, intensive learning experience. The big knowledge acquisitions for me was learning the course for advantage, staying totally powered up, and keeping in phase with the shifts. It isn't that these concepts were new, but at some point they become more practice, not merely abstract understandings.

Finally, "Shark School" has been great, and I hope we organize more. Several times, Sharks have been out for starts or boat-by-boat tuning. This is an important way for getting some of us more up to speed. For those generous enough to give your time this way, it really does help the class!

The season isn't over yet. I can say while it is still hard, it's been good. We will be continuing to go at it, and will be pushing some of the Sharks before long.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hall, Deakin, and Proctor take third overall at Lightning Masters Championship

Here is a short entry that appeared in a recent issue of Scuttlebutt on the conclusion of the Lightning International Masters Championship. The photo is from the Lightning website. congrats to Peter Hall, Jay Deacon, and Ched Proctor on the podium finish!

Malletts Bay Boat Club, Colchester, Vermont - James Crane, from Darien, Connecticut, along with crew Brenda Crane, and Tom Allen Jr., saved the best for last. Going into the last leg of the last race, there were 16 boats between them and the finish line. Crane sailed to the far right corner of the course and passed everyone ahead of them, winning the final race, and with it, the International Lightning Masters Championship by two points over Bill Mauk, from Miami, Florida who finished second with 11 points. Peter Hall from Montreal, Quebec finished third with 15 points.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Montreal Sailors Lead the Lightning Masters Championship After First Day

Of 32 entries at the Lightning Masters Championship, there is only one non-American team. That would be the local Lightning wizard Peter Hall sailing with another local hot-shot, Jay Deakin, and the famous American, Ched Proctor. Being the only Canadian entry is not what the team will be recognized for at the moment. Rather, it is likely to be how they are leading the regatta! The first day is now complete, and the Canucks won the first race, and came in 2nd in the 2nd race. It appears that Hall steered in the lead for the entire first race. Hall, Deakin & Proctor now have 3 points against 5 each for the teams in 2nd and 3rd overall. The regatta is actually being held nearby in Colchester Vermont at the Mallets Bay boat Club on Lake Champlain.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The success of the Canadian Laser team

Here is an article about our Canadian Laser sailing team. It appeared in yesterday's Scuttlebutt newsletter.

(September 8, 2009) For 18 days of competition, the focus of the Laser class has been on St. Margaret’s Bay near Halifax, Nova Scotia, which this past weekend completed the 2009 Nautel Laser Worlds and Master Worlds Championships. Nearly 450 sailors competed for these two titles, with much attention given toward the development of aspiring athletes in this singlehanded Olympic event.

As Canada was the only country with three sailors in the top 16 of the Laser Worlds, and considering that none of the guys have been traveling as much this year, Scuttlebutt asked National Team Sailing Coach Tommy Wharton to provide some insight on their training program. Here is his report:

Regarding the success of the Canadian Laser team (2 in top 10, 3 in top 16, 5 in top 35) I believe there are many key factors. Here is a short list:

1) Team worked together as much as possible.

2) Coach driven, athlete centered, sport science supported environment. We had two prior National Team camps in June (where American Clay Johnston joined in) and one in July (where we hosted GBR stars Paul Goodison and Nick Thompson - who ended up finishing first and third by the way - and their coach).

3) At these camps and during the Worlds event, we had a full court press of sport science - ie sports psychologist, nutritionist, meteorologist, strength and conditioning, and sport medicine and massage. All of these top notch support people were present in Halifax as they are contracted out of the Canadian Sports Center Atlantic. Having these people in the training camps prior and then the lead up to the Worlds ensured there were appropriate relationships between the athletes and the support people (so they were not just bombarded with support only at the peak event).

4) Split the coaching duties as we had a massive amount of Canadian representation. Our national team coaches (Brian Todd and myself) focused on the Canadian Sailing Team members in a pre-arranged fashion, and there were other Canadian coaches present who also supported their ranks. It was all about setting up a proper approach where there were no surprises, the athletes knew who was going to support them, and in what kind of fashion.

5) We used our home turf advantage as much as possible. Having our National Team qualifier at the same location in the fall of 2008, and then our training camps prior to the Worlds, our sailors were accustomed to the venue. They had great living arrangements nearby, brought their own bikes for fitness, had passes to the local gym, etc., etc. We tried to mimic their home environment as much as possible.

6) All the sailors were on the same page. This was their peak regatta of the year, their respective programs reflected this, and they all sailed exceptionally well. This never give up attitude; confidence in their program is perhaps best reflected in young Lee Parkhill (100 ++ at last year’s Worlds in Australian) who qualified second to last in Gold fleet this year. His consistency in the finals paid off as he hammered away at solid scores to end up 16th overall. That is a story to remember.

Anyways - there was a long answer to your question. Thanks for your support.

Click here for the 2009 Nautel Laser Worlds and Master Worlds website.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mix and Match Sharks

This is a crop from another of Heather's great photos taken during GNS C, races 2 & 3. I wanted to highlight Crescendo because it is one of the new Sharks racing out of BYC. Judy is the skipper. At the helm is Bill who also has one of the new Sharks at BYC. Crescendo is a very nice boat. After the Shark World's, Pierre, helm of the Sharp Shark "Nuisance" chatted with me about some Mix & Match races. This is something the Fireball class has done. Seasoned racers sail with those learning their boats, and get tips on performance. I would definitely be in, and Judy is enthusiastic too. We held Shark Sunday School earlier this season where Sudden Impulse and Mainsail practiced frequent starts and short course sailing to practice sail-handling and mark roundings. Bill was in on that one too. I think quite a few Sharkies can benefit from this type of training. It would also be a good opportunity for the class to get together.

Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Encore Une Fois in Action

Here is a photo of one hot team. Encore Une Fois, the Tanzer 22 team, has had a terrific summer. They have been placing high in the standings of the Award and Good Neighbour Series, and winning races all summer long. This is another photo from the talented Heather Deeks.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Clipper & Varuna at GNS "C", Races 2 & 3

Hi Ralph.

My husband – Brent and I are also members at BYC. On Sunday we helped out with race committee duties on the Trapeze. After the race got under way we sat back and took a few snaps. Here’s a couple of pics from the race maybe you can use them on your blog.  The race was total blast, pretty windy, quite the riot on the water!

Bye for now,

Gosh, Heather took some super photos, and I will post more in the coming days. Heather and Brent sail the Tanzer 26, Kiwi. Much thanks Heather.
Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Thursday, September 03, 2009

CVL-HYC-CVMO « Wednesday nights series » 2009

Here is a report by Pierre Marois on the inter-club racing on Lake of Two Mountains. Now we know who to look out for at this coming week end's Hudson Regatta! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

The CVL-HYC-CVMO Wednesday nights series ended with the August 26th race. The Club de voile des Laurentides was hosting the prize giving party this year with French Hot-Dogs and beer for more than 100 people!

The season series consist of 14 races divided in 2 series. It brings together all the racers from the 3 Clubs every Wednesday nights from May until September.

Summer series

The summer series (7 races) ended with the August 26th race. The best 3 results were taken from the 4 races sailed.

In the PHRF 3 class, Pierre Marois’s Tanzer 22 Coquine was first with 2 wins and a fourth place. Ken Hodgson’s T22 Sloop du Jour was second; Ron Metcalfe’s T22 Aida was third and fourth went to Annie Baribeau’s T22 Tohu Bohu.

In the PHRF 1-B & 2 class, Ron Harris’ J22 Jazz continued his winning way with 1 win and 2 second places to take first in the class. Second place was taken by Lee Grant’s J24 Peacemaker and third place went to Ross Tellier’s Niagara 26 Red Coat.

In the PHRF 1-A class, Alan Gray’s Etchells Slim was first with 2 wins. The two J27; Cork Winter’s Sherlock and Trevor Collins’ Group Therapy finished second and third respectively.

Overall results

For the overall results, the best 6 results were taken from the 9 races sailed. A total of 43 boats participated in the 3 classes.

In the PHRF 3 class, the T22 Class had 19 boats competing and took 14 of the first 15 places in the standings. Pierre Marois’s Coquine was first with 11 points (4 wins). Ken Hodgson’s Sloop du Jour was second with 18 points (1 wins). Jean-Luc Gosselin’s C+C 25 Will’O’Wind broke the T22 stronghold by finishing third with 22 points (1 wins). Annie Baribeau’s Tohu Bohu was fourth with 23 points. Fifth went to Michael Laventure’s Knot a Clew with 27 points and sixth to Ron Metcalfe’s Aida with 30 points. Chris Campbell’s Shigawac was seventh with 40.8 points.

In the PHRF 1-B & 2 class, Ron Harris’ J22 Jazz had 2 wins and 4 second places to win the class. Second place was taken by Lee Grant’s J24 Peacemaker with 12 points (2 wins) and third place went to Bernard LeDuc’s J22 Springbok with 13 points (1 win). Ross Tellier’s N26 Red Coat (2 wins) and Dave Cobbett’s J24 High Strung (1 win) were fourth and fifth respectively with 18 points!

In the PHRF 1-A class, Alan Gray’s Etchells Slim was first with 9.6 points (3 wins), Cork Winter’s J27 Sherlock finished second with 14 points (3 wins) and Scott Lawrence’s Etchells Quill was third also with 14 points (1 win).

Congratulations are in order for all those who participated in the organization of these series with RC duties. And a very special “thanks” to Patrick O’Brien from HYC who did fantastic works all season with the RC boat and the race results.