LaSalle Mariners a ‘Force’ in Florida

Mar 20, 2024

LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club in Windsor a fun, friendly little club on the Detroit River and a ‘Force’ to be reckoned with.

Member, Andrea Hill, among others, did her club proud at regattas in Florida this past February. Andrea and her team initially brought her S2 7.9 to the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series Regatta, held at St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Florida, February 16-18, 2024.

Andrea Hill and crew accept second place in their division for S2 Regatta. (L to R): Jen Pullen, Dennis Hendel, Andrea Hill, Mark Allen and Dennis Hill. Missing is Wally Cross.

“Congrats to Andrea Hill and her boat Ginger, on winning the first race.” John Spierling of SYC, MI, sailing Rebel, won the regatta beating Andrea by 3 points. Third place was taken by Jeff Padnos, sailing K2 out of Holland MI. Twelve boats competed in this Class Mid-winters Regatta.

On to Force 5

The day after the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta finished, the Force 5 Midwinter Championships, February 19-24, 2024, were hosted by the Upper Keys Sailing Club, Key Largo, Florida. Forty-seven sailors representing Canada, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia and the Florida Keys enjoyed a week of camaraderie and competitive sailing on Buttonwood Sound.

Sailors from the LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club, representing Canada, including Andrea Hill, were at this regatta in full force. LMYC brought 12 boats to these Midwinters on 3 trailers. At this point LMYC is the only Canadian fleet, with about 20 boats.

The Midwinter Championships has divisions for both the standard, and short rigs. After three days of course racing, in the standard rig fleet: 1st place and winner of the Midwinter Championship Perpetual Trophy was Jason Breeden (Bloomington Yacht Club-Indiana). 2nd place Jeremy Pape (Upper Keys Sailing Club – Florida), 3rd – Nikolas Lintunen (LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club-Canada), 4th – Dustin Romey (Upper Keys Sailing Club-Florida), and 5th, Dan Synowiec (North Cape Yacht Club-Michigan).

Lasalle Force 5 competitors Nik Lintunen…
Nate Blackton
Dennis Hendel

The winners in the short rig fleet: Pat Passafiume (Louisville Sailing Club-Kentucky), 2nd-Nate Blackton (LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club-Canada), and 3rd was Abi Anderson (Lake Lanier Sailing Club-Georgia). The other LMYC sailors made their club proud by racing to their personal best finishes.

The Force 5 Mid-Winters has a Double Handed Championship on one day, as a part of the event. The Force 5 has a much larger cockpit and more sail area than a Laser and was designed so you can bring a friend.

The results for the Double-Handed Championship: 1st-Andrea Hill and Mark Allen (LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club-Canada); 2nd-Dennis Hendel and Jennifer Pullen (LaSalle Mariners Yacht Club-Canada); and 3rd-Peter Anderson and Abi Anderson (Lake Lanier Sailing Club-Georgia).

About the Force 5

The Force 5, a 14′, 140 pound day sailing or racing dinghy, with full controls is a very affordable class to compete in with around 12,000 built. You can be on the starting line with a competitive used boat, with a new sail, for about $2000. First built in 1973 by AMF Alcort, they have been manufactured by Weeks Yacht Yard since 1993.

LMYC is one of the newer fleets, and the only one in Canada. There are active fleets in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi most famously, was the first to utter the words to Luke Skywalker: – “May the force be with you”. To this day, these sailors still accept as the truth, that the Jedi Master was referring to them, and the Force 5 sailboat.

– Roger Renaud

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