by Brian Townsend
Paradox, a 37’ sailboat from Olcott Yacht Club in New York is once again entering this year’s race to compete as the youngest crew in the race.
The 4-man crew on board Paradox are all graduates from Canisius high school in Williamsville NY and range in age from 18 to 19 years. Skipper Peter Roehmholdt is currently sailing on the Notre Dame University Sailing Team and has an extensive junior sailing career. Sponsored by a local company Peter states 'Second time doing the race after finishing despite 2 big squalls and seasickness with the crew. We are excited for another fun race and competing with older and more experienced sailors.'
Last year Paradox competed in the fully crewed white sail division that sails around Scotch Bonnet Island and is roughly a 200 Nautical Mile Course for white sail competitors. Paradox placed eighth out of a 9-boat division completing the race in 2 days, 5 hours and 47 minutes. With 30% of the competitors abandoning last year’s race due to severe weather and equipment failure, this was a great achievement for the young novice crew.
Obviously looking to improve on that placing this year where they will be competing in the same division listed as: PHRF-LO No Flying Sails – Full Crew – 2.
'With the average age of a skipper in the Lake Ontario 300 between 40 to 55 years having young skippers in the race always creates some excitement and is promising for the future', states, Darren Gornall, Chairman of the LO 300 Challenge race and last year’s Sperry Cup Champion.
Peter is not the only skipper to compete in this event at the minimum age of 18. 3 years ago the overall Sperry Cup Winner (based on corrected time) was Mark Doedens, (Etobicoke, ON) at the age of 18. Mark competed double handed with his father in their 27’ Bombardier Sail Boat, which was an amazing feat. Mark has devoted his time to working hard to purchase this sailboat and compete in a variety of long distance races as well as club events. At the age of 21, Marks passion still remains sailing, and rather than speed around in a car, he speeds around the lake in his sailboat with a top speed of 8 mph.
Mark will be skipper again this year on his father’s 33’ sailboat called Demon's Dance from Port Credit Yacht Club. www.lo300.org
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8:57 PM Thu 14 Jul 2011 GMT
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