“I was going to launch a protest against 717, but then I found out he had a stash of cold beer and he offered me one, so I’m withdrawing the protest”…Welcome to Masters sailing: intense competition mixed with great sportsmanship and nothing that can’t be worked out over a cold beer.
Day 2 of the Canadian Masters was comprised of 5 races sailed in moderate winds from the west for the first three, sailed on a trapezoid course, and dropping to light winds sailed on a windward-leeward for the last two. The first race was highlighted by over earlies and general recalls caused by over-zealous starters (finally tamed after a black flag recall). All races saw mark roundings preceded by friendly debates about buoy room, competitors reminding each other as to where the next mark was to be found… masters of the sport reliving their youth, but with banter instead of temper, friendship instead of ego.
The results seemed secondary to the great spirit that permeated the day, but the spirit of friendship did nothing to damper the intensity of the competition from the front to the back of the fleet. There were many superb performances, including two bullets by Al Clark and singles by John Rae (from Nepean), Greg Tawaststjerna (a Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club alumnus) and Rob Koci (although he did not get his 1 because of a ZFP on the prior general recall.)
The first race was won by John Rae, who hit the pin end of the line, sailed left and tacked last onto port and was rewarded by a lift up to the weather mark. His lead increased with every leg and Nigel Heath, Richard Sewards (both from Water Rats) and Thomas LaBelle (of Les Cheneaux Yacht Club in Quebec) were left to fight it out for the second to fourth place (and finished in that order).
Race 2 of the day saw Al Clark, Andy Roy, Ray Davies and Rob Koci battling for the top four spots with Clark taking the bullet.
Race 3 was another Clark victory. He was followed by Davies, Terry Neilson and Roy.
With lighter winds for Race 4, combined with the new course, we had a new winner. Greg Tawaststjerna won on the lake that he grew up sailing on after an absence of a few decades – the prodigal son returning to the site of his youthful triumphs. Tawaststjerna was followed by Davies and another newcomer to the top four – Philippe Dormoy of Beaconsfield Yacht Club and by Tam Matthews of Sturgeon rival Stoney Lake Yacht Club.
The last race of the day saw Rob Koci win in light winds, only to be denied his bullet by the ZFP. Koci was followed by the consistently brilliant Clark, Neilson and Davies.
The top of the leader board is a bunched group led by Clark, with 31 points after applying the handicap, Davies with 36 points and Andy Roy with 38 points. The top ten is rounded out with Terry Neilson, Rob Koci, Mike Schmidt, Nigel Heath, Rob Muru, Greg Tawaststjerna and John Rae.
Tomorrow the Race Committee will try to complete four races to give racers two drops, weather and time permitting. We expect that the day will bring more good sportsmanship, keen banter, aggressive starts, intense competition and everything that makes Masters sailing so great, except for the beer (as sailors will be packing up in the afternoon and returning home to rest weary muscles).