Sept 28, 2017
Hurricanes Jose and Maria had done their devastating work in the Caribbean and Florida that created a wonderful weather high in the Great Lakes region that was to last almost three weeks. With that high also came lack of wind, high temperatures and sun filled skies, which are wonderful if you are on a beach vacation, but not so much when you are trying to run the driveHG.ca J/24 World Championship in Mississauga, Canada on Lake Ontario.
caption: The key to a great start was finding a hole on the line
PRO Pat Lymburner accomplished a phenomenal feat but actually getting off eight races in five days – only having to abandon two when the wind completely shut off in the playing field and current was bringing the boats away from their intended marks. It was a tough regatta for many competitors.
Fortunately, many competitors were able to cool off in the waters of Lake Ontario (historically even too cold to swim in even at the end of August) and enjoyed the social aspect of the world stage gathering. The pick-up ball hockey tournament on Tuesday after racing came down to the Canadians vs the Americans in the play-offs. Cut throat games of pool took the place of boats on the water at the Crooked Cue on Thursday night, and dancing was a great way to relieve stress to the tunes of the Soul FUNkshun and the Soul Mates on Friday and Saturday nights.
The scene was set with more than 15 boats comprised of past world, North/South American, European, National and Mid-Winter champions who could win the championship in a field of 63 boats from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Peru and the United States. From the oldest competitor, American Tony Parker (72) to the youngest, Canadian Aidan Dennis (14) the race was on.
caption: Winners Team Clear Air – Jon Messenger, Rossi Milev, Gayle Gray, Mark Goodyear, Jeremy Edwards
In the end, only one point separated the first and second place boats as they battled it out in the last race which was finally abandoned at the leeward gates when all the boats converged in a dying breeze before trying to heading up to the finish.
Day Three Race Commentary by Chris Howell, IJCA:
caption: boats were accommodated through-out the Port Credit YC harbour
If good things come to those who wait, then Evan Petley-Jones from Halifax, Nova Scotia is the perfect example on day three of the driveHG.ca J/24 World Championship. The teams waited out multiple hours of an on-water postponement, hoping for enough breeze to get a start off. Finally around 3:30 p.m., light winds allowed two more races to be completed, which brought into effect the discard. Petley-Jones sailing Lifted, leap into first place overall, able to drop a 39 from race 1. Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet from Washington, DC fell to second place with 32 points. John Mollicone’s Helly Hansen from Jamestown, Rhode Island launched up to third. Six races are now finalized. The competitors started race 5 in about 5 knots, when Nobuyuki Imai’s Siesta from Japan collected the win. Mollicone and Ted Bartlewski’s Drivers Wanted from Mississauga, Ontario followed.
After six races Tony Parker’s Bangor Packet (Bow 23) remained in the top two throughout the championship, even without the drop. Tony Parker of Washington D.C., is the most seasoned racer on the course, sailing 1978 hull #58, testimony to the J/24’s quality and ruggedness, and the skill and consistency of Tony and his crew at this event. Tony is a five-time winner of the J/24 US East Coast Championship (which he has sailed 38 times!).
caption: competitors gather for a group shot while waiting for wind
In the end, only one point separated the first and second place boats as they battled it out in the last race which was finally abandoned at the leeward gates when all the boats converged in a dying breeze before trying to heading up to the finish. Rossi Milev from Mississauga, Ontario sailing Clear Air battled back after a devastating 46th place in the first race to win the overall championship with only 47 points and one point ahead of Tony Parker with 48 points. Canadians Evan Petley-Jones finished off the week in 4th place with 68 points followed by Ted Bartelewski and team in 6th with 71 points.
After many years with his team of Mark Goodyear, Jeremy Edwards, Gayle Grey and Jon Messenger, Rossi Milev finally came to the pinnacle of his career with a win that has eluded him for many years to the delight of the home crowd at the Port Credit Yacht Club – how sweet is that!
caption: crowded lanes made it hard to find clear air
Complete results may be found at: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=2934
Below left: Team Lifted – 4th place Evan Petley-Jones, Peter Soosalu, Matt Soosalu, Ben Maloney and Ross Jacobs
Below right: Team Drivers Wanted 6th place- Robert Durek, Mac and Brigitta, Ted Bartlewski, Irek Zubko