Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 4 at Shark World's 2011

 This is a pack finish from a little earlier this week. Thanks for the photo Jenny!

Day 4 of the Shark World's featured near-perfect weather. The sun was bright, the temperature hot, but the breeze always on with a light southwest direction. The boats always moved along nicely, letting fears of competitors endlessly sitting out there in the hot sun for the distance race dissolve.

The Distance Race, a long-time feature of the Shark World Championship, spanned the length of Lac St. Louis, along with crosses to the other side. The breeze stayed turned on, getting all competitors into shore mid-afternoon.

Ambitious had it's usual difficult start, being caught behind too many sails. With so many competing Sharks, 54 to be exact, the starts are pretty tough. Everybody goes to the front of the line, thick and deep, and parks on it. Then the jostling, drifting, and fun (read shouting) begins. The first day, Ambitious was up with the best of them, but driven over the line early by other competitors. We were lucky to have one of the many general recalls that occasion. However, it made me more cautious on the start line. Now, instead, we hold back a bit, and that is enough to just get covered by a mass of sails and dead in the water with no wind getting through. Our best races have been when we can tack over in a gap and get clean air on port tack.

So, now Tavish our foredeck crew has decided that today, we shall venture forth once again into the melee, take the risk of seeking fortune at the front of the start line.

Trying to recover from the start of the distance race, we flipped onto port which brought us along shore. Within just a few minutes, it became clear that the breeze hitting the shore was very, very soft compared with going out towards open water. I did some zig-zagging to get clear, and took Crescendo's stern to head out. Tof on the the other hand kept Crisis on a shore side search for lifts that became a destructive path.

Once clear, we had a fantastic race that lasted about 4 hours. We could not re-coup the distance lost to the leading pack, but we moved very nicely with excellent speed. We took a few boats along the way, and only lost one of the boats from behind (Tof with Crisis of course, about half-way through the race). Michael Andersen and crew on Yin Yang had an amazing race moving ahead of about 20 more boats than usual. Lets give them the Montreal Sailing tip of the ball cap for best personal performance.

Yesterday, another local boat that did superbly was the Spiderman and crew sailing Ketchup. They took second place in the distance race behind Freak On A Leash. That bumped Ketchup up to 4th place. How fantastic if a local boat is on the podium of the Shark Worlds! That will benefit all of our sailing in Montreal, since we can compete with these same boats in club racing too. The two top local boats are Ketchup, and Nuisance, both from PCYC, and both strong podium possibilities.

It was a glorious day to be out there. We are privileged to be sailors!

Distance Race

Results so far

Regatta website