Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Top of the Top Dawgs

Well, it appears we can celebrate, give a tip of the hat, call out a pip, pip, pip and a hearty cheer! The team of father and son Nicoll-Griffith's tied together in the middle by sailor-extraordinaire Hugh Strudwick have won the first completed Tuesday night Good Neighbours Series A racing. However the team sailing a Shark that we think just may be the Top Dawg of the exclusive "Top Dawgs of Montreal Sailing" almost didn't pull it off. Giving them extreme heat in the first GNS series of 2010 was another Shark team of Peter Rahn on Eclipse. It got pretty confusing due to a mix up in results, but the threat from Peter's shiny green Shark was unmistakable.

The third podium is owned by the ever-pressing John Linton and team on the Tanzer 22, Encore Une Fois. Once again, John breaks up the feeding frenzy of Sharks at the top of the heap. John beat out a large fleet of Sharks with his Tanzer 22, all trying but failing to take a bite out of his stern rear end.

Montreal Sailing congratulates all of the teams out there that have made the opening round of summer so much fun.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

GNS critical race tonight!

It's almost race time again this evening, but here is a quick post just to say, oh my gawd, look at the top of the heap in the Good Neighbours Series A racing! The family team on Eclipse is in first place, ahead of the top dawgs on Crisis! Could things be unraveling for the guys on the grey Shark. Has the green Shark shown they now have the right stuff? Are the guys on Crisis experiencing something akin to the boat's name? Will the Rahn family do in the Nicoll-Griffiths and Hugh tonight?

Eclipse is in first place with 4 points, Crisis just a spit behind with 5 points. On top of that, Encore Une Fois and Kaos our tied on points for 3rd and 4th. Who stays on the podium? Who will be toppled? Try and stay calm everyone, because tonight will answer our questions. This is gonna be some race!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

From the Nearer of Afar

There is a Laser clinic going on today at the Mallet's Bay Boat Club. That's on Lake Champlain, an area I have always wanted to sail on. I have a particular fondness for places like Burlington, and Vermont as a whole. However my experiences were of hiking in the Green Mountains not sailing. I have not been to this club, but it appears to be a very busy place. The club is all member run, a positive indicator of the participation. The clinics, courses and private lessons all seem very reasonably priced. Today's clinic is only $35. I occasionally get wind of various regattas and fleets from there. Martin 16, Laser, Lightning are a few examples. At the recent Shark Canadian Championship here, one of the entrants was from MBBC. It isn't really afar at all. More like just a little beyond the neighbourhood so to speak. Mallets Bay is north of Burlington, south of Grand Isle, Colchester. So who knows about this club? Has anyone sailed there? Since some of the Montreal classes also have fleets there, I know there is some cross-pollinating going on!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

2010 Shark Canadian Championship, The Best of the Best Results

  1. Crazy Ivan
  2. Can564
  3. Shark Poop
Best Montreal Teams
  1. Crisis (5th)
  2. Ketchup  (8th)
  3. VO2 Max (10th)
Best BYC Teams
  1. VO2 Max
  2. Eclipse
  3. Blue Shark
Best CNDM Teams
  1. Vilebrequin
  2. Gran Blan
  3. Tiger Shark
Best PCYC Teams
  1. Crisis
  2. Ketchup
  3. Nuisance
Super photo by Heather Deeks of Eclipse driving towards Ketchup. Note Peter sitting on the leeward coaming. Is he looking for the right light-air heel or trying to see if there is a boat just ahead!?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fireball Friday

Hey, Joe has got new crew!

I snapped this last night while doing RC duty. I'll post more snappies since the very able RC team allowed me to spend time peering into the pocket camera.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shark Canadian Champions for 2010: Crazy Ivan

Crazy Ivan has won the Canadian Shark Championship for 2010 just concluded at BYC. To my knowledge Sharks are Canada's largest keelboat racing class, and so this is a considerable accomplishment. David Foy and crew took 2nd at the last Shark World Championship in Switzerland, 1st at the 2009 World's and were also Shark of the Year.
 Congratulations guys!

For all the results click here 

Photo by BYC's photographer Heather Deeks

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mainsail's Last Race at Shark Canadian Championship 2010

Sunday's racing got one more go around the marks in before the water resumed it's spottily rippled surface. Our team on Mainsail was pleased at having seen some progress.

I was determined to get a better start than my usual 2nd row. We accomplished that which was satisfying. I had wanted to go left at the start to take advantage of current and breeze. I also picked the middle of the line hoping for clear air. However it seems a large portion of the 40 boats racing also wanted to be there, because it was jam packed with Sharks! We crossed the start line right on the gun and were moving about the same pace as the others. George Stedman and Ketchup must've taken me for the marshmallow I am, because they were right to leeward and nose ahead shortly after crossing the line. I have always struggled to point with George. So when he managed to move ahead, we began to stall and fall off in his dirt. In no time his stern was ahead of our bow.

We drove the boat down for an instant to make some space around us, and tacked over in a nice gap to clear air, and headed up the right side of the course with no disturbance from other boats. The boat felt really in the groove and moving nicely. A number of boats played about behind us but relatively few nearby, and we had a free ticket almost to the windward mark on the right side of the course.

As boats who had gone left to shore started to come our way, it got interesting. A number were ahead, but hey, not a huge amount as normally expected! Several boats attempted to cross, but had to tack below our easy layline route. I could see them struggling, and clearly they would end up throwing in two more tacks. Then, Jin Frati and Blue Shark tacked right up tight on our leeward side as we called starboard. They were about 2/3 nosed ahead of us. That made me pretty nervous remembering Stedman's spitting us out earlier. I  focused hard on steering as we still had more speed over them coming out of the light-air tack. That favoured us, and despite having to pinch, we managed to keep moving over the top of them and roll. A large pack of boats then came in behind us. We made the mark comfortably, and Tavish and Barry did probably their quickest, smooth prep and launch of the chute at the mark. The team was hyped over our good performance to that point. Perfect. Then, I got a quick idea.

With a crowd of Sharks about to blanket our wind, now seemed like a good time to quickly jibe the chute, get to the side of the course and away. Quick and smooth, we sped away all by ourselves. Smooth getaway, and nice full spinnaker. Except for one thing! We just missed rounding the offset mark! Jin called out and pointed out my goof. That's what happens when you think too fast! There ain't no offset in club racing, but of course that is no excuse. If Jin hadn't warned us, we would have had to withdraw and DNF. So,we dropped the chute, made our way back to the offset, rounded, and launched again, near the back of the fleet. Oh well, it is after all, a comfortable familiar place.

The crew were great, not dispirited. The crew performed a very good windward takedown in a group of boats at the leeward gate. Having plenty of clear air, and time to study the course, I elected to go for the shore side the next time downwind. There appeared to be more breeze there, and then after a jibe we would be sailing a course closer to the wind and faster. This proved to be one of those rare times I got it right. We made good progress and caught several boats before the finish line.

We had a fun time even though we could not sail much with the lack of wind. We indeed learned a lot during the regatta, made some minor but important changes to the cleats, and got things working more smoothly. The newer North sails are a big help in getting closer to the fray! I think the team had a good feeling about how we will go as we race again!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Clarke and Bjorn win Bronze!

From the CYA website

Final - Bronze for Clarke and Bjorn

A 12th place finish in race 6 found the Clarke and Bjorn team tied for 2nd overall and on the tie breaker awarded the Bronze Medal. What an outstanding accomplishment for this Canadian team, now securely establishing themselves amongst the elite of the elite in the Star class. Clarke commented that "it was a little disappointing to lose one boat on the final run that resulted in a tie, and ultimately 3rd overall...but if you had told me at the start of the week we would win the Bronze, I would have been thrilled".

The next stop for the Canadian Star contingent is Weymouth, for the Skandia Sail for Gold event in August.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shark Canadian's Off to Late But Good Start

It appeared like the first day might have been windless at the Shark Canadian Championship being held at BYC. We floated about for a while, then went back to harbour. A little before 2:00 pm the wind finally started to fill in, and the club became quite active as racers scurried to their boats. 40 boats are registered which is a phenomenal number. Also remarkable is the 18 local boats racing. The highest numbers I know of. The newer owners of 711, Blue Heron brought her from the U.S. The highest numbers I know of. CNDM has come to the regatta in strong numbers.

The first race start caught us unaware and practicing upwind. We managed to just barely get back in time, but not really, since we crossed the start a line back. It appears the left paid off best but we were caught behind traffic, so had to tack to clear our air.

The second race started with a huge windshift that screwed things up and caused a pile up near the pin. A general recall was called. The next start we managed to do a little better, but we still had to tack over and go right because of traffic. We progressed well with both height and speed. Unfortunately, we lost a huge amount of boats on the final run when a CNDM competitor had us pinned to leeward and very slow.

Too bad we could not have wind in the morning, but after kibitzing around the club, we ended up having a pleasant afternoon on the water.

I will post results after the regatta conclusion tomorrow!

Pictured is Tavish after stowing our sails post-race today.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sharks in Record Numbers in Montreal for Canadian Championship

As of 9:30 pm this evening, 38 Sharks have arrived and registered for the Canadian Championship Regatta this weekend. At least one more was in the yard still to get measured, and then to register. Registration is also open Saturday morning. It is very exciting for the local Shark fleet which has seen very strong growth over the last couple of years. Sharks are now in bona fide numbers at quite a number of local clubs, including BYC, BDYC, CNDM, and PCYC. BYC is hosting this year's Canadian championship. Next year BYC will also be hosting the Shark World Championship. Last year, over 60 Sharks from Canada, the U.S. and Europe raced for the World Championship at Niagara on the Lake. There has been concern over the unusual, extreme low water levels hampering the racers. Indeed, several boats had scraped and perched on rocks in the harbour. Local boats that we expect to fare best are Crisis, Nuisance, Ketchup, Blue Shark, and VO2 Max. There are many other local veterans and newer competitors who will be mixing it up too. I am hopeful for the new boats from CNDM to join the fun!

Fireball Friday

By Urs Hardi, this pic was taken at the recent Fireball World Championship in Barbados.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Art De Vries

It was earlier this year when Art De Vries passed away. I did not know Art De Vries well, but when I served on the SYLVRA committee with him, he was immediately recognizeable as a "Do-er". I don't recall him adding a lot of commentary on topics. However, when action was required, he was that type of guy. When stuff needs to get done, that's who you wanted on your team. So, when I read of Art's passing on SYLVRA's website, I was immediately sad and recognized an important loss for the organization and all of us sailing in Montreal. Here are some words by the SLVRA President Chris Paynter and IPYC's Guy Legault:

``This winter the Saint Lawrence Valley Yacht Racing Association (SLVYRA) lost a long-time friend and member of the SLVYRA Executive. Every one of us who races on our Lakes has benefited from the many years now that Art has been quietly looking after the SLVYRA Marks and Buoys that we all use for our racing events. He gave a great deal of his personal time to making the Buoys in his garage, and ensuring every year that they were properly moored and in their correct places on the Lake. And as a dedicated supporter of our racing community, he could always be counted upon to join our meetings at the SLVYRA over the winter months, to give us good humoured and valuable support for our activities.
The last time I saw him was at our meeting at the end of January, when he was planing a number of new activities relating the the Marks and Buoys on the Lakes for this coming year. He was not there for the first time in my memory for the February meeting. It was with great sorrow that I heard later that he would not be with us again.

His Yacht Club, IPYC, has sent me the Eulogies that were read at their club meetings, and I am attaching them here.

May his soul rest in peace.
Chris Paynter
President SLVYRA


Eulogy – Ile Perrot Yacht Club – by Guy Legault

If I wanted to describe Art in two words it would be commitment and passion.

Art was the best example of commitment one could find amongst the members of any Yacht Club. It was not enough that he was part of the Board of Directors of our Club for so many years; he was also present for all the drudgeries, such as clean up days, launch days, and more. As a matter of fact, Art was at the club almost every day of the year; summer and winter. During the season, he was always there, checking to see if there was anything that needed to be done and if there was, he didn’t worry about who’s responsibility it was to do it, he just did it himself.

You will not be surprised if I say that Art was a sailing enthusiast. He was not only the person responsible for the Club’s Races; he took part in each and every race on the season’s calendar. In fact, he so wanted to communicate his passion to others that, for several years, he organised the Sunday afternoon races; hoping, thereby, to develop the taste for sailing amongst members who only came to the Club a few times during the season.

For Art, the Ile Perrot Yacht Club had become his second home and the members formed his second family. It is for this reason that his departure saddens us all. Art…. You will always live for the enthusiasts and amateurs of sailing at the IPYC.``

Saturday, June 05, 2010

J22 Fleet Travels to New York Finger Lake

The newest fleet to start up in the Montreal area made its way from home base at Hudson Yacht Club to one of the Finger Lakes in New York for a class regatta. David Godin is one of the recent converts to the budding group, and is very excited by the boat and class. He was one of the editors of this article published in another newsletter first, then the HYC blog, and now here for the Montreal Sailing readership. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing

The inaugural Waterline Systems Great Lakes J/22 Circuit event was the Jackrabbit Regatta, hosted by the Canandaigua Yacht Club, May 15-16.  The weather was great; sunny with breeze ranging from really light, to pretty $%&? windy.  Typical for a Finger Lake, the wind direction varied from really shifty to psychotically shifty.

The racing was extremely close; the shifts lead to plenty of position changes.  No lead was safe, especially if Travis was lurking anywhere near it.  Travis and his team of John Newell and Billy Farmer sailed a great regatta, winning 4 of the 6 races sailed.  They didn't win the races by a lot, but they won a lot of races!
Jimmy Barnash sailing with Gunnar Richardson and Mark Sertl aboard were 2nd.  Vic Snyder, Kevin Doyle and Marcie Lake on Mo' Money completed the podium.  Close behind was Canadian Ron Harris’s team in fourth. Sarah Enwright's team took home the wine and rum awarded to the mid-fleet finisher.

25 Teams from nine different clubs made it to the regatta.  Special mention should go to Hudson Yacht Club in Montreal.  3 teams from their new fleet made it down and were very competitive.  Overall a total of four Canadian boats attended the regatta and finished 4, 12, 15 and 20. Not so bad! CYC did their usual great job; the courses and hospitality were all first-rate.

Bully Hill Vineyards was the presenting sponsor.  Admiral Nelson Rum and Waterline Systems also supported the event.  Wine, Rum and boat service…could it be any better? Thanks to all the sponsors and organizers.
Please join me in congratulating Canadian Ron Harris and his team for their fourth position.

Re-edited from Waterline Systems news letter by Will Harris
David Godin

...and congrats to David and crew for his 12th in his first J/22 regatta

Friday, June 04, 2010

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Not far from here...

Sailor Profile - Andy Horton from Amory Ross on Vimeo.

Check out this beautifully produced HD video of Andy Horton training on Lake Champlain by Burlington, Vermont. It's one of my favourite places. Horton is training with the goal of the London Olympics in the Star class. The film is artfully produced by Armory Ross.

Ralph, Montreal Sailing

PS, Guide your mouse over the video and watch it  full screen. Lovely.