The 23 boat strong fleet of Canadian J/24 sailors were treated incredibly well by their host for the Canadian J/24 Nationals, Port Credit YC. PCYC has to be one of the most gracious, fun-loving clubs on Lake Ontario, renowned for their “can do” attitude, excellent RC/PRO management of races and a club membership totally focused on having fun sailing. Note, this is the same crew that host the largest offshore race of the summer Lake Ontario season- the Lake Ontario 300 that starts this coming weekend.
The 23 teams woke up Friday morning to light air, blistering sun and warm temperatures. Nevertheless, the PRO managed to complete one race and then by 2:00 pm the wind shut off completely. The RC hoisted AP over H and the fleet went back to shore for shade, a dip in PCYC’s pool and re-hydration at the bar. By 4:00 pm a line of wind was spotted coming over the lake from the south west, so the fleet headed out and were able to squeak one more race out of the day. That’s awesome RC work, if you go to sail a Nationals, then be ready to go anytime! At the completion of Day one, it looked like Rossi Milev sailing CLEAR AIR/ ORANGE BLOSSOM was a leader to be reckoned with, scoring a 2-1 to lead over Peter Wickwire’s team on SUNNYVALE with a 1-3. Just off the pace was Tom Barbeau’s NAVTECH.CA with a 4-2.
On Saturday, the forecast called for very light air and the fleet wasn’t too optimistic, however, the wind filled in and by 11:00 there was a solid 9 knots of breeze coming from the east. The Race committee started the race right on time to make the best of the wind while it lasted. On the next 2 races, a persistent veer in the wind caused the race committee to put up ‘charlie’ plus green flags at the top end to indicate the leeward gates where shifted course-side-left. By the third race the wind had dropped substantially, but the waves & slop did not. The Race committee shortened the course and brought the windward mark to 0.9 nm. It was a hard slog up and down the course, and by the time the last boat had finished the fleet was exhausted. Still leading after this long day on the water was Rossi Milev with a 1-2-2 followed by Peter Wickwire’s SUNNYVALE with a 3-1-11 and Scott Weakley’s REX team working on the comeback trail with a 13-3-1. By 4:30 Saturday, the fleet was back on dock folding sails and finding shade. The wind had completely died so calling it quits when we did was the right call. The fleet was definitely dehydrated and looking forward to the party Saturday night where PCYC put on a great BBQ spread with salads and deserts, and plenty of beer taps flowing.
Sunday morning dawned with a good breeze and the fleet took off to get in two races before the time expiration for the start of the last race. After scoring a 5-5 and holding his principal competitor back, Rossi Milev’s team on CLEAR AIR/ ORANGE BLOSSOM from the local J/24 fleet at Port Credit YC were declared 2011 J/24 Canadian National Champions, winning with just 13 points after a toss race. Second was Peter Wickwire’s SUNNYVALE crew from Royal Canadian YC with 21 points. Third was another local boat, Scott Weakley’s REX team from PCYC with 28 points, winning a tie-breaker over Tom Barbeau’s NAVTECH.CA team from Yacht Club Quebec also with 28 points for fourth place. Fifth was the first woman team skipper, Katie Colman-Nicoll sailing QUICK NICK for the host PCYC. All in all, a good showing for the local PCYC boats taking three of the top five. [Excerpt from Jboats newsletter]