September 6, 2023
By Kate Nicoll
The wind gods did not favour the PRO or the competitors this past August 25-27 weekend on the lovely sandy shores of Lake Erie at the Buffalo Canoe Club (located, perhaps surprisingly, in Ridgeway, ON CANADA!) where 133 ILCA sailors gathered to sail in the 2023 ILCA Canadian Championships. Canadian and US entries dominated the fleet with one entry from the Ukraine.
Friday was overcast and a bit drizzly when the sailors left the beach. PRO, David Sprague took the fleet well out of the sheltered bay but contended with fluky, light winds for the entire day. The last race of the ILCA 7 fleet saw the competitors getting more agitated by the minute with winds hovering around the 1-2 knot range. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the fleet were unable to complete the race as the time limit had expired.
Although Saturday’s weather forecast was for sunny skies, there would be very light winds again. Fortunately, the forecasters were wrong and a beautiful breeze built with winds in the 8 – 10 knot range, which made everyone much happier. With stronger winds from the day before, many of the lead positions changed. Many in the ILCA 6 fleet had a tough day when the Black Flag had to used to finally get a race off after numerous recalls with a U flag.
Sunday, the final day of racing, brought great promise for sun and winds from the north when the boats headed out to the racecourse. Although shifty, the great wind held for the first race. Unfortunately, with too many large winds shifts and decreasing velocity, only the ILCA 6 fleet were able to squeak in 2 races before it was impossible to get further races off with the cut off time looming and the winds going through even greater shifts.
Congratulations to the winners, who were all Canadian this year.
ILCA 7 – Norman Struthers from RCYC
ILCA 6 (61 boats) – Rory Walsh from Royal Vancouver YC (who won the tie over Carlos Charabati from Pointe Claire YC)
ILCA 4 (22 boats) – Angus Beauregard from Hudson YC
PRO David Sprague
Chief Judge – Darryl Waskow
Results can be found at https://theclubspot.com/regatta/DuhZIbkuXm/results