by J Boats
Lake Ontario 300 Challenge (LO300), at Port Credit Yacht Club, was held on Saturday 13th July. The weekend of the 'Great Lakes' major offshore races, the Chicago-Mac and LO300, were primarily characterized by the fact that a massive High pressure area was squashed over the entire Great Lakes, acting somewhat like the Atlantic and Pacific Highs that wobble around-- they generally produce little or no wind near the maximum area of pressure. While the Mac Racers had their longest race on record, it may also be said that LO300 sailors shared a similar experience.
Lake Ontario 300
In some respects, the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge, the premier offshore race on Lake Ontario, provided even more challenging scenarios than their Mac counterparts as they circumnavigated Lake Ontario. The Main Duck Island course of 300nm saw tops boats finishing just as some of the fleet in the shorter 190nm Scotch Bonnet course were finishing, too!
Nineteen J/Teams sailed the race but not all finished as the rate of attrition was nearly as high as it was for the Mac Race on Lake Michigan. It was epic, slow going as well for the Lake Ontario sailors.
The IRC 1 again proved to be a dual between two J/Teams and two Farr teams. Winning class was John McLeod's J/133 Hot Water and getting the short-end of the stick in fourth place was the J/111 Survenant (skippered by a Quebec quartet of Marcel Cote, P Bernier, C Boulet, N Cote and Y Dion).
In IRC 2 division the J/109s had a tough go of it. Top of the 109 heap was Murray Gainer's LIVELY (a past LO 300 race winner) in fourth overall followed by Denys Jones's Carpe Ventus in sixth and Sheila Smith's PHOENIX in ninth.
Sailing fast in IRC 3 class was Stephen Trevitt's J/35 Crime Scene. As a past winner in class in the LO 300 it was clear they demonstrated their local knowledge and experience to secure more silverware with a well-deserved second overall.
In PHRF 1 it was Mike Pietz's J/35 Shorthanded that took it to their classmates and showed them how it's done in the light stuff, winning their class by a comfortable margin.
The Singlehanded class had Geoff Cornish's J/124 Rouleur from Royal Canadian YC take fifth overall.