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The 2011 IOM
Canadian National Championships proved to be a hard fought event sailed in
light winds and fraught with weeds and other natural obstacles. But the 22
races that Official Lawrie Neish squeezed out of the fickle conditions was
the great equalizer and there was no doubt at the end of the event that the
cream had indeed risen to the top. The top four boats were extremely well
sailed and very difficult to beat but they too shared in the pain of the conditions
and took some trips to the B fleet.
Compared to the
Nationals of 2009 this fleet had only 23 boats, down 13, and missing 7 of
the top ten boats. I was very sad not to see the very talented John Ebey and
the Atkinson Brothers from California in attendance and I was hoping they
would bring Eric Arndt with them as I had learned several valuable lessons
from him at Hood River. Also missing were Hugh Kidd and Marko Majic from Ontario.
Still the fleet was packed with talent and the competition was fierce.
At this point I would like to note that this is a SISC newsletter report and as such will tend to be locally slanted, as these reports tend to get pirated to other publications, please check with your local heroes to get the extra tales of daring and brilliant tactics.
At the top of
the fleet George Pedrick from Point Richmond, California, was up with a new
Pikanto design boat and was considerably faster than 2009 when he finished
11th. With three firsts he held the lead even with one trip to B fleet. Close
behind and about to become locked into a most exciting duel where Graham Herbert
and the defending champion Peter Van Rossem.
The weed net was out and working hard but still some of the nasties got through.
Oliver Cannon was doing excellent work on the club powerboats managing the
marks and the nets and errant boats. I heard through the grape vine that Roger's
tactics started at 4 am when he got up to watch auto racing, Roger, about
this multi tasking? Five trips to B fleet, yikes, but then he redeemed himself
by cooking the whole fleet a fantastic dinner, what a feast. Many of the sailors
wives waded in as well and a great party was had. My day was made when I won
the tenth Race with George, Jan and Gary Boell hard on my heels the whole
way. Ole was on his steep learning curve all day and then bingo, fourth in
the last race of the day as a reward.
Among the leaders
George, Peter and Jan all took a trip to the B fleet leaving Graham Herbert
the sole survivor with a solid string of A fleet races. Graham and Peter had
been trading places all day when they weren't tied, it could not have been
closer or more exciting.
Roger, Ole and I were completely out of gas on the morning of the last day
and spent three races in B fleet saved only by lunch. I threw myself in the
shade and tried to regroup. Then I got an extra rest when Ole and I tangled
up and I missed a race. Roger got out of B and raced in A for the rest of
the regatta. I clawed my way back to A for the last two races and in the last
race got a great lee end start and had a terrific battle with George Pedrick,
finishing the last race with a very satisfying second place result.
won the regatta with Graham Herbert second. Peter Van Rossem was third and
Jan Schmidt was fourth. I ended 6th, up from 12th in 2009. Roger was 9th,
up from 26th and Ole finished 16th which gives him a good starting point for
the 2013 event.
Below is my photo
of the race I sat out, the start of A fleet with Roger sailing #68, 99 being
the champ and 97 the second place boat. Way to sail with the champs Roger!
My friend Maggie
Argiro was down with her camera and took these shots which capture the drama
and camaraderie of the event very well, enjoy them.