by Greg Nicoll
The Ackroo Lake Ontario 300 Challenge got off to a slow start today as the race committee aboard committee boat Grand National supplied by the National Yacht Club, struggled with the start line in the faint morning breeze.
Nick’s Café owned by Patrick Muise from the Port Credit Yacht Club, with crew member and Sail-World editor Guy Perrin aboard off the Toronto Islands - Ackroo Lake Ontario 300 Challenge
For the 130 boat fleet,winds for the 11AM start were 0-2 knots with only the hope that the City of Toronto would heat up enough to create some thermal breeze to keep the boats moving in an easterly direction.
As noon temperature in the city at noon was hitting near 30 degree Celsius, 86 Fahrenheit the thermal effect began to draw the colder air off the lake giving the sailors enough breeze to make their way around the Gibraltar mark, the first mark of the course.
Sail-World Canada editor Guy Perrin sailing on Nick’s Café reported in that the winds have picked up to five knots but remain fluky.
J35 Crime Scene from Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club still smiling in the light air - Ackroo Lake Ontario 300 Challenge
Spinnakers are up and down and watching the gentle action is giving the sunbathers on the Toronto Centre Island beaches something else to do under bright sun.
Nick Café’s plan is to stay close to the headlands of the Leslie Street spit and then go out into the lake as the thermal fades.
This is the 23rd annual Lake Ontario 300 Race: for more information on the race and to follow racers on Yellow Brick go to www.lO300.org
The Main Duck Island Course participants will sail a 300 nautical mile clockwise circumnavigation of the lake, starting at Port Credit, then on to Gibraltar Point/ Toronto, Main Duck and Yorkshire Islands, Ford Shoal, Niagara, and finish at Port Credit. All marks of the course will be taken to Starboard.
The Scotch Bonnet Island Course participants will sail this new exciting course that started in 2009. Starting at Port Credit, then on to Gibraltar Point/Toronto, Scotch Bonnet Island, Niagara and finish at Port Credit. All marks of the course will be taken to Starboard.