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North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

Awesome Women's J/105 Ontario Championship at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club

by J/Boats 31 Aug 2021 04:30 PDT 21 August 2021
Inaugural J/105 Ontario Women's Championships © J/105 Fleet 4 Women’s Racing

On Saturday August 21, the strength of women's sailing was on full display in the inaugural J/105 Ontario Women's Championships at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on Lake Ontario, Canada.

The event was created by J/105 Fleet 4's Doug Bullock and female J/105 skipper Kathy Pask to lower the barriers to women racing in the fleet. Kathy's goal was to encourage and welcome women sailors at every level to participate in the event. The result was twelve J/105 boats and 96 very enthusiastic competitors, with participation ranging from local club sailors to Olympians, and ages that ranged from 15 to 70 years.

Early on the goal became to run a "Regatta for Women by Women". Felicity Rodness was the Regatta Chair, with Kathy Pask as the Regatta J/105 Organizer, Anne Sanderson as Race Committee and Lynne Beale as the Jury.

On the day of the event, what looked like a no-wind day turned into champagne sailing and very tight competitive racing with boats finishing within seconds of each other in a total of four races. The skilled competitors and close finishes had the one of the largest spectator fleets cheering from the sidelines in which many said was some of the most competitive racing they'd watched.

Each race saw a different winner and only nine points separated first to sixth place. In the end, Team WOMandate skippered by Sarah Douglas (just back from a sixth place finish at the Tokyo Olympics) and team of Jenny Farrand, Mariah Millen, Ingrid Merry, Emily Merry, Ali Ten Hove and Mickey McLaughlin, who won the last race to edge out Team HEY JUDE in a tiebreaker with Karen McRae skippering and crew of Charlotte de Heinrich, Laura Chalmers, Martha Henderson, Charlotte Scythes, Stephanie Hardes and Janine Clark.

Team SONIC BOOM finished 3rd, made up of team members Emily Sale, Brownyn Richardson, Joanne Prokop, Allison Boyd, Michelle Skutelsky, Kira Fulford, and skipper Jen Paterson (Provan). Be sure to visit the full results online.

Once racing was finished, the competitors transformed themselves from "sweat and grit" to "glitz and glamour" at the "Tactics to Tiaras" sit-down dinner with a spectacular island sunset and the majestic Toronto waterfront as the backdrop.

The success of every women sailor was celebrated from team biographies to team awards and each crew being personally introduced. Team Biographies can be seen here.

Many photos of the racing, Teams and party can be seen at the J/105 Fleet 4 Women's Racing Facebook Page.

Next year's Regatta Chairs, Michelle Skutelsky and Emily Sale will carry on the success of this fantastic event, that all believe has a very bright future.

The event would not have been possible without generous sponsorship and donations, namely lead sponsor Mike Mountford and Scotia Wealth Management and The Mountford Group, donations from Jessica Perraton from Yacht Charter Company (a regular J/105 racer on Jamaica me Crazy), Susan Reisler, LUG Bags, and Todd Irving and again the generous Fleet 4 J/105 owners who donated the boats for us to sail on:

Thank you to everyone! See you next year - Felicity Rodness and Kathy Pask.

More information here

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