Light air start on Lake Ontario
The biggest regatta on the J105 schedule, the North American Championship, was hosted by RCYC on September 24-28. Twenty seven teams from California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Bermuda and Canada made their way to Toronto to duke it out for the Championship. The expected late September strong winds failed to materialize as a very large high firmly planted itself over the Great Lakes and refused to move along. Despite the poor forecast for the opening day Thursday the race committee managed to squeeze in 3 good sized races in the light ESE breeze.
On that day four boats - Rod Wilmer and Terry McLaughlin’s Mandate (1, 3, 2), Rick Goebel’s Sanity (3, 1, 4), Peter Hall’s Jamaica Me Crazy (4, 2, 3) and defending champion Jim Rathbun’s Hey Jude (2, 7, 1) - proved that they were the teams to beat in the 27 boat fleet. Rick had brought his boat all the way from San Diego, California. Getting off the starting line with speed was the key and the fleet was very aggressive at starting. The first and third races started under black flag after two general recalls each time. Apres racing the crews were treated to a Caribbean BBQ on the front lawn entertained by Errol Blackwood and his Reggae band.
The second day of racing on Friday was a non-event as the fleet never left the dock. The race committee was stationed out in the lake all day but could only report back on the lack of wind. That meant that the pool party could start a little earlier than planned. The party featured music by Jack Squat and a juggling contest for the sailors run by a professional juggler.
Saturday’s forecast didn’t look any better than Friday’s but after a delay on shore the fleet was sent out to wait for wind. A light southerly finally came in and the race committee did a good job to squeeze in two races. The second race of the day was shortened at the second weather mark with the breeze dying fast. Mandate (2, 2), Sanity (3, 1) and Jamaica (1, 3) all scored 4 points on the day to maintain the narrow point gap at the top of the standings. Hey Jude had a 4 & 7 finish to drop off a bit. Saturday night featured a magnificent buffet in the ballroom.
The stage was set on Sunday to have a real battle for the championship. Mandate led Sanity by 2 points and Jamaica was only one point behind Sanity. Given the 2 PM race start cut off time it was unlikely that more than two races could be held. As the sailing instructions stated "no drop races", anything could still happen. One bad start, over early, Black Flag, miss the first shift or DSQ could scupper a boat’s regatta in a real hurry. By virtue of Sanity’s two first places to Mandate’s one first place Sanity would win a possible tie break between the two of them. With a lot on the line, and for other reasons, it was difficult to get a good night’s sleep on Saturday night/Sunday morning for some of the contending skippers.
As it turned out on Sunday morning when the crews came across to the Island the harbour was flat calm and there was no more wind in the lake. Once again the race committee went out to the lake to wait for wind while the teams were held ashore but the breeze never developed. At 1 PM the three signals were fired abandoning races for the day and the regatta was over. The team of Terry McLaughlin, Rod Wilmer, John Millen, Andrew McTavish, Graham Hicks, Fraser Howell (on Thursday, Friday, Sunday) and Sandy Andrews (on Saturday) aboard Mandate were declared 2014 J105 North American Champions. Sanity was second, Jamaica Me Crazy third, Hey Jude fourth and The Usual Suspects fifth.
Many thanks to the Regatta Chairman Doug Bullock who, along with this team, did an excellent job in all aspects of the championship. Michael Penny led the measurement team and Mike Milner was the PRO. Janet McDougall organized a first class International Jury.
The quality of racing and the camaraderie of the fleet have other RCYC Members now thinking of the buying a J105 and joining the fleet. If interested, please contact Doug Bullock the head of Fleet 4.
Terry McLaughlin - Team Mandate
First Place: Mandate
Second Place: Sanity
Third Place: Jamaica Me Crazy
| Tim Wilkes Photography Event Photos |