Monday, October 26, 2009

THE GRAND UNVEILING: QC Hall of Fame and Quebec Awards of 2009



Here are Voile Quebec's Awards for 2009. If you are like me, you will recognize many, and want to hear more about the others! - Ralph, Montreal Sailing. See website for full details

IAN BRUCE INDUCTED INTO THE QUEBEC SAILING HALL OF FAME
At the Quebec Sailing Federation Gala, held in Poine-Claire on October 24th, Ian Bruce became the first member to be inducted into the Quebec Sailing Hall of Fame. This gesture recognized his exceptional contribution to the development and promotion of sailing, not only in Quebec but also on the international scene.

QUEBEC SAILING MÉRITES 2009 AWARDS

The Quebec Sailing Federation nominating committee is proud to present this year’s winners:

André-Dionne Trophy (Volunteer of the Year) Winner: Claire Lemieux
Mme Lemieux se dévoue grandement à la promotion et au développement de la voile au Québec. Son implication au sein de l’école de voile des Blanchons est inestimable et nombreux sont ceux qui ont eu le plaisir d’être introduits au monde de la voile par son biais. Elle se démarque par sa grande efficacité et surtout le fait qu'elle ne compte jamais les nombreuses heures qu'elle dévoue à aider les gens intéressés au monde de la voile.


Trophy Claudrey (Sportmanship) Winner: Martin Lefebvre
Depuis deux ans, Martin Lefebvre est un des meilleurs athlètes en 29er, ayant terminé en deuxième place aux essais pour les Jeux du Canada, derrière les Frères Chouinard. À la recherche d’un nouveau défi, Martin a suivi une nouvelle direction avec le programme RSX. Dans une des classes les plus exigeantes du monde de la voile, Martin a démontré un dévouement et une persévérance qui sont nécessaires pour le succès, en étant aussi un exemple positif pour les jeunes marins. Après les efforts implacables que Martin nous a démontré cet été, nous avons hâte de suivre sa campagne d’hiver.


Race Officer of the Year Winner: Pat Patterson
Pat is a National level race officer. This year he worked at the Canada Games in PEI, CORK, Laser 28 Championships, Etchells Canadian Championships, many Hudson Yacht Club races, and was the Principle Race Officer at FruitBowl. He is passionate about race management. He is knowledgeable, consistent, and always reliable.


Instructor/Coach of the Year Winner: Nicole Bastet
As single-handed race team coach for Pointe-Claire Yacht club, Nicole started this sailing season with 7 first-time radial sailors, athletes from various racing backgrounds. She has since done an excellent job selecting regattas and helping them set goals for the season. Her athletes have improved leaps and bounds, obtaining top results over the course of the year. Furthermore, Nicole is encouraging her athletes to train over the winter and follow the regatta circuit in Florida, while maintaining proper balance with school. Nicole’s devotion to the sport and the way she has inspired her athletes this summer should be recognized.


Club/Sailing School of the Year Winner: Hudson Yacht Club
This is the 100 anniversary of the Hudson Club. Hudson hosted a number of major regattas: The Etchell Canadian Championship, The Soling 1 meter Canadian Championship, The J24 Canadian Championship, Fruitbowl , Labor Day regatta. Any one regatta would be outstanding on its own. All 5 required strong leadership and the support of many many volunteers. By any measure all regattas were a tremendous success; great sponsorship, great organization and leadership, participation by over 100 volunteers, excellent race management on the water, great participation from numerous yachts clubs from Canada and the US.


Event of the Year Winner: Course Jacques-Cartier
96 voiliers, partis de New-Richmond, de Cap-à-l’Aigle, des Îles-de-la-Madeleine et de Matane, ou s’étant ajouté à l’Anse-à-Beaufils, se sont rassemblés dans la baie de Gaspé les 24, 25 et 26 juillet. Ce fut l’occasion de célébrer « nautiquement » le 475e avec des navigateurs de tout le Québec et d’Acadie. La Course Jacques-Cartier 2009 était d’ailleurs un élément majeur du volet nautique de ces fêtes. La Course Jacques-Cartier 2009 est mise en nomination en raison de l’envergure de cet événement nautique et aussi de l’originalité qui consistait à faire converger quatre flottille partant de partout au Québec maritime afin de se rassembler et régater en un même lieu. Par ailleurs la Course Jacques-Cartier 2009 a fait l’objet d’une importante couverture par les médias radiophonique : chroniques régulières à l’émission Magazine de la mer (Radio-Canada) au cours de l’hiver et du printemps 2009, entrevues radiophoniques diffusée par divers médias généraliste ou spécialisés en sport de Montréal jusqu’aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine, chronique quotidienne à Radio-Canada, en direct de son voilier, de l’organisateur durant l’événement.


“Optimist” Athlete Winner: Justin Vittecoq
In his second year on the Hudson Yacht Club Opti Race Team, 9-year old Justin has sailed to the top of the fleet with a busy summer of regional, national and international regattas (and sailing in winds up to 30 knots!) Proud highlights for Justin were a 3rd (1st White) at the Quebec Championship and a 1st White at the Canadian Optimist Championships in Victoria, BC. At the New England Championships in Newport, RI, Justin experienced large fleet sailing (over 320 boats at this event!) and finished an impressive 4th in the White fleet. Justin’s success continues with his national team qualification – he will be on the Canadian Opti Team in 2010! Hudson Yacht Club honoured this talented young athlete with the prestigious Chris McDermott Memorial Award, which acknowledges strength of spirit and commitment to the sport of Junior Sailing.

Young Athlete of the Year Winner: Dominic Racine
Dominique est un jeune "lasériste" apprécié de tous. Discret et réfléchi, il est toujours prêt à aider et à partager ses connaissances avec les autres membres de l'équipe. Sa bonne humeur est contagieuse et son calme se propage à tous. Il est assidu, discipliné, organisé...bref, tout le monde aime Dominic.


EVERT BASTET Trophy Winners: Lauren Laventure et Emilie Tsang
Lauren is not new to Elite level Sailing. Having completed successful Optimist career Lauren took some time off from the Sport. After Receiving a call from Canada Games trials winner Emily Tsang to join her in a run for the Canada Games Lauren did not give it a second thought and returned to her favorite sport. The Dynamic Team put together an intensive training program consisting of both early morning and late evening training sessions. Their hard work not only made for great role Models to the young sailors at PCYC it earned them a memorable showing at the Canada Summer Games with a Bronze finish. This has propelled them into a full on program with goals of representing Canada at the next 29er Worlds and more.


Sailor of the Year Winner: Robert Patenaude
M. Patenaude s’est illustré en remportant la course en solitaire Newport Bermuda 2009. Il est non seulement le premier québécois, mais aussi le premier canadien à gagner cette course prestigieuse, et ce malgré qu’une baleine ait heurté son voilier et démoli le gouvernail.

De plus, Robert Patenaude, qui est docteur et un survivant du cancer, profitait de sa participation à cette course pour faire une collecte de fonds au bénéfice de l’IRIC. La campagne Persévérance a généré des dons de 177 605 $ qui seront affectés à l’appui de la formation de la relève scientifique de cet institut dont la mission est de vaincre le cancer.

Congratulations to all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pas De Deux Concludes Our Season



Race course area

Here is the final instalment of this year’s Pas De Deux Regatta. We have rounded the windward mark of the afternoon distance race, running most of the length of Lac St. Louis. That completes the longest leg. Now, we are running back with the current, on another long stretch. We are in second place in this last race for our Montreal sailing season.

It’s a “Pursuit” race, for a crew of two only, restricted to white sail. Just for fun, no protests thank you. It is very pleasant sailing frivolity concluding a season of hard racing and tough one design. The slowest PHRF rated boats (that’s us) started first, followed progressively by faster and faster boats, that then pursue the leaders. Theoretically, all the starts are timed so that the competitors finish in unison if all other variables... do not vary. Of course they do vary. It is a fun race. Still, the slower boats want to prove they can finish ahead, the faster boats want to show they can catch and pass. A race is always a race.

Rounding the first mark, after an eternity in light, “swirly”, and “gappy” wind, the Shark, Eclipse is well ahead in first place, Our Shark, Mainsail rounds second, and initially, we broadly reach our way back, now more comfortably ahead of the pursuing pack. Emerging from the channel, in between Dowker’s Island and Baie D’Urfe, Eclipse does the butterfly thing, and we find ourselves doing the same as we get to the wide open lake. The wind is slowly picking up. It is a long run, a little tiring. I think I lost my focus at this stage. With the increasing wind, the direction has also changed a little. Though we cannot see the next mark for a long while yet, I believe it is a little to the right of the breeze. I edge up here and there while wing-on-wing. The wind direction had not changed enough to go on a broad reach. The wind does change a little more, gets stronger yet. Still, no big deal. The wind is enough for the Shark to continue putting distance between us and the pursuing Mirage 24s and Tanzer 22s. Robin’s Shark, Erindira is also in pursuit, but I’m eyes forward, steering, and not sure where in the pack behind he lies. The wind, shifting a little more and continually freshening, starts to play games on me a little, and I’m beginning to mentally wander. The sails flutter here and there, the boom threatens to swing on occasion, the boat de-powers. I keep wanting to go more right, but it would still be a slow broad reach. Unbeknownst to me, the Etchells has emerged from the pack, and is bearing down. Nick is becoming impatient with my sloppy steering. Now, thinking back, I realize we were flapping about in the same area where the wind had been twisting about on the upwind leg. I never liked sailing wing-on-wing. The boom always feels threatening to me, and unsettling. The wind is getting stronger. I try to focus on the wind indicator atop the mast, and keep the boat planted downwind.

By this time, my poor tiller work has put Eclipse far out of reach. Eventually, the wind seems to stop fouling my brain, and we move along, but the Etchells is continually making ground. Their jib is very small, and collapsing here and there. Peter tries to push it out with a boat paddle, which is an amusing break on this long run. Neither of our boats work well without the spinnaker, and we don’t have whisker poles aboard. Inevitably, they pass. They ask if we know where the mark is. Cooperatively, I say it is not visible yet, but I think it is a little to the right. Remember, it is a fun race. Even though the wind increases, I don’t notice much as the boat has become more stable running more directly downwind. Now, the objective is to hold third, which seems very feasible. Finally the next mark appears in the distance, and the Rahn’s Shark, Eclipse rounds still in first, but with the Etchells closing on them. Gee, they both seem to be moving pretty well. We round in third, and aha! I begin to clue in and sense how the wind is changing as the boat heels. We move along at a good clip. When we hit the next mark, we turn into a close beat for the final leg, and whoah, the boat swings further on its side. It’s time to wake up and shift gears. White caps are now appearing everywhere on the water. How long had I been sleeping on the helm? Nick is lecturing me about something, or suggesting I get the boat back on its feet, I’m not sure. The wind is changing very rapidly, howling more now, and I know we are way over-powered, but...

This is where it becomes more evident Mainsail is still a boat project. I’m yanking on the mainsheet, but there is way too much pressure and I can’t unjam it. Out of urgency, I become wholly compulsive with that damn mainsheet cleat. I vaguely realize we are pretty sideways. My steering goes to hell, as I sort of lurch up and down, trying to release the main. Nick is saying something, and even though he is distinctly louder, I’m not really aware what his “counselling” is. Then, I realize I better employ other options. I give up on the mainsheet, and uncleat the line for the traveler car. Nothing happens. The mainsail remains high and tight. I am only vaguely aware of my steering now, as I am certain Nick would confirm. I still don’t really know what Nick is saying as my mind becomes very, very obsessed with the mainsheet car. It has become my enemy! By this point, the traveler track is pointing downwards quite a bit, as we heeled to a point that is not fast, to say the least. That gives me another option. I lift my leg up, and stomp down hard on the mainsheet car. Finally, the sticking sonuvab!@#$* slides steeply to leeward under the weight of my heft, and the boat moves forward as it flattens out. The whole process was agonizingly slow, but worse, it replayed itself out as we got hit by gust after gust. Now, there was a fair bit of white water about.

Lowther’s Etchells has passed Eclipse and both are moving really fast. I’m looking like a pretty lousy sailor at this point, but at least partly I know I have something of an excuse, I make a mental note for my project boat – this freaking crappy worn-out gear has got to go! We need to throw in a few tacks as we are making our way to the finish line, and I realize the best thing I can do is play the traveler on every tack and gust. Even though the traveler car and track are haltingly slow, and sticky like glue, I start to keep the boat on its feet. I hear Nick utter some words of praise as the boat starts making better progress, and for some reason I can hear his words a little better. I guess my mind is less distracted and can process more now that the boat is doing what we intend it too. Nick is a powerhouse, and didn’t have remotely the same hardship with the big genoa which is likely the only reason the boat was still moving forward. Despite the blow, I don’t think he ever cranked with a winch handle. That is common with a Shark, but at this point it is blowing STINK. Despite being way over-powered, we can see the end and a solid third place. Nick looks back, and holy moly, a big J30 is hurtling towards our little boat, BIG TIME. Now, for some time I can hear Nick gauging the situation as clearly as a bell. One more tack to go, and then its cross the finish line. I don’t look back, but Nick is saying something about the J30 likely has us. He figures if we can just make this tack a really good one and get our timing right, we might squeak across ahead at the pin end. I don’t dare look back. It feels like it’s back to game on, the sails are trimmed perfectly for the conditions, and we are back to making progress. The traveler line is in hand and my foot is on the car. I’ve got the technique of releasing, kicking hard, and helming down pat now, and manage to keep up and through the gusts. I don’t dare take my eyes off the genny’s leading edge, because I know if we lose it in even one more windshift, gust or wave, that big boat will nose its bow through the finish first. My job is clear, keep the boat moving towards the finish line as fast as possible, and let the Nickster call the game, then hope for the best.


Nick calls the timing for the last tack to approach the finish line. Flip, we go, and somehow this time, I’m able to go over without more than a glance at the blasted traveler, stepping onto the car and kicking back with my weight as we change sides. Even though I haven’t stopped looking forward for more than an instant, I don’t notice having to wait for the genoa at all, and it is silent. Nick had it sweep the deck and in perfect position seemingly instantly. The tell tales are streaming, and all seems well. My adrenaline is pumping. But there is this huge sound of big sail flapping, and it doesn’t stop. A quick glance up reveals a very flat mainsail with the car way down and the sheet as tight as the windward shroud. Our main isn’t doing much, but the noise isn’t our boat. I realize it is the J30, and see it’s bow out of the corner of my eye. I don’t dare look more. Gotta keep the boat moving another 40 or 50 seconds. Maybe we still have a chance. The sail noise continues for what seems the same eternity as when we were in trouble before. In reality it isn’t long at all. Still, they must have had a difficult tack, and be struggling forward. I think we are ahead, but as we slice through the wind and hard waves, I realize the finish line is on an angle, favouring the “monster” boat. Our Shark is moving well though and  yahhh, we cross ahead. I think the J30 might have overlapped our stern, not sure, but we are ahead. We keep third!

Extermely light and flirty to extremely heavy and serious, we had a lot of different winds and tests. The race was a blast. But importantly it crystallized the gear and technique changes that still need to be made. Of the various repairs, upgrades, and sails to go fast, the priorities had been uncertain. Not anymore. The track, mainsheet system are all coming out. For next year, we’ll sport a new track, windward sheeting car, and beefy, large mainsheet blocks. To play the game competitively, you must not be preoccupied about how to cope with your gear, even when the conditions get challenging. In fact, obviously that is when flawless gear is the most critical.

Lowther and Hinrichsen are first in the Etchells, The Rahns in their Shark are second, we take third in our Shark, and the J30 closed in for fourth. Not sure what the other results are yet. Madeleine Palfreeman ran a wonderful race and awarded the Pas De Deux trophy to PCYC for the most points of a given club. The RStLYC takes second club overall. Our BYC does pretty well even though we are only two Sharks sailing, thanks to garnering second and third place. A great challenging fall day, and a perfect end to the season.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

FVQ Award Nominees for 2009 Unveiled

The Federation de Voile du Quebec has unveiled its nominees for the many annual awards it gives during the upcoming annual meeting and gala events. Amongst those awards is a new one, the Quebec Sailing Hall of Fame. The nominees for that one as well as the Sailor of the Year, and the Event of the Year are being kept hush-hush. However, all the other award nominees have been posted on the FVQ website. The AGM is on October 24th, and is being held in Pointe Claire. There are also seminars being offered to attendees. Pariculars of the day's heavy agenda and registration form our available on the website.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What Sailing Really Needs in Youth Programs

Montreal Sailing has quite a few readers who have experience with our sailing schools, either as current youth sailors, past students, coaches and instructors, and YC members who have ultimate responsibility for guiding the programs. So, I thought this thread called What Sailing Really Needs developing on a Scuttlebutt forum would be of interest. Below are several of the posts:

Why did the group of St. Thomas Yacht Club sailors do so well at the Collegiate Championships last spring and perform well in almost any sailing endeavor they have taken up? The answer is simple - they sail because they love to sail! This particular group had no organized program and almost no coaching in their Opti days. Sailing was an adventure to them and remains a passion. There was no structure, there were no expectations, it was about kids sailing together and sharing wonderful experiences. People always ask why they have been so successful. My standard answer is ask "Huckleberry Finn".

I believe most U.S. club programs are too rigid and coach driven (ours has unfortunately been pushed that way by parents expecting great things). The answer to keeping kids in sailing is the approach and it has to involve "fun". Before you make radical boat changes and reinvent the equipment ask the kids - “Are you having fun in the sailing program”. The answer may surprise you.

Regards,
Bill Canfield, St Thomas Yacht Club

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Bill Canfield's comments on junior sailing were right on target. What Bill didn't say was that St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) is a very small club, having only a couple of hundred members and yet still produces world class sailors. Collegians Thomas Barrows, Cy Thomson and Taylor Canfield, who won numerous US high school championships, graduated from a school in St. Thomas, VI that had about 30 seniors in the graduating class. Bill has followed in the footsteps of Rudy Thompson, Dick Avery and Dick Johnson in promoting yacht racing that is fun for all participants. Bill, who is a past Commodore of STYC, has been one of the stallwarts of US Virgin Islands racing for the past two decades. STYC has sponsored the International ROLEX Regatta and Caribbean OPTI Regatta for many years which for most participants are the ultimate in fun and competition. In recent years Bill was one of the driving forces in creating the IC24 class which are modified older J24s (with Melges 24 type cockpits) that have revitalized racing in the US and British Virgin Islands. Bill's words should be taken seriously by anyone who wants to make their program better for its participants.


Ed Drury
Former STYC Member
 
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Lessons from 50 Years of Junior Sailing
by Paul Heineken, StFYC Junior Committee Chair

My family says I’m permanently arrested at the sailing instructor level of development. As Co-Chair of the Junior Committee at St. Francis Yacht Club, I have been forced to regress. What follows are my reflections on the locations, changes, experiences, and lessons learned over those five decades:


1950’s

As a barefoot kid in Pine Beach, N.J., I got a “teaser” ride with a bunch of kids on a Lightning. I loved it, but couldn’t afford the $5 to join the junior program, so for the rest of the summer I watched from the beach. This fanned the fire to sail, and led to the first lesson: Make junior sailing accessible.


1960’s

During a high school summer, I sold myself as a sailing instructor to a summer camp in New Hampshire. (No US Sailing Certificates then.) After preparing by memorizing the "Golden Book of Sailing,” I got the kids safely sailing Sunfish dinghies. But the key discovery was integrating water games with the sailing. For most 10 year olds, pirate, sponge tag, bucket attack, etc., are far more fun than racing--but sailing well improved each team’s attack. The second lesson: Make it fun.

As a college student, I took a summer job on the south shore of Long Island at a club with a hot new fleet of International 420s, complete with trapeze and spinnaker. That was the easiest lesson. Sailing fast is more fun, (and trapezing beats hiking).

The summer before medical school I landed a job as the head instructor at Royal Bermuda YC. A summer in Bermuda, accompanied by my Finn Dinghy, was a wonderful experience. Competing in the Finn Gold Cup against the likes of Paul Elvstrom was icing on the cake. That lesson: Keep the instructor happy. And let him or her race every now and then.


1970's

On the Charles River in urban Boston-Cambridge, MIT had a great racing program—sailing tubby Tech Dinghies. As a busy medical student and resident, this was the only sailing I had time to do. Soon I learned that the slow Tech made the “small pond” much bigger, and proved the next lesson: Competition is what makes good racing, not the boat.

My move to San Francisco occurred at the birth of the local Laser phenomenon. Don Trask built Lasers and junior sailors sailed them to their limits. John Bertrand, Jeff Madrigali, Paul Cayard, Craig Healy, and many others pushed each other such that the whole group excelled. They went on to win world championships, proving the next lesson: When kids are ready, challenge them against the best.

The stock Windsurfer was an active one-design racing class for all ages and sizes. One often saw 60+ boards at events on the Bay or Delta. The windsurfer was widely available, inexpensive, and easily transported. It got many people onto the water that had never sailed a boat. Local shops ran training programs for kids and adults. Racing was made fair by defining weight classes. The next lesson is obvious: To be accessible, entry level sailing must be affordable.


1980's

The most competitive kids from all over the Bay Area took advantage of the StFYC’s Junior Program because it offered the only full-time coach and the best racing opportunities. The team traveled to regattas near and far, with logistical support and coaching; it had great success. The lesson: To succeed at the top, there must be a good coach.

Meanwhile, the technology of windsurfing evolved. Boards and sails improved tremendously and high-end racing flourished. But the simplicity of the entry level one-design Windsurfer was lost, and fewer kids and beginners entered sailing through that platform.


1990's

Other yacht clubs with good beginner programs built stronger upper level programs with coaches and traveling teams. The kids that started with them stayed. High school sailing teams aligned their kids with the club near their school. The high school regatta schedule filled spring and fall weekends that had been used for open (Laser) competitions. The number of highly competitive juniors joining StFYC dwindled. The lesson: Successful junior programs build from beginner to advanced levels.

The FJ proved satisfactory for high school dinghy racing, but was not a great springboard to other sailing platforms, e.g. Lasers, skiffs, windsurfers, or keelboats. Parents didn’t purchase other classes of boats because the FJ’s were available at their club and filled most of the kids’ sailing time. Entry into Lasers or even windsurfers became too expensive, and parents participation in high school sailing was more as “little league parents”, than as sailing role models. The lesson: Successful junior programs have actively involved parents.


2000s

By 2000, the Optimist Dinghy arrived on the Bay. It offered an international class that was inexpensive and far more forgiving in Bay conditions that the El Toro. Where previously most StFYC beginner instruction took place at Tinsley, beginner Opti sailing expanded at the City Front. Upper level Opti kids began traveling to highly competitive regattas. The Opti was a great overall change, but by creating a racing format for very young kids, it discouraged other kids who were just too young or who had grown early and were too heavy to be competitive.

The 29er skiff created another opportunity. It is a high speed trainer for the Olympic 49er, a boat that relishes the Bay’s conditions. For kids 12 and over who have grown too big for an Opti, it offered a fun, fast platform and great competition. I’ve had the joy of racing a 29er with both of my kids, and with a number of other juniors, and witnessed how it reinvigorated their interest in sailing. This lesson hasn’t changed in 50 years: There is no substitute for FAST and FUN.


The Present

The big initiative is to build windsurfing instruction into our junior camps. The new international trainer board is the BIC Techno 293, a smaller and lighter version of the Olympic RSX. It is excellent in a wide variety of conditions and is equipped with interchangeable rigs of multiple sizes. By providing an accessible and fun learning platform it builds on the advantages of the Opti and the old stock Windsurfer. It will also take advantage of the Club’s uniquely windy location. There is no reason that the Bay Area should not be producing Olympic caliber windsurfers, and this program will help us do it.


The Future

Fifty years ago, sailing wasn’t accessible to me, and today that is true for most local kids. Under the Club’s new lease, it’s obligated to extend junior opportunities to non-members through community outreach programs. With the generous support of the StFYC Foundation, a variety of options are planned, including the following: 1) day sails on the Blue Water Foundation’s IOR sloop, 2) scholarships to our City Front programs, 3) enlarged and diversified HS sailing practices, and 4) beginner windsurfing clinics.

Having learned all these lessons, the plan now is to put it all together. Look for more kids on the docks and around the junior room. It’s the future of the Club.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pas De Deux Race to Windward



Sharp Sharks Eclipse and Mainsail from another recent race thanks to photograper Heather Deeks


Our beginning of the Pas De Deux included only three boats. Three Sharks to be precise. There were a lot more boats, but they would not be crowding our start line. The race is a "Pursuit" format and each boat gets its own start time, slowest first to the quickest much later based on PHRF handicap. All boats then are expected to finish in unison if other variables do not interfere. On the Shark, we are scratch boat, first to start. So, as you can imagine, there was a heck of a lot of wide open horizon on the line to choose from.

Easy start? "Shoulda, coulda, woulda" been! We ended up caught to windward of the formidable Shark Eclipse, getting crowded towards the RC stern. Eclipse shut the door, and just a few feet from the RC. We slowed and nipped behind Eclipse's stern with inches to spare, swinging to leeward of them, and crossed a few seconds after they did. The whole start line available and we were caught unaware of where Eclipse was! Erindira, a very nice looking Shark must have started further down the line, nice and clear, all by themselves. Actually, being a pretty ordinary helmsman, it still was a pretty good start for me. The wind was light at that stage, and I have a habit of struggling to get boatspeed in these situations, and cross too late. So, at least we were starting on the gun. It is safe to say, a match racer I am not.

Off we go on a long windward leg to this autumn day distance race. From the start we work our way beating upriver from Pointe Claire to the mark between Baie D'Urfe and Dowkers Island, a long leg. I try to keep the boat powered up, which is tough given the light winds. Eclipse to windward and ahead is pointing higher and has good boatspeed. I am not able to see at the time why we are not able to keep up, but it appears that trying for speed instead of pointing was not the best idea. A lesson to make a mental note of: I need to work harder at feathering up on every opportunity, while still not losing speed. I am still having a lot of trouble feeling and steering in the groove on the Shark. Nah, the trouble is the moss growing on our hull sans anti-fouling!

As we progressed, it was more of the same as Eclipse pulled away for the first third of the leg roughly. Then the wind began slightly improving, while still very light. Eclipse kept its lead but was at least not increasing it anymore. However, after passing LRYC, the Tanzer 22s and Mirage 24s were slowly gaining. Then, with the approach to Dowkers's Island getting closer, Peter Vatcher's T22 actually got ahead, and the Mirage 24s, Chinook and Ariel were seriously threatening. The leg had been a fascinating wind challenge. Many instants saw Eclipse and our Mainsail pointing dramatically different angles to the course. The wind was snaking its way down the course without any sensed timing, and usually not varying for long. Holes where the boat slumped dramatically would appear, and then the wind would fill it. Another lesson I observed at this point. Adjusting the sails constantly for the conditions is even more important in this type of stuff. Nick was regularly rounding the sails for speed, and trimming in for pointing as the wind teased us. We didn't even have to talk aloud about what was happening, very cool.

It was sorely tempting for me to tack on quite a few occasions when stalling and falling off, but the way forward was a game of good steering and sail trim. Still, the surrounding competition required some different action. Peter on the T22 Wayward Wind was gliding away to the left. He always does so well in distance races. The Mirage 24s just kept steaming on closer. John and Esther (linchpins of PCYC) on Chinook were just plain faster and kept closing uncomfortably towards our stern, while the Moore's on Ariel (always a threat) worked the shoreside on the right. Fortunately, an opportunity finally arose. Two courses were possible, tacking towards shore, or to the left side more towards Dowkers Island. We tried to play some shifts, and made some minor progress. Then, hey, considerably more wind appeared on the left side, and that is where we went. Close to shore definitely looked lighter. The left side also should have been shielded from current as we would be  behind Dowkers. Voila, for those, or whatever reason and luck, we made tracks away from the threats that had been surrounding us. We approached the windward mark alone, and the wind was building. Eclipse was still well ahead, but at least the other boats were not an immediate threat. Rounding the mark, we began the next leg downwind. Not too shabby. Even the clouds were parting and the sun coming through. We were still holding down second place. Of course, now all the longer faster boats had started long ago, and the pursuit was well underway! In that chasing fleet was notably the Etchells with Lowther and Hinrichsen, and a J30 that should come on gangbusters if the strong wind forecast materializes. We would have to hold off the approaching fleet for a long time to come yet.

More in another coming post - Ralph, Montreal Sailing


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pas De deux 2009: The Race gives pause for thought on one design

I had a good feeling about the Pas De Deux this year. The boat is still a work in progress, and probably has a pretty green bottom right now. Still, I've always had fun in this race, I enjoy seeing my friends from the good, and neighbouring club, PCYC one more time before the season ends, I've done well, and I have fun in this race. It is a real change of pace, after a whole season of going up and down short sausage courses, hauling spinnakers up and down, stressing at mark roundings, and trying to perform in a tough one design class. The Pas De Deux is at the opposite end of the racing spectrum from something like the Etchells Canadian Championship at HYC, or the Shark Coupe Du Quebec at BYC. The Pas De Deux really is fun!


Hooray, the Pas De deux is one of a series of autumn PHRF distance races that score higher in the fun category. The "One-design-istas" perceive fun as a contradictory codeword for boring, but I like 'em. I prefer to appreciate them as more civilized, gentler, social outings. Hudson's annual Labour Day week end is the first, followed by races like the Chili Bowl, the Turkey Bowl, the Thomson Long Distance Race and on this day the final race of our season, the Pas De Deux. Indeed, the sailing instructions even stress there are no protests. This is a race for two crew only. The term giving title to the race is defined by Wordnet as: (ballet) a dance for two people (usually a ballerina and a danseur noble). Nick was my, ahem, danseur noble for this occasion. Or, would that be the ballerina.  Well, I have referred to him as a Top Dawg of Montreal Sailing, no joke there. I know he was the very best sailor of the entire fleet that day. Back to the race, it is white sails only, and in the pursuit format. So, boats all have different starts beginning with the slowest rated by PHRF to the quickest much later. Theoretically, all boats should then cross the finish line at the same time, all other variables being equal. Hmm, funny how the two most competitive keelboat classes in Montreal are the first and last starting classes, the slowest and fastest boats.

On the slowest end are the Sharks which now have the larger fleet, and the most competitive, active, and frequent one design circuit in central Canada. On the fastest end are the Etchells, the sweetest looking, fastest sailing, purest raceboat class in Montreal. Obviously, there are other wonderful, great one design classes sailing in the Montreal area. Those on Lake of Two Mountains in particular may disagree. It is just curious how most have migrated to the slowest and the fastest boats. Perhaps the reason is that they are also the least and most expensive active classes in Montreal. Sailboat racing is expensive, very expensive. Some want the most affordable possible. Others want the most top-end possible, irregardless of cost. Hence the herding to both extremes of many competitive sailors.

I realize there is a lot of generalizing, and potential for other opinion in my meandering thoughts here. I might be more spontaneous than thoughtful. The other points to be made would be interesting. Go ahead and comment or write me if you can illuminate! We'll even talk about the Pas De Deux race soon...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Prepping for the Pas De Deux

Oooo, the Pas De Deux Regatta was fun. Actually, I was having fun even before getting on the water. Being the month of Halloween, even if it was early October, early in the morning it was cold and wet. Indeed, enough to freeze a witch's wart till it would fall off. So, I decided to wear my track suit under my shiny silver rain gear. I pulled a brown tuque over my head, and put on my cool Oakley sunglasses. Geeeez, I looked like a cross between a sailor and the celebrity spoof (pictured at right), Ali G. I practised my rapper stance in front of the mirror for an instant, then headed off for the club. The rain was very light while driving, and by the time I got to the club, it had stopped completely. The temperature was also rising as the morning progressed, and it looked like as long as we didn't peel off our layers we would be quite comfortable.

I was very fortunate to have Nick Van Haeften on board for this race. When it comes to boat speed and sail trim, he's the boss. I call Nick the rock star, because whenever he comes aboard we are elevated from perennial backpackers to top-fleet contenders.

There was a fair bit of activity at BYC, which surprised me given the weather wasn't summer-like. Great, I thought, some racers. But no, People were hauling gear off their boats and getting ready for haul out. Not Mainsail. We had one last race for glory in us. There was John Linton, club champ, a few boats over, with crew like busy work bees crawling all over their Tanzer 22. "Eh whut up!" I inquired. "Not racing? I woulda whupped your butt today. We were gonna make mincemeat outta youz guys!" After a little more brave bravado, and brash trash-talking I felt pretty smug. As easy as it was to talk a game with non-starters, I was hopeful for the day. Although it was light at the moment, the wind prediction was for 10-20 knots from the northeast. That meant Sharks would have an advantage over the T22s, but the Etchells and really long boats would also come on strong.

Also from BYC, and already on the water testing their trim were the BYC Shark sharpies on Eclipse. They came in first, two years ago, and were looking like they were prepping for a repeat. We motored out to the start area, and said hello to the Rahns after registering with Madeleine and the PCYC Race Committee. Quite a few boats were already out sailing near the start line. Lowther and Hinrichsen on the Etchells were out, along with some big boats. Robin had his Shark on the water. There were a number of Tanzer 22s which would be big contenders on the off-wind legs if the stronger wind forecast didn't become a reality.

The selected course to Baie D'Urfe and back, criss-crossing the lake was maintained, and the start sequence began. The Pas De Deux is a pursuit race. Slow boats start first, followed by other classes in sequence of their faster PHRF ratings. We were scratch start, first to go, so we stayed fairly close to the line as the wind was still light. Our final race of the season was beginning.

Well pick it up here agan with another post after Turkey Day is done. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Friday, October 09, 2009

Pas De deux this Saturday

I love ending the season with these fun races. The Labour Day Distance Race is for many the last blow out of summer. With autumn came the Turkey Bowl, then the Chili Bowl, and this Saturday we have the Pas De Deux. I hope I will see some of you out there too. Now, this is a fun race, and one shouldn't take it too seriously. The thing is, I'm just beginning to feel some teeny-weeny mojo in the Shark class. So, I'm pretty enthusiastic about this race. Maybe, I'll even get to sneak our bow past another Shark. Hopefully, there will be enough wind to outrun the Tanzer 22s, but not so much that the Etchells whoosh by. Since I still have a long way to go before I can overcome these types of PHRF variables with sheer talent, I have decided to invite along a rock star to keep the boat moving. Since the boat hasn't come out of the water since the Shark World's in August, there should be some pretty long fuzzy stuff growing on the bottom of the boat. Hopefully, bigger talent than mine will find some miracle to keep the boat moving. Apparently, my dockmate and guest crew couldn't find a way to stop my "Grovelling" until agreeing to come. Hey, whatever works. I have no shame, and he deservedly gets "Respeck".  It's a little early for a reliable forecast, but here it is for now:

Today, Tonight, and Saturday: Wind light increasing to northwest 15 to 20 knots Saturday morning then diminishing to light Saturday evening.

Game on!
You can find out how to register, and other race and social stuff here . Barring changes, the course is supposed to be as follows:

Start Gate @ SLVRYA#31->#16 (P) -> #42(P) -> #33(S)-> #31(P) -> #32 finish
 




Wednesday, October 07, 2009

2009 Fireball North American Championships

Joe Jospe once again shows his skills on the water, then on the keyboard, with this report on their last regatta of the season. Quite a wrap-up given the Screwball Regatta this year also served as the N.A. Fireball Championship for 2009. The report in its entirety is on the Fireball International site and the results are here. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing


The 2009 Canadian Fireball season ended on a high note when the Pointe Claire Yacht Club hosted the North American Championships in conjunction with the annual Screwball Regatta. We had 19 Fireballs on the course and they were accompanied by 23 Lasers, competing in their district championships. Fireballers from Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Ireland joined the usual suspects from Ontario and Quebec to battle on the water. To add to the international flavour, we were also joined by two guests from England and a sizable contingent from Barbados.

Winds were lighter than expected for this time of year. The end of September is known for cold, blustery conditions, and those of us with an avoir-du-poids advantage are usually delighted. Not this year. In fact, truth be told, there was more than a little muttering aboard our boat about the “delights” of light wind sailing. We are not big fans.

The Race Committee, headed by Madeleine Palfreeman, did an excellent job in very trying conditions. Friday witnessed shifty and spotty winds emanating from the northeast. Saturday saw light and shifty conditions from the east, while Sunday had more wind, but from the south and it dropped as the day progressed. Our prevailing winds are from the west, so conditions were not of the norm. We will just have to chalk it up to the “it’s never like this around here” syndrome that seems to be the rule for almost every major event, wherever and whenever it’s held.

On a personal note, I have to say that I really like Madeleine. She takes her RC responsibilities very seriously. She deems certain competitors’ suggestions unhelpful in her decision-making. Despite the fact that she ignored me on more than one occasion, I will be thrilled to see Madeleine on the RC boat next year, with her black flag flying and a grin on her face.

The racing was interesting throughout the event. It was encouraging to see a lot of boats mixing it up in the front end of the fleet. Rune Lausten and Jochen Mikosch, sailing in Rocket Science, led for most of the first race, and impressed everyone by earning a second place to start the regatta. Stephen Waldie teamed up with Jason Phillips and they got faster as the event unfolded. Given that they had never sailed together before and were in a borrowed and unfamiliar boat, their 4th place standing overall was quite an achievement. Kristyn Hope and Nic Mocchiutti began sailing together early this year. They’re always in the game and are improving extremely quickly. Pierre Carpentier and Tom Bird finished 5th overall, and their event was highlighted with a well-earned bullet in Race #4.  Final results for first and second overall were not settled until the 10th and final
race. Tom and I managed to sneak by Guy Tipton and Matt King on the 4th of five legs, to a one-point overall victory. It doesn’t get much tighter than that. Rob Levy and Eric Owston settled for a very close third overall. Interestingly, the results show nine boats finished within one point of another competitor. The starts were generally messy and individual recalls, OCS results, and general recalls occurred. It was rare to round a mark peacefully alone. That makes for good, if somewhat exhausting, racing...

...It was a superb event and we are looking forward to an exciting sailing season in 2010.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Review of the Thomson Long Distance Race


The HYC blog, Sailors Advisory recently posted this article. Very interesting debate about how to distinguish classes for handicap racing. It's a conversation that could and does take place at other Montreal clubs too. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

Background

Originally established in 1966 by the then Commodore Arthur Thomson, the Thomson Long Distance Race has become one on the most prestigious events within the HYC sailing calendar. Like so many long standing races over the years it has evolved, acquired many traditions and developed its fair share of controversy.

Current Issue - Who should compete

In recent years with the development of more specialized racing boats a lot of debate has centered on who may participate in the race itself. This has created a lot of confusion and become an emotional topic amongst our members. As a result the sailing committee has spent considerable time over this season to clarify the situation. To do so we have consulted with the Thomson family with regard to the original intent outlined in the deed of gift, our own sailing community to capture the traditions of the event, and SLVYRA our regional handicapping authority to define classes of boats.

Thomson Family View

We understand from Andy Thomson, Arthur’s son, that the race was originally established in response to the predominance of the centerboard fleet within racing at that time. His father wanted to ensure that these dinghy type boats such as Y-flyers, GP14s, and Lightnings would not be able to compete in a race against the growing cruising fleet of Sharks and Tanzer 22's etc. His father’s intent was to exclude centerboard boats and as such he feels it would be appropriate for all keelboats to compete in the race.

Established Tradition

The tradition reflected by many of our membership is that the race should be limited to cruising boats and exclude high performance racing boats. Indeed the original deed of gift states that it is open only to “boats with cruising facilities”. However no definition was provided nor has a clear consensus been reached upon which to classify a boat that wouldn’t exclude almost every boat in the harbour in some way.

Defining a Cruising Boat

SLVYRA governs for our region the PHRF rating system designed for keel boat racing. PHRF ratings for cruiser-racer boats are based on the concept of a “Standard Boat” the definition of which includes that it is production boat built to a single design, has a ballasted keel, is equipped with an engine propeller and fuel tanks, and has inside fittings and equipment as intended by the manufacturer. These fittings and equipment may include all or part of the following: head, sinks, stoves, icebox, navigation desk, berths, lockers, shelves, drawers, table, doors, curtains, instruments, domestic water, plumbing, wiring, fuel and water tanks, etc. SLVYRA also defines “Bare Boats” such as the Soling, Star, Dragon, Etchells, Six Meter etc which by the intent of the manufacturer are devoid of much of the equipment described in the definition of a standard boat. This is also the case for sports boats (Melges 24, J80) and day sailors (Rhodes 19, O Day 23). As such bare boats, sports boats and day sailors do not fit within the widely held view of a cruising boat.

Determination

Having carefully listened to all parties the following determination has been made and shall apply to future Thomson Long Distance Races:

1. Participation in the Thomson Long Distance Race is open to all keelboats with a valid SLVYRA handicap.
2. The Thomson Trophy shall be awarded to the 1st boat finishing on corrected time conforming to the SLVYRA definition of a standard cruiser- racer sailboat.
3. A new award shall be established for the 1st boat finishing on corrected time irrespective of class
4. All previously winners of the Thomson Trophy shall stand.
5. The Club Captain, Senior Sailing Director and Club Measurer shall review on an annual basis the fleet of keelboats at HYC and determine which class of boats shall be defined as non cruising boats.
6. The current list of non cruising boats within the HYC fleet comprises: Etchells, Formula 21, Grampion 22, Independent 21, J22, Rhodes 19

Conclusion

It is intended that these revisions is to formally clarify the situation for all involved and create an inclusive event that maintains the traditions established for the Thompson Long Distance Race. A copy of this review will be placed in the archives for future reference and in conjunction with the deed of gift will be used in the creation of sailing instructions for the race.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Chili Bowl Dynasty Dashed!

 

Eclipse, the New Champs!

VO2 Max has long been the conqueror of the Chili bowl. It's been so long, nobody knows for sure. but maybe it has been a decade since any other team has won BYC's last race of the season. This, my friends is big news. This afternoon, another boat has won the Chili Bowl. It is the same team that won the Turkey Bowl last week, sailing the very same course up and down the river for the afternoon. Eclipse, the green Shark with the slogan added on to the hull this year, "My stimulus package". Well, it certainly has been stimulating over the last couple of weeks for this team made up of the Rahn family. Two consecutive regattas and two consecutive victories. Peter, may I suggest that the Rahns serve the Turkey won last week with a cranberry sauce that is spiced with just a hint of chili. It will be a very pleasant Thanksgiving this year.

Being a pursuit race (under white sail only), the Sharks were scratch boats, starting first off. We all headed for the pin end on port tack as it became favoured in the shifting easterly wind. I got to the line for the gun, but soured behind the sails of other Sharks and had a poor start. I actually then got stuck behind Chris' Tanzer 22. The T22s started seconds after the Sharks. The other Sharks all got ahead starting on port tack, while I had trouble pinching up to get by the pin on starboard tack. I tried to flip over to port because I wanted to head away from shore. But, then another Tanzer, either Chris's or the Lintons suddenly appeared again on starboard and a little ahead. So we had to tack to give way. A couple more tacks were required to keep clear of Tanzer 22's before we finally had our own path out to the wide waters. By this time the other Sharks were well ahead, and the Linton T22, Encore une Fois was also doing well. We finally settled in to the intended course, and actually did very well. We made up a lot of ground with the boats ahead throwing in several more tacks and progressing along the shore. We stuck to our farther out route, and caught up considerably. At the first SLVYRA mark towards easterly Pointe Claire and well out, we approached the mark within sporting range of the top three. First around was Eclipse, followed closely by Encore Une Fois. The both immediately went into a tactical situation that pretty much continued for most of the distance race. Next around was VO2 Max, closely followed by us in Mainsail. The remaining boats were spaced further back, and we focused on the front winners.

Eclipse and Encore une Fois went into a pissing match driving each other up higher, while VO2 Max and us in Mainsail sailed a somewhat more direct course to the next mark upriver, and downwind. We progressed on a broad reach, and I made my first tactical error. Not far off VO2 Max's stern, I edged higher, aiming for just left of their boat. In the fairly light winds we maintained better boat speed, and very slowly reigned the Chili champs in. As we got a good overlap, and threatened to pull ahead, Osborne just threw the tiller over and pushed us up big time. I wasn't expecting such a quick move and was caught off-guard. As helmsman, I was sitting very far forward of the traveler, on the low side, actually pretty close to the cabin bulkhead. I had the tiller extension fully extended, and in an awkward position behind me, as I had my eyes focused entirely on the leading edge of the genoa. As I suddenly realized VO2 Max's hull was heading right at ours, I pushed the tiller extension hard, and the boat for an instant went the wrong way. Yikes, what silly contorted positions, the Shark tillerman must endure. I pushed away at the tiller again, and got out of the way, but not until VO2 Max gave us a good splash which hit me square in the face and sunglasses, then POOF, they were off in the other direction. How HUMILIATING!

After regaining my composure, which took quite a lot of verbal therapy of an unrepeatable type, we set a new course. This time, we would more reasonably try and soak to leeward of VO2 Max, where there would be enough air to get by. The problem of course was getting to that point. We did have slightly more boat speed, but it was a very long ride. Good thing it was a distance race. We did eventually get overlapped, well to leeward, and we were able to pass by sailing a slightly higher course to windward, over and ahead of their bow. Once ahead of them, the next mark came into sight. VO2 Max, instead of tangling with us, went behind and below switching from a port tack broad reach, to wing on wing, directly to the mark, and using the spinnaker pole. When we went into the same run to the mark, our angle was a little different. VO2 Max had slightly more pressure in the sails, and quietly moved ahead before we realized what was happening.

Eclipse rounded first, closely followed by Encore Une Fois. A gap of perhaps half a minute ensued, then VO2 Max rounded, followed closely by us in Mainsail. The final upwind leg to the finish would stay consistent with the same order of competitors all the way up the leg. This time, VO2 Max was pointing better, and had a little more speed than us. I don't know why. They slowly pulled ahead. In an last-ditch effort to shuffle the order, we tacked back out away from shore. There was no risk from the boats behind, and we were not going to overtake the boats ahead by simply following them. It didn't work, but we did safely keep our 4th position over Beverly's Tanzer 22, Sorceress. I do think we had a little better speed, but that is a guess. The only thing David could think of differently, was if we had tacked away from shore earlier, giving more time to work a different approach.

So, Eclipse takes the race, and what a victory it is! Encore Une Fois, who have sailed so well this year, including the other big upset, winning the BYC Championship, again over long time winners, VO2 Max, sails so well again for 2nd. VO2 Max, who everyone still knows are masters of the local waters, come in third. I expect a lot more water in the face from those guys. As for the next season we'll see a dogfight between these and other Sharks, with Encore Une Fois throwing in a Tanzer variable. We came in a very satisfying 4th. That is another sign of some progress for us, learning the boat, and racing better. Beverly's Sorceress takes 5th. The fleet streamed in with more boats crossing the finish than I expected. Given the threatening clouds and October date I hadn't expected many boats. However, it was a very pleasant day on the water. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as us.



Thursday, October 01, 2009

Quebec Dinghy Championships 2009

The RSt.LYC recently hosted the Quebec Dinghy Championship and uploaded some photos of the event which are fun. Here are some of them below.. For the whole collection go here. For the results go here.