April 2014
Lake Ontario Offshore Racing

Who cares how cold it has been, so what if the weather has not totally cooperated, and it doesn't matter that the ice just disappeared beneath our boats; spring is here and we will be launching soon. Hopefully after a few good weekends, we'll all be ready for some great sailing on some chilly water! There is plenty of time to get ready for the Susan Hood Trophy Race and the First LOSHRS race at the end of May.


The Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Guide is in the printing stage and will be distributed this month to your clubs, chandlery's and sail makers. Make sure you pick one up; it is going to be an excellent resource for this year's offshore racing season.


In reviewing our current entries for this year's Lake Ontario 300 Challenge, it is good to see last year's Sperry Cup and Sperry Top-Sider Gold Cup Trophy winners, Setanta and IMXtreme, have already registered and are ready to attempt a repeat of their championship runs. The new course is excellent and with some good winds expected this year, it is going to be great. In our 25th running of the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge it is great to see some yachts registered for 2014 who were in the early years of this challenge. To name a few: Afterburn, Emerald, Survival.


To date there are 10 yachts registered to compete in the inaugural Lake Ontario 600 mile Challenge.

They are:


Boomerang, Jason Smyth- NOLSC (Niagara),

Doubletime  Brian Mitchell-BPYC,

Happy Puppy, Danial McKindsey- CBYC(Kingston),

Joely Rose, Gene Joelson-PCYC,

Lively, Murray Gainer-ABYC,

Louisianna, Frank Juhasz-BHYC,

Moonbeam, Allan Belovarac- PIYC (Presque Isle),

Pearl,  Brent Hughes-FBYC,

Rouleur,  Geoff Cornish-RCYC,

Upstart,  Bert Barrett-BPYC.


Make sure you take time to cheer these guys on and stay tuned for the rest of this unique fleet to develop.


Check out our YachtScoring page to get all the updates and find out who registered:


Good luck launching and preparing your boats for this year's season, we look forward to seeing everyone at the start lines!


2014 Susan Hood Trophy Race - May30th


Six weeks away and we are not going to say anything about the thrill this race is going to be and the absolute balmy weather we are going to have with lots of stars to guide us around the course.

Remember to come to the club early and order up an extra thermos of hot coffee from the club house.

We are looking for a great turnout to match the excitement and competition we had last year.

Remember the post race BBQ on the lawn Saturday afternoon and to enjoy a stay over at PCYC to get ready for the first LOSHRS Race Sunday, June 1st from PCYC to a Clarkson Mark and finishing at the Gibraltar Buoy.


Registration links are as follows:


Lake Ontario 300 (80 registered to date.)  10 yachts are registered for the LO600


Susan Hood Trophy Race (43 registered to date.)


Lake Ontario Shorthanded Racing Series - (72 boats registered to date.)


Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Entry Draw.


For all participants who have registered and paid prior to the start of this year's Susan Hood Trophy Race on May 30th at 19:55 there will be a special draw to win a commemorative shirt with your boat's name on it for all crew who are racing the 2014 Lake Ontario 300 on your boat.

This is a special prize and will make your crew shine at the pre-race ceremonies. Don't delay on getting your boat registered for this year's challenge.

The draw will be made at the Sperry Top-Sider post race celebration for this year's Susan Hood Trophy Race.


Joe Doris

Chair, Lake Ontario Offshore Racing



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Line Honours, Fujinon 300 - 1990  From March Newsletter:


We want to make sure that we correct a misprint from last month's article on White Hawk first boat to finish.

Harvard Kolm was quick to point out that we printed Gordon Stephens last name as Peterson. 


The attributes we gave to Gordon are actually Harvard's. We apologize.

What is impressive is the praise given to the crew on WhiteHawk,  our first boat to finish this race.


It brings to mind the number of great crew that have done this race and the LOSHRS series over the year's.


Harve wrote:

"As is always the case, the crew on a double-handed race deserves equal recognition with the skipper and I felt my article fell short in that regard. Both aboard are responsible, most often independently, for keeping the boat going and to be continuously conscious of VMG. Any lapse in concentration will likely spell doom for the race. The intensity has to be comparable to a daytime race around the buoys, but for hours and days on end. So it is no accident that I asked Gordon Stephens to share the duties with me during the Fujinon 300 in 1990. Gordon's sailing credentials far outweigh mine. He is sort of a modern day version of the legendary Sherman Hoyt. (For those not old enough to have read about him, he was the most sought after crew member during the early Bermuda races. Whenever he came on deck, he would look around, make a few adjustments resulting in a least an extra half knot in speed).

As testament to Gordon's prowess, he has crewed with Tom Lajos during his many european campaigns on the International Dragon circuit. This has taken him to Kiel, Lake Garda, Torquay, Cannes, St. Tropez and even Alexandria, Egypt. (I should be so lucky!). Closer to home, he crewed many years on the J/35 "Strider" and has been a frequent member of Guy Jones's team on the eight-metres "Ranja" and "Yquem".

This year, Gordon will sail with Tom Reese on the Multi-hull "Flight Simulator", making this his most recent of several appearances in the L.O. 300."


Let's hear it for the second person on the boat when you see those double handed boats out on the lake!!

Lake Ontario 300/600 Solo Fleet Update 

With only 90 days until the start of the 25th Lake Ontario 300 and the 1st Lake Ontario 600, the Solo fleet is leading the charge in registration numbers.

As of April 1st, there are 16 yachts registered for the 5th running of the Lake Ontario Solo Challenge, including 5 first time solo attempts.  Seeing as the largest fleet in the race was 17 boats in the 2010 running, we should be able to smash that record this year.  The 18 Lake Ontario members of the GLSS are looking forward to having many more sailors join this exclusive club in 2014.


In addition, to date we have 10 yachts registered in the Inaugural Lake Ontario 600 Challenge - TWICE around the lake, non-stop!  Of these 10 yachts, 7 are Solo sailors, and 3 are fully crewed.  It should be a great adventure - be sure to sign up for this soon, and 25 years from now you can tell your grandchildren about the big adventure on the lake.


For more information on the Lake Ontario 300 Solo Challenge, or the Lake Ontario 600 in general, please contact Brent Hughes at 416-984-7967, or bhughes@ucci.ca.

Historical Look at the 300. PCYC April 16,2014


A great night was had by all in attendance for an inspiring look back over the 25 years of memories, drama and highlights this race has provided so many people. The evening started off with a few words from Johan Pederson, the man whose inspiration formed this race and started a quarter century of challenging sailing. Many in attendance were past participants from as far back as the original race, some Main Duck members who have completed the race more than a dozen times and many more who all stood up to give their accounts of the various highs and lows presented during the evening.


Reminiscing from a room of experienced sailors was enjoyed by all and would be well worth repeating at any club. Just for the multitude of great stories.

Johan Pederson speaking to an enthusiastic crowd at PCYC



FLASHBACK to the 1994 Lake Ontario 300 Double Handed Challenge


1994 -  23% finished the race


The year 1994 saw the lowest completion race in this race's history at 23% of the yachts finishing the race. 


Out of 63 boats to start, 14 finished; three of which were white sail.

PCYC Commodores Cup- BCT Double Handed Champion that year was Sandstorm, Abbott 33  from  NYC sailed by Graham Jones and Bruno Dubois, elapsed finish time: 2:13:14:49 Corrected at 2:17:33:09

Northern Lights Trophy for Line Honours went to Falcon 1, C&C41 sailed by Ian Douglas and Jim Weldon.  Elapsed finish time: 2:12:13:21 Corrected at 2:21:40:28


When we look at last year's race with 55% finishing and about the same in 2010 when a few line squalls came through, we have to wonder what those races would have been if we did not have all the technology and visibility that we are blessed with. Ten years ago is not that long, but racers did not rely on their  smart phones, satellite tracking, internet weather updates and the rest of our technology. Plus they all raced double handed. The 1994 race start in mid June and as you can see in the picture below of the start, it looked like a nice 3 day tour!

Amarone foredeck Pat Sturgeon getting ready for the start

The following are a few comments from the lowest finishing rate in the history of the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge:


Gary Benner Amarone CS30 from CBYC  Now Shock Therapy from  RCYC

"I completed the '94 race with Pat Sturgeon on my CS30. It was the stormiest race ever. A small low pressure area intensified unpredictably right over Niagara as the fleet headed there. What was a bash across the Lake from Oakville turned into a nightmare. 10 foot waves, 40 knots of wind, heavy rain, visibility of less than 100 feet and lightning. We missed our call-in due to a RC mix-up. The Coast Guard called my house to say they were "giving up the search" as conditions were too bad. Most boats went to south shore harbours. We carried on. CBYC was organizing boats to go out and search when we finally called in. "


Carson Woods - Coug Peterson 37 CBYC   Now RCYC

1994....So rough people were smart to hoist sails inside the breakwall, it was, after all a two handed race and too rough to rely on an auto pilot if the main hoist was 50 feet or more...The Oakville river mark , in retrospect was too close inshore for rounding in those conditions especially as it meant a gybe with little room and really big waves...Brayden and I planned a late gybe to go in to the mark and the violence of the turn popped my top rudder bearing out of the deck and hit one of my knees...I look down and see this large hole with an unrestrained rudder post gyrating and immediately turned upwind to reduce side pressure  and hove to under a restared motor watching the whole fleet charging down at us...eventually made a run for the river  and, yes, big waves coming right over the breakwall, and river water brown...I wound up in the Oakville Club riverbank spot for that night and replaced the bearing with two through bolts thinking about carrying on...But news of all the drop outs and "Amarone" missing had me go back to Bristol Marine for a check of the bottom end of the rudder instead. In came my arch rival, "Zoe" for repairs to her hull sides, caved in by too much stress on the chain plates....Turns out Gary was enjoying wine in The Niagara River and forgot to call in...
Then there was the time we were becalmed off Prince Edward County for 15 hours...
The only strategy I recall, follow that big red boat......


Brent Hughes  FBYC

The 1994 race was my first LO300, doing it aboard Jim Watters' C&C 29 "Bay Bye" (now btw Rebellion, and a multiple time competitor in the LO300).  It was indeed a horrific trip!!!! It had been blowing from the east for a few days before the start, and the starting area was very rough.  At the turning mark at OYS, waves were crashing over the breakwall!

We had no idea that so many boats went into south shore harbours, and wondered why we were doing so badly because we couldn't see anyone when the fog finally lifted last the next day (I believe the crossing, albeit very stormy was also very foggy.  We actually rounded MDI with Derek Hatfield on Gizmo and a Cayenne 41 called Quicksilver......at that point we realized we must be doing OK.  We radioed Quicksilver and they told us there were less than 20 yachts left in the race!!!  We were too dumb to know when to quit!

I am proud to say that we finished 1st in Class, and 5th Overall out of the 14 yachts that finished in 1994 (64 started).  Woohoo FBYC.


Mark Searle competed on Defiant II with Bob Bugby, last year's double handed champ on Jersey Girl. PCYC.

In reality, the wind and waves were honking at the start and boats started dropping out at the Oakville turning mark and continued on leg to Y-Town. Huge fog was also a factor. The majority of the fleet dropped out by Youngstown offering the Stone Jug an unexpected spike in business. Only 14 of us managed to complete the race.


Sandra Kennedy OYS competed in this race on Partout with Richard Bodt

The 1994 race had a very interesting start, a lovely breeze from Port Credit to Oakville.  But the crossing to the Youngstown Bar Buoy saw the weather intensifying, and by the time we got there, it was a full gale.  It was also the only time I have been truly seasick.  We had a little discussion about abandoning, but I took the wheel and got myself sorted (hot chai tea and dry toast works wonders), and pressed on, racing hard.  It was only later, approaching Main Duck Island, that we realized there were no other boats in the vicinity.  Unusual.  Most of the time you may be out of sight of your fleet, but many of the usual suspects converge at the mark. We were alone - with no idea whether we were way out in front or way behind the rest of the fleet.  And we stayed in the dark until we finished... It seems that all but 14 of the 65 boats that started had dropped out at some point on that second leg.  It would have saved some worries if we had known that earlier!  Have to love the new communication rules!


Please keep sending in your best memories, old pics, and stories to Brian Townsend bdtownsend@rogers.com 


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The Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Group is responsible for the planning of the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge, the Susan Hood Trophy Race and the Lake Ontario Short Handed Racing Series under the organizing authority of the Port Credit Yacht Club.