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

by J/Boats 3 Sep 14:03 PDT

Eighty women. Eleven all-women boats. One day of racing. Four races. Sunny day. Benign breezes. What's wrong with that picture? Nothing, of course.

In fact, it was a recipe for celebration, fun and games, camaraderie, and awesome sailing amongst the women's teams from all over Canada.

Needless to say, everyone had an amazing time and, as usual, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club welcomed the women to their spectacular facilities and quite simply rolled out the red carpet for all. Organized by Kathy Pask, the J/105 Fleet Representative, and Felicity Rodness, Regatta Chair, the RCYC Race Committee team, led by Anne Sanderson, managed to squeeze in four races on Saturday, August 20th, much to the amazement of the eleven teams!

Undeterred by the light winds and sunny skies, the ladies enjoyed a picture-perfect day on the water. Afterward, there was lots of fun and camaraderie ashore at the awards dinner on the lawn in front of the RCYC... the sunset over the Toronto city waterfront was simply gorgeous... a fitting end to a perfect day.

Commenting on the day's sailing, Felicity Rodness, Regatta Chair, said, "it was a great day on the water, with fiercely competitive teams making the most of the wind we had. This event includes some women with relatively little experience and many with impressive racing records, but it has been a great experience for all levels."

The crew bank for the regatta included women new to the fleet, and most were able to find spots on boats for the day, embodying the intent of the event to bring more women into racing on Lake Ontario, and more sailors to the J/105 fleet.

This year saw new competitors from around the lake. Heather McCann from Port Credit Yacht Club brought NAGA DRAGON; Anne Marie Shewfelt led ENDEAVOUR from Mimico; Chantal Hearst skippered Jan Heisey's KERNEL from Royal Canadian Yacht Club; and Rhonda Joyce sailed with the TRIDENT "Sirens Team" from Port Credit Yacht Club, embodying the theme of the event- "Sailors to Sirens". Crews embraced the theme throughout the day, from team shirts on the water, to siren-inspired outfits at the celebratory dinner in the Rose Garden at sunset.

"We're happy we were able to have so many boats on the water," said Kathy Pask, regatta organizer, and J/105 fleet representative. "Owners were generous in donating their boats for use in the event, and women were eager to sign up as skippers and crew. We're already hoping for more boats next year, and looking forward to seeing new competitors."

Continuing her impressive efforts from last year, Piper Treadwell was the youngest skipper again, at age 26, driving THUNDERSTRUCK with the "Hell's Belles Team".

Regatta organizers Kathy Pask and Felicity Rodness were grateful for the generous sponsorship from Michael Mountford, Scotia Wealth Management, The Mountford Group, donations from Ai Bags, and donations of gift bags by Jessica Perraton of The Charter Yacht Company.

They also appreciate the many hands involved in making the regatta a success, including Piper Treadwell (regatta t-shirts); Emma Struthers (shore support and social media), Kirsty Clarke and Heather Broll (communications), and photos from our official regatta photographer- Jean Treadwell.

Across North America, the women's J/105 event in Toronto has inspired similar J/105 women's regattas. Recent examples include the J/105 Women's regatta at the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake in Annapolis on June 25th, the San Francisco Bay J/105 Women Skipper Invitational hosted on May 22nd by St. Francis Yacht Club, a regatta with Seattle J/105 fleet, and more possibly to come next year in the Texas fleet.

In addition, the Toronto J/105 fleet has coordinated new funding for any J/105 fleet that hosts a Women's J/105 regatta in the future!

More information

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