The Lake Ontario offshore racing season started with some excitement this past weekend. As a member of the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Group responsible for hosting the traditional Susan Hood Trophy Race at the Port Credit Yacht Club, I found myself on a conference call with fellow committee members and local weather expert Ron Bianchi just hours before the Friday evening start to consider options given the 40-knot winds and 4-meter seas that were battering Lake Ontario. Many racers had already contacted us stating they simply couldn't safely exit they home harbour to make it to the start line; let alone consider racing in the prevailing conditions. Despite the various logistical challenges it posed, it was an easy decision to postpone the start until the following morning.
Dark clouds followed the Susan Hood Trophy Race fleet Elizabeth A Kerr
Conditions were still challenging on Saturday morning with 20 knots on the nose at the start; the shorter course, from PCYC to Burlington and back, turned to be a perfect 40-mile windward-leeward race. 90 of the 115 registered yachts still showed up; offshore racing is alive and well on Lake Ontario!
Following Canada's Olympic Sailing Team announcement, the Canadian Sailing Team is now racing at the prestigious Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta in the UK. This is event number 6 in the ISAF Sailing World Cup; a perfect opportunity to test out the Olympic venue. Last event of the Series before the Games is in Kiel stating June 16th.
Windward mark on day 1 - Skandia Sail for Gold 2012 Robert Deaves /IFA
Cessna Citation has Les Sables d'Olonnes in their sight as they set to cross the finish in the French city and win Leg 5 of the Global Ocean Race. It has been a rather challenging Atlantic crossing that began with much upwind sailing; followed by Force 9-10 storms once the westerly breezes came in.
Less than a week to go before the action resumes in the Volvo Ocean Race; a great Leg 7 win for Abu Dhabi and skipper Ian Walker who crossed the Lisbon finish line just minutes ahead of Groupama but a second place was sufficient for Franck Cammas to take the overall lead on the scoreboard. The tightest race in recent history, the next two legs and in-port races will be crucial for the top four entries; only 21 points separate Groupama, Telefonica, PUMA and Camper. Next leg is a short sprint from Portugal to France, followed by an even shorter race from France to Ireland in early July. You will not want to miss the Lisbon in-port race this Saturday on the official VOR website.
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