Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chester Race Week Update

J/35 at Chester Race Week (Chester, Nova Scotia)- Four days, four courses, sixteen fleets, 33 trophies, 123 sailboats, and 1,200 sailors!  No question, Chester Race Week is Canada’s largest annual keelboat regatta!  So far this week, Chester YC has seen strong winds and heavy seas for the start of the regatta.

According to Rod Johnstone, sailing on Gary Bennett’s J/35 J’AI TU, “The first day at CRW on the "alpha" course provided picture perfect race conditions with 15-20 knot SW winds for our J/35 class. Two great race courses were set by PRO Ken Legler (the Tufts University Sailing Team Head Coach). The conditions were definitely challenging for us on J’AI TU, with mostly an eager young crew new to "big boat" sailing with an old guy on both ends of the boat- Arturo Pilar and me. The first race was a 4-leg W/L with 1.2 mile legs. Thane MacDonald and his crew on J-HAWK were launched at the start and never looked back. We were tightly bunched at the first windward mark with three others and finished within seconds of the third and fifth place boats.

Race two was a middle distance race around the Islands of about 15nm.  We barely led after a 2.7 mile beat, but were quickly passed on the long run around Great Tancook Island by Andrew Child's HELOC, whose crew proved adept at changing headsails during the race. After a long jib reach into the Bay, a four-mile beat then a run to the finish rewarded those who changed down to #3 jib on the beat. Having enough beef on the rail helped too!”  Andrew Child’s HELOC is tied for first with Thane MacDonald’s J-HAWK with Ann Petley-Jones’ HARRIER in third.  Currently, sitting fourth is the Bennett/Johnstone crew.

So far, in the PHRF Alpha 3 class, Rory Macdonald’s J/105 McMAC is leading with Colin Mann’s J/92 POOHSTICKS in third place.  In the J/120 class, Ron Stewart’s SLICE from Stratford, Prince Edward Island is atop the fleet, followed by Richard Calder’s BRILLIANCE and Stu McCrea’s DEVIATION.

Over on the Bravo Course area, it is a three-way tie for first place between Terry Schnare’s HEAD GAMES, Don Williams’ PARADIGM SHIFT and Chris MacDonald’s SCOTCH MIST IV in the closely fought J/29 one-design class.  In the PHRF ToT division, the J/70 RE-DEMPTION (Bill Adams) is sitting in third place.  Finally, in the J/24 one-design class, David Wedlake’s BARELY LEGAL is atop the leaderboard with Chris Veinot’s HYPEWAVE in second and Nick Hamblin’s JAMMING in third place.

There is a lot more racing still to go in this fun event off Chester’s gorgeous archipelago of islands and pine-tree studded shorelines!   For more Chester Race Week sailing information