May 24, 2017
Boat builder, tug boat skipper and sailor, Dayna Nelder, has been busy again. Dayna sent us this report on her most recent adventure. GC
I think there must be something in the water in Chester, Nova Scotia. For the fourth year in a row the Chester International One Design fleet has won the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. This year, first time attendee, Ted Murphy and our crew, proved that the Chester IOD fleet is producing some amazing sailors from our compact fleet of 11 boats.
This year we were honoured to represent Chester during the 80th BIIRW. We arrived in Bermuda with a crew of six, which most people find very unusual as they normally sail with four or five. Once they realize that we are all heading out to the boat we are bombarded with questions about where we fit everyone. The answer is that I leap through the vang on tacks.
Our robust crew is made up of Nova Scotians, with experience sailing in many different one design fleets. Our Skipper, Ted Murphy, the youngest on board, began sailing IOD’s only a few years ago and we are busy restoring the one he just bought. We were fortunate enough to have our local sailing star, Jeff Brock, join us on the crew at Bermuda as our tactician. The rest of us have been sailing with Ted since he developed the IOD bug, and this is the second IOD regatta we have been to that has taken us out of Canada. The usual suspects are Jonny Sellar on main trim, Dave Wedlake on headsail trim, Jamie Blunden on bow, and myself as panel and gymnast.
The regatta got underway with all thirteen skippers from various IOD fleets picking a number from a hat to decide their boat for each day. During the IOD invitational regattas, the local fleet surrenders their boats for visiting sailors to sail. During the races, we may not have been entirely focused because we were in the vicinity of the Americas Cup boats! The first time we heard one of them go up on the foil we all forgot what we were doing for an instant! At first, we did not see the boat, but we heard something that we thought was a jet plane.
After the collective jaw drop we went back to battling for the lead with the other two top fleets from Bermuda and Cowes. We exchanged first place through out the five days of racing. Nothing was for sure until the final downwind leg of the last day. That was when we knew we had won the regatta and we had secured the Vrengen Cup!