Saturday, July 26, 2014

CanAm Challenge Regatta Preview

J/88 sailing downwind (Youngstown, NY)- For decades the Youngstown YC has run many popular regattas on Lake Ontario, inviting everyone and virtually any boat that floats to its beautiful location in Youngstown, NY at the western end of the lake, not far from the famous Niagara Falls.  In keeping with their one-design traditions, the club created a new event called the CanAm Challenge that was focused primarily on popular one-design classes in their region and, in addition, created a fun “pursuit-style” race for PHRF sailors.

Due to their tremendous group of enthusiastic volunteers, great reputation for hosting social events each day and, perhaps important to some, the fact that Youngstown YC has an excellent Race Committee and PRO’s running the various courses, the sailors look forward to lots of good sailing and camaraderie ashore.

This new event features FIVE J/Classes, including the J/22s, J/24s, J/70s, J/88s and J/105s.  In the J/22s, it looks like PROST (Darcy Fuller), RAISED J (Michele Cimon), RUFUS (David Krystaf), THREE’s COMPANY (Paul Davignon), TRAINWRECK (Adam Masters) will all have fun determining bragging rights for their new event.

It also looks like the J/24 class will have an equally challenging time figuring out who’s going to be top dog with teams like A1 (Tom Taylor), HANG LOOSE (Gabriel Lewis), IN THE MOMENT (Rick Sherk), J-TRIPPER (Tom Raes), and Skylar Munger flying around the race track.

The biggest one-design fleet in the regatta happens to be the fifteen boat J/70 class, an exceptional attendance record for this new class.  The fleet is deeply talented and boats to watch for amongst the leaders include HONEY BADGER (Travis Odenbach), JUNIOR (Tim Finkle), LATE LIFE CRISIS (Corbo Corbishley), RARITY (Marty McKenna), RISK (Gary Tisdale/ Adam Burns), SUPERFECTA (Kris Werner) and two Canadian teams- REX (Scott Weakly) and HONGI HIKA (Mark Bird).

The newest of the fleets surely must be the debut of the new J/88 one-design fleet- the first regatta in the world for J/88s!  The fleet of five boats includes NIGHT OWL (Rick Lohr), RUMBLE BEE (John Frank), SEAWEED (Don Finkle), SQUIRMY (Joe O’Brien) and USA 2 (Joe Pawlowski).  It will be quite interesting to see what these teams learn about making J88s go fast around a one-design windward-leeward “sausage course”.

The J/105s are hanging in with a trio of good teams from Canada sailing in preparation for their J/105 North Americans in Toronto, Ontario in early October.  Those teams include ALI-KAT (Ed Berkhout), LIVE EDGE (Mike Mountford), and TRIDENT (Jenny Farrand).

An innovative addition to the regatta is the PHRF Pursuit Class style format (where slowest boats start first and fastest go last, whoever crosses the line first wins).  Sailing in that division are two super-fast J’s, the J/111 LAKE EFFECT skippered by Bob Hesse and the J/92 J-HAWK helmed by Eric Herbert.   For more CanAm Challenge Regatta sailing information.