Thursday, October 15, 2009

Strong Winds and Competitive Racing for J24 Canadians at HYC


The blog, HYC Sailor's Advisory posted this report by Marian Kuiper on what appears to have been quite a blow out of a regatta. So we'll enjoy this and return to other themes in the coming days. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Hudson Yacht Club and its dedicated volunteers hosted the Canadian J/24 Championship, September 17 – 20th, and it was a deemed a huge success by the participants!

Thanks to our many kind sponsors, HYC welcomed sailors from all over Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, with generous hospitality and terrific give-aways! Registration included breakfasts, lunches and a tote bag loaded with tuques, USB keys (to be loaded with regatta photos), duct tape, tools, rope, sunscreen, beer tickets and more!

On Thursday, after a busy day of registration, measurement and launching, the crews were welcomed with a delicious chicken and ribs dinner from Village Churrasco, and lively entertainment by popular local band, The Moonlights. An impromptu performance of French ditties by the BayGull crew capped this very fun evening!

Friday’s racing proved quite challenging for the fleet, as winds increased throughout the day, gusting up to 27 knots by mid-afternoon. Our highly-qualified Race Committee executed four races, while keeping a watchful eye on the hard-working crews. Several boats suffered considerable damage, including Nepean’s Blue J, whose mast broke during an upwind leg. Gorillas in the Mist, from Halifax, suffered a twisted keel after going aground in a valiant effort to assist a Laser sailor in distress, far off the course. Luckily, no one was hurt under these trying conditions, though our very own Hypnautic did lose one man overboard. After several rescue attempts in the choppy waves the young sailor was rescued and was more upset with losing his new regatta tuque than finding himself in the frigid waters! The winner of the first day’s racing was Navtech, from Quebec City, and was presented with the Western District Trophy and a pair of Sperry Topsiders for each crew member! An impromptu Friday evening of go-carting continued to hone the competitive spirit, for those who still had any energy left…

Whereas Friday challenged the body, Saturday racing challenged the brain. Three races were held in light, oscillating, frustrating winds, but lots of sunshine. Drivers Wanted, from Toronto, was the day’s winner, and also won Sperry Topsiders! This was followed by a Saturday evening dinner at the historic Willow Place Inn, where sailors experienced local charm and delicious cuisine.

Sunday’s conditions were perfect with steady winds averaging 10 knots under sunny skies. Two races were held, and so with admirable proficiency the Race Committee’s goal of 9 challenging races was handily met!

Sailors appreciated the tough competition, as 16 boats vied for top finishes. After an exciting weekend of great racing, the first place boat was Drivers Wanted, Port Credit Yacht Club. This top team was also presented with the Gerald Long Memorial Trophy for Top Canadian boat and the Bacardi Cup for the Canadian Championship Winner. Right behind, in second place, was Navtech, Quebec City. In third position was Sticky Fingers from Halifax. Full results can be viewed at: http://www.sail123.com/j242009.htm

Following the prize-giving, a raffle was held for another 20 pair of Sperry Topsiders, or winners could choose from a table laden with gifts from Quantum, Fogh Marine and the Boathouse. Crews were also presented with a package of terrific glossy photos from May’s Studio.
The Committee had made the difficult decision to postpone this June regatta to September, but this turned out to be an excellent move! We had four days of challenging sailing and great weather, with over 75 sailors in attendance (and all quite well-behaved!J)
The Regatta Committee would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the terrific HYC volunteers and generous sponsors who helped make the Canadian J/24 Championship a great success!!

Marian Kuiper
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