August 31, 2022
By Kirsty Clarke
Bringing more women into racing / Photo courtesy: Anne Marrie Schewflelt
Eighty women, 11 boats, and one day of highly competitive racing: August 20, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto held the second annual J105 Ontario Women’s Championship. Hey Jude, with skipper Karen McRae won the championship, Jen Provan Paterson on Mandate took second, and Chantal Hearst on Kernel (with owner Jan Heisey) finished third.
The race committee, ably led by Anne Sanderson, and including judge Dale King, squeezed four races into one light wind, but picture-perfect day. After the first start, all were sailed under the U flag, but while starts were close, and the racing intense, no protests were made throughout the day.
Photos: Jean Treadwell
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 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 J105 fleet.
This year saw new competitors from around the lake. Heather McCann from Port Credit Yacht Club brought NagaDragon; Anne Marie Shewfelt led Endeavour from Mimico; Chantal Hearst skippered Jan Heisey’s Kernel from Royal Canadian; and Rhonda Joyce sailed with the Trident Sirens team from Port Credit, 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,” said Kathy Pask, regatta organizer and J105 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 25, driving Thunderstruck with the Hell’s Belles team.
Left: The Hey Jude winning team / Right: Starcross
Regatta organizers Kathy Pask, J105 Fleet Representative, and Felicity Rodness, Regatta Chair, are grateful for generous sponsorship from Michael Mountford, Scotia Wealth Management, The Mountford Group, and for donations from AI Bags, and donations and organization 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).
Last year’s Toronto event has inspired similar events across North America this year including the J105 Women’s regatta at the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake in Annapolis on June 25th; The San Francisco Bay J/105 Women Skipper Invitational was hosted May 22, 2022 by St. Francis Yacht Club in the US a Regatta in Seattle and possible regatta’s hopefully next year in Texas. The J105 Class is actively sponsoring and supporting women sailing so please reach out.