Reporter: Christian Dechamplain
I wonder how many people in the fleet remember my box of tissue floating away after Marg and I capsized at CORK a few years ago? Marg was nice enough to bring me back to shore so I could run to the drugstore and buy some Advil so I would not suffer too much from a cold I had caught just before the regatta. Those were my thoughts as I was flying over the handlebars of my mountain bike, early afternoon the day before the Canadians. Ouch, it hurts, but I could not disappoint Marg again. Tom was riding with my boss’ boss and I. When I caught up after my nasty crash, he looked at the mix of blood and dirt on my thigh and laughed. You’ll need some Advil for this weekend he said, and he was right.I ended up praying for wind, there was no way I could crouch inside a 505 with that injury, even though it was not very serious and the Advil was really effective at taking the pain away. Wind we got for the Saturday, I would say from 10 to 14, which for our team meant constant trapezing upwind and marginal wire running downwind. The wind was from the east, and it brought some large waves to the race area just outside of the outer harbor south of Toronto Island. Which also meant raking progressively from upright to 25’4″. That’s for Marg and I with our combined weight of less than 300 pounds. Renka and Adam never needed to rake, and they had an obvious pointing advantage on us which gave us a hard time for day one. They ended up leading us by one point after 5 races. We had all sorts of excuses. It was quite difficult to make the decision on wire running or DDW. Sometimes we tried wire running and it worked really well, sometimes we tried it and the wind was just not strong enough and the boat was just loading up and the big waves were making matters worse. Pumping would only work for me about half of the time, and the other times it just seemed to slow down the boat, we don’t get too many occasions to practice pumping in Ottawa. It was quite difficult to follow the shifts, they were subtle unlike what we are used to in Ottawa and they were combining with shore effects that only locals could explain. Fortunately it was not the locals that gave us the most trouble. We had to share bullets not only with Renka and Adam, but also with Michael and Shauna and also Deb and Dave. The locals were fighting for the bottom half of the fleet positions.The forecast for Sunday was for more wind, and from the south so potentially the waves would be bigger. My plan was to carry a bottle of Advil in my lifejacket and wear my steamer. Seeing at the yard that the conditions would not be as forecasted I wore the same set of clothes as the day before. A farmer john with a spray top, but for that last day on the water it was too much. The winds were lighter, I would say from 7 to 9. Almost no trapping needed, but no sitting to leeward either. Almost no waves compared to the day before. These conditions actually helped Marg and I switch position with Renka and Adam. It seemed that all the boats in the fleet outpointed us, but we sailed with speed and the Canadian championship was ours. Marg even went into match racing mode and managed to push Renka over early in the second to last race, and into the windward mark in the last race. I took a look at the list of previous Canadians winners and my grin becomes so intense that now my face hurts much more than my thigh. I don’t feel like I belong with these amazing sailors but at the same time I know it is totally deserved by Marg. She is such a nice person to sail with, she does make her crew feel like a champion and that is definitely the first ingredient in the winning recipe. She is so meticulous with her sailing program, she makes so much efforts at maintaining her boat, “Green with Envy” 8645 built by Waterat, I’m really glad and thankful I could be part of her sailing team. I won’t list all the results, but Renka & Adam came 2nd, Deb & Dave came 3rd and Michael & Shauna came 4th.I can’t end this report without mentioning the volunteer race committee at OHCC. They were simply amazing. We never had to wait and wonder why they would not start the next race. They never gave us the time. They would change the course efficiently without us competitors even noticing. They managed to give us 5 back to back races on Saturday and 3 back to back races on Sunday, the line was always square, they were the type of race committee you would hope for at a world class competition, and we got it at a national class competition for a fraction of the price. Plus the organizing committee provided breakfast, lunch and dinner. This regatta was a great value, I highly recommend the late September regatta at OHCC in Toronto, it’s really worth the trip.
Here are the results.