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Friday, 24. November 2017
 
 

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CANADIAN CONTENDER CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017
Geschrieben von Simon Leung   
Wednesday, 11. October 2017

The 2017 Contender Canadian Championships - in a video (and congrats to Peter Hale)

 

The 2017 Canadian Championships - the view from the front
By Peter Hale

When Stephanie “ordered” me to write 2017 Contender North American wrap up, she said  “you won it, you write it”.   Mike Smits said “with great accolades comes great responsibility, you write it”. When I asked what I should write I was told (ordered) to write what I did to win. Or as the immortal Pete White said, “with all those f!@#K ups, how’d you win?” So here goes.  On the Thursday before the regatta I sacrificed a goat to the winds gods.  Ok, I only ate a goat roti, which only goes to prove if you don’t like goats you’ll never win.

The 2017 edition of the Contender North Americans was a light air one, a lesson in gratification postponement.  Normally we join forces with the 505 Canadians but this year we had a conflict with their Worlds in Annapolis. So we decided to mix it up and joined forces with one of our neighbouring clubs, The St Jamestown Sailing Club. We did an around Toronto Island race on day 1 with them, and buoy racing on our own on the second day. Both days were light air affairs. Kudos to the gentlemen who traveled to sail with us: Larry Christian (long distance award), Bernie Bieber and Pete White. For those that couldn’t make it, you were missed and you missed a fun time.

Day 1: The Around the Island race brought us light air, we had a short 500m upwind leg in the Outer Harbour and a long downwind to the Centennial Pier for the first race. Sailing back and forth across the Outer Harbour before the start led me to believe there was more wind offshore and when we got to the Island we’d be in the lee of it. The usual suspects, Mike and Roger rounded the upwind mark 1, 2, myself 2nd from last. I managed to resist sailing a bit hotter angle to catch up and stayed further offshore and down the center of the Outer Harbour than the fleet. The only other person who stayed further offshore than myself was a cagey guest skipper on a borrowed boat, Paul Clifford, as a result Paul crossed first, second for me.

For the second race, again we had a short upwind to the first mark, then downwind round the end of the Island into the Inner Harbour through the Western Gap, dodging ferries and dead spots along the way. I had a bad start and went inshore for the upwind, and rounded the first mark in last place. I couldn’t imagine you could lose so much distance in 700m, by the time I rounded everybody else was in a different postal code. Anyway, I had lots of time to think about that roti, between get tangled up in the mainsheet, dumping twice and having to turn back because of a pissed off ferry captain. The only advantage I can think of about dumping in light air is nobody moves that much further away, it is humbling though. Results: Roger 1st, cagey Paul Clifford 2nd and Mike Smits 3rd      

The last race was from the Inner Harbour to mark 0 in front of the Club. Again, a short upwind then onto the Eastern Gap. I stayed out in the middle of the harbour while the rest of the fleet played the Bay St/ Yonge St shifts closer to the City. The end result was we all ended up squeezing through the Eastern Gap with about thirty sailing motorhomes from RCYC - all at the same time. The only thing missing was a pissed off ferry captain , but I did manage to find a green marker buoy in the midst of this melee luckily it was not counted as course marker. Once out of the eastern gap is was a downwind/reach to the finish. I stayed in the middle of the Outer Harbour again thinking there’d be more wind as Roger snuck along the shore. The rest chose the middle route. Results, myself 1st,  Roger 2nd, Mike 3rd..   After that we decided it was enough punishment for the day and we settled at the Club for a great homemade meal  made by Virginia, Roger’s better half.

The second day was buoy racing in the Outer Harbour, again with light air but it was reasonably consistent. After sailing back and forth across the harbour before the race I thought there might be more wind but a knock on the left. Most of the day I did manage to get decent starts at the pin and stayed left of the fleet. This held true for most of the day, except for one race where the right paid off. Raines Koby, our race officer on the second day, came back with the following observations on what he saw on the course: Roger and I both heel our boat more than the rest in light air; I do the marginal trapezing further forward in the boat that the rest of the fleet. I do that because the Karsten Kraus Contender boat has more of a chine than either the Schappi and Bonezzi hulls, I feel it reduces wetted area.  I had my board vertical all day to get helm and played the boom vang almost every time I played the mainsheet, tightening it up a bit when a puff hit when the boat got up to speed.

Last but not least, thanks, goes to Stephanie Mah and the volunteers for organizing the fun and making it happen. Beyond that and the goat roti I have no more hints.

 

Result

Position     Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Total
1 Peter Hale  CAN 2585 2 -7 1 2 1 6 1 13
2 Paul Clifford CAN 44 1 2 6 4 2 1 -7 16
3 Roger Martin CAN 2399 3 1 2 3 5 2 -8 16
4 Mike Smits CAN 2398 4 3 3 -7 6 4 6 26
5 Stephanie Mah CAN 2525 6 7 4 1 4 7 -DNS 29
6 Peter White USA 1771 5 5 5 -8 7 3 4 29
7 Larry Christian USA 2498 7 4 7 5 3 -8 5 31
8 Frank Whittington CAN 1599 9 6 9 6 9 -10 9 48
9 Joel Magnan CAN 1664 -DNC DNC DNC 9 10 5 2 50
10 Bernie Bieber CAN 81 8 7 8 -11 11 11 8 53
11 Kris Holdenreid GER 425 -DNC DNC DNC 10 8 9 10 53
Letzte Aktualisierung ( Thursday, 26. October 2017 )
 
2017 Contender Midwinters
Geschrieben von Simon Leung   
Tuesday, 28. February 2017

 2017 CONTENDER MID-WINTERS: TAKING OUR LUMPS AND DUMPS

 

  
photos courtesy of Karin Olsen Campia 
 
  photos courtesy of Karin Olsen Campia
 
 photos courtesy of Karin Olsen Campia

 

The 2017 North American Contender Midwinters were held February 8th-10th at the ever-so-friendly Clearwater Community Sailing Center on the sometimes lumpy Gulf of Mexico. This year's, like nearly every one I’ve attended, included a common set of contestants - mostly from Toronto but also some fresh local meat - Colin Browning a local from St Pete picked up one of the California triplets and was unanimously voted in having the best first regatta by a newbie. Gil Woolley and his infinitely patient wife Gail won the distance and sloooooow-time record for traveling East to represent the West. 

Tuesday was earmarked as a training day. While I was not present, the word of the day and on the bay was carnage - with almost everyone swimming due to the big winds, small courses and the number of maneuvers required to complete the recently adopted Harry Anderson course—Perfect drills for the remainder of the week. Peter Hale demonstrated beach landing strategies and got a well-needed manicure in the process - if the manicure was conducted by someone with sight impairment.

Wednesday brought "champagne" conditions, and we kicked off the first day by venturing out into the above mentioned Gulf for a day of perfect racing in a steady 15 mph. Roger Martin took the first bullet while Ethan was apparently thinking about something else. Ethan kicked into gear the rest of the day only faltering from numero uno one other time to Mike Smits. Yours truly literally stabbed Stephanie in the back with a carbon spear while recovering from a low-skill, high-risk, low-reward, high-race-losing low-courtesy fuckity-fuck tack/capsize. (make this day end already!) With five races in the bag, we headed off to our first dinner where we feasted on fine Italian food served by a Greeks.

Thursday brought forecasts of increased wind and seas, so the fleet elected to stay on the inside bay and sail in blustery SW 5-20 mph conditions - oh, and it was shifty too. Keeping boats upright was a challenge, but five more races were held and once again, Ethan prevailed showing that he is not only silky-fast in perfect conditions, he also has cat-like reactions in less-than-ideal ones. An unlikely, and first-ever, bullet was scored to the gentleman farmer from Ohio (just sayin'). Ethan immediately forced himself to “drop and give me 20” and vow never to let this happen again. Dinner became a late lunch, and everyone retired early so they could be at their best the final day of competition.

Friday Fun Day found the fleet on the inside again, this time with a NE breeze and a very low tide. Several boats became mired in a dead zone on the way to the starting line, and racing was postponed to allow them time to reach the race course. The fleet squeezed in 4 additional races in moderate but weakening breeze to wrap up one of the nicest Midwinters in recent memory. Ethan kept a perfect sheet Friday as Roger and Mike battled for the coveted 2nd place. Roger had a slight edge going into the final race but somehow capsized and was forced to use that race as his throw. Final standings are listed here. Friday’s award banquet took us to an upscale eatery on the bay where we dined on Grouper and howled at the lunar eclipse.

Special thanks to Rich White, Karin Olsen Campia (for her RC help and photos here) and the entire CSC staff for making us feel welcome and to Dave Ellis for his training day and expert PRO duty. We will be back!

 
write up by Peter White 




Letzte Aktualisierung ( Wednesday, 1. March 2017 )
 
"Throwback Thursday - the 1977 Worlds from the eyes of Gil Woolley"
Geschrieben von Simon Leung   
Monday, 13. February 2017
Class Stalwart Gil Woolley was digging through his records (at the gentle urging of his bride, Gail), and found a gem. His intro is below:

"After we left Medemblik, Netherlands. Mike Beggs drove his wonderful LPG powered estate wagon north to Kiel, Germany towing his Slick Chick and my new US-77. I first launched USA-4 on 1 January, 1972. I raced the boat for a year or two, recognized its limitations, built a new Contender USA-156 and sailed it through 1976. Bill Roberts had traveled to Europe a few years earlier and committed the US to hosting the Worlds in 1976. But then he became estranged from the class and sold his boat to Paul Wells (18 years old) from Houston, Texas. I had become president of the US Contender Association and suddenly recognized that I was responsible for putting on the Worlds in 1976. My wife Gail and Jim Anderson and I combined forces with superb support from the Palo Alto Yacht Club put on the 1976 Worlds.But we really wanted to know how we did so I resolved to sail the 1977 Worlds at Kiel, Germany. In those days, the Europeans preceded the Worlds so I sailed both. Each regatta consisted of 1 very long race per day. The weather leg was 2 nautical miles and the course was start at the bottom mark, triangle, sausage, triangle and then finish at the top mark. I wonder if I remember accurately. 2 miles? Maybe, maybe not. About 2 1/2 hours long race.

Each day after racing I hand wrote my own account of how the race had gone from my own viewpoint. When I returned home, I typed up these notes and published them in the American Flatout newsletter. I am republishing them in 2017 for the edification and entertainment of current Contender sailors. I have scanned my typewritten notes of my experiences in 1977 at Medemblik and Kiel at the Europeans and Worlds respectively."

Worlds:


Europeans:

 
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