Attendance for this year's Lake Ontario 300 is well on its way to being another record-breaking year in more ways than one. To date there are 110 paid registrants, an increase of 25% from last year at this time. The total number of yachts competing last year was 172, which was a 35% increase from 2008. The LO300 has more than tripled in size over the last 5 years. Part of this increase is due to the addition of an exciting IRC division, a multi-hull division and a Single-handed division.
Based on the registrations to date there is an exciting combination of veteran and novice racers, sport boats and classic yachts registered to compete. Word has it that this year's Sperry Cup Champion and line honours will be fiercely contested.
Veteran winners of the LO300 such as MacIntosh, a Custom Cartwright 44; Mullet, a Beneteau 40.7; Sassafrass, a Swan 47 and Rampage, a Concordia 47 plus many more are going to be joined by some new yachts such as a Killing 53, Farr 44, Beneteau 10R, C&C115's and a Shock 40 that has replaced the former IRC champion Shock 35 (Shock Therapy).
With many yachts still to register there is definitely going to be a higher number of sport boats competing on both courses than we have seen before. Since the LO300 is not a point-to-point race, navigation skills and experience will play a key role in deciding this year's winner.
What makes the 2010 race even more exciting is the new tracking system being used by LO300. Kattack provides the equivalent of real time tracking so fans and spectators won't miss any of the action and strategy being played out on the lake.
Other developments adding to the excitement this year are: 1)The Solo Challenge already has 7 yachts registered to compete which more than doubled last year's inaugural challenge;
2) There will be more than one 6.5 meter open class Mini competing this year. This is the yacht used to compete in the Single Handed Mini Transat- France to Brazil. It will be exciting to see the Mini's perform against the larger yachts on Lake Ontario: 3) For the first time in the history of the Lake Ontario 300, the mandatory call-ins to the Coast Guard every 6 hours have been eliminated. This is a result of the increased load of work placed on the CCG that takes away from their core mandate; and 4) Approximately 40% of the registered boats are first time entries into this race, which means new competition throughout all divisions.