Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Coupe du Quebec 2014 Regatta Report

 Here is another excellent report from Jenn Davey keeping us up to date on the enthusiasm and racing in the growing Martin 16 class. Congrats on the new boat added to the local fleet too! - Ralph

It was an exciting weekend of racing at the Pointe Claire Yacht Club as the Association Québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA) hosted the largest Coupe du Quebec in event history, welcoming 18 boats and 35 sailors from 7 clubs. Sailors arrived from Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and the Northeastern US for the two day event. The weekend kicked off with a special ceremony to christen AQVA’s newest addition to their fleet of club boats, a fifth Martin 16 purchased with the support of AQVA’s new corporate partner, Sperry Top–Sider. 
Saturday opened with moderate breeze for the Gold Fleet’s 17 competitors and race Committee fired off three efficient races. As is tradition, while the Gold Fleet raced, the Silver Fleet participated in a rules and tactics session on land, led this year by Tom Bird and Jenny Davey. In the afternoon, the Silver Fleet had their work out for them as the breeze built steadily, settling in around 17 knots with gusts pushing 23. The determination and boat handling were impressive, the companions worked hard to provide support, and there were many smiles to be seen after their two races were finished. 

Sunday brought a mix of conditions, starting with light and shifty breeze for the Silver Fleet’s only race of the day. Gold Fleet saw just about everything, starting with breeze in the 3-5 range, then picking up to more moderate conditions, followed by a quick squall that diminished visibility and brought heavy rain and strong, shifty breeze before the sun finally broke through at the end of the second race. The variable conditions made for exciting racing, and sailors who were able to maintain focus in the challenging conditions made big gains. 

In the end, the friendly rivalry between the host club and their “neighbours” from the Nepean Sailing Club (NSC) Able Sail team continued, with strong performances from both clubs in both fleets. Paul Rees of NSC took third place in Silver, with team mate Karell Regnier taking second. Guy Bergeron, of AQVA, took the top position in his first ever regatta. With the win, he also received the Peg Cup inaugurated at the prize-giving as the permanent trophy for the Silver Fleet winner, named in memory of longtime Coupe volunteer Peg Davey. Gold Fleet top honours and the Faye Schipper Cup went to AQVA’s Pierre Richard, who finished the 5-race series with 6 points after one drop. Second and third places were duked out between a pair of Shark sailors who have turned their attention to the Martin class, with Queen’s Quay Disabled Sailing/National Yacht Club’s Peter Eager taking second ahead of Richard Laxton (Nepean Sailing Club) in third.

As always, the staff, volunteer, and family support from all clubs involved was huge. A big thank you to the Pointe Claire Yacht Club, Principle Race Officer Katherine Bliss-Johnson, Dock Coordinator Paula Stone, Regatta Chair Matt Palardy, the AQVA staff and volunteers and the many out of town supporters who made the trip from near and far to ensure an excellent weekend of racing.