May 2014
Lake Ontario Offshore Racing

At long last, boats are finally in the water, sails are ready to come out of the bags and the countdown is less than 15 days to the start of the offshore season!


Mother Nature has set us up this year with cold water, rapid changes in ambient temperature, winds from all directions and a new moon which all add up to some 'active' weather and some great sailing adventures. So don't wait another minute - make sure you get registered for some of the best overnight and shorthanded racing of the season.  We look forward to seeing everyone out on the water and at our pre and post race gatherings.


Joe Doris

Chair, Lake Ontario Offshore Racing


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Susan Hood Trophy Race


The Susan Hood Trophy Race is coming up fast - on Friday May 30th.  Will you be ready?


Find the Registration Page here.


The coolest part of this race is that it shakes down the boat, wakes back up those hibernating sailing skills and gets you back into gear like no other event of the season. Being able to say you've done it is an annual rite of passage that generates many of the best stories of the year.


Looking back on past years, many a sailor will recall some memorable Susan Hood races back in the seventies and eighties. Carolyn at the Rigging Shoppe shared some battle stories recently.  I was quickly reminded that the advanced technology we have today engineered into our sailing apparel and technical gear has changed the game. Particularly when we incorporate what has been used in the ski industry, thin breathable layers with high thermal properties, we brazenly fear the cold no more.  With a few quick changes, the long sleeve shirt and shorts that you started the race with turn into a fully enclosed, hi-tech boundary layer environment around your body, making you impervious to the wind, the rain or the coldest part of the race

 around 2am.  A few hours later the sun starts to rise, the wind changes direction,

the layers come off, and Presto, we're back to our shorts, t-shirts, sunglasses and sunscreen, out sailing on another spring day.  Never has it been easier to enjoy the sport of sailboat racing, even in the most extreme weather, with the modern equipment available to us today.




Weather Routing Inc. is on board for another year as our official weather service provider and are offering this valuable service to two lucky yachts who can use it to navigate around the course in the Susan Hood with finely tuned and detailed weather information - something which can make the difference between the right way and the 'long way' to sail around the course.


IMPORTANT - You have to register and pay the entry fee for the 2014 Susan Hood Trophy Race before 11:59pm on Wednesday May 21st to qualify.  The draw will happen on Friday May 23rd.

Winners of this package will be notified immediately after the draw so they will have time to contact WRI and order their detailed forecast report.


Please support our sponsors who help give us such great racing and check out their website at


Susan Hood Trophy Race - Key Times


  • Onsite Check-in at PCYC - 1400 to 1730 EDT, Friday May 30th   
  • Mandatory Participants' Meeting - 1800 EDT, Friday May 30th (Location -- on the patio)
  • Warning signal --1945 EDT, Friday, May 30th 
  • Sperry Top-Sider Post-Race party - 1430 EDT, Saturday May 31st.
  • North Sails Flag Presentation - 1500 EDT, Saturday May 31st
  • Trophy Presentation at the Annual Awards Banquet --  September (Dates TBD)


More details on the Susan Hood Trophy Race on the LOOR website. 

Lake Ontario Shorthanded Racing Series  (LOSHRS)

Welcome Shorthanded Racers to the 2014 Season!!, Our first LOSHRS event, the 17nm Course Race, is only 2.5 weeks away - Sunday June 1st. Have you registered yet?


Find the Registration Page here.


This is shaping up to be the Best year ever for short-handed racing on Lake Ontario. 




The first reason is MORE racing!  There will more single and double-handed distance racing events in 2014 than in any previous season including:6x LOSHRS races (SH, DH)Susan Hood overnighter (SH, DH)LO300 (SH and DH)LO 600 (SH, DH) Freeman Cup (SH, DH)


The second reason is for boats that register for the LOSHRS 'full series', you'll receive:

  • An awesome new athletic LOSHRS shirt with the new logo
  • A personalized Glass Stein (500mL) with your name, your boat name and the LOSHRS logo
  • If you register your crew in Yachtscoring, a 'crew' glass steinNew LOSHRS backstay flag

The third reason is A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...!


UK Sails and LOSHRS are teaming up to offer a 'GREAT SAIL GIVEWAY'.

The prize is a whopping $4,000 gift certificate towards the purchase of a new UK sail at the Toronto loft.  In order to win this, you need to qualify.

Rules for Qualifying for the 'Grand Prize' Sail Giveaway, jointly sponsored by UK and LOSHRS: Register for the LOSHRS 'full series' -- individual race registrations will not qualify. Must compete in any 4 of the 6 LOSHRS races

The Owner or Skipper from the sailboat registered for the Series must be present during the live Draw happening on Saturday September 20, 2014 @ Dalhousie Yacht Club.

Note: Purchase must be made within one year of receipt of certificate and is not for re-sale.


How do I get started?  Simple.  2 steps.

  1. Register and pay the entry fee for the Full Series 
  2. Be at the LOSHRS Race #1 Skippers Meeting (Sunday June 1 @ 9am) to pick up your:new Backstay flagnew LOSHRS shirt

Breakfast will be available for the hungry survivors of the Susan Hood. 

Personalized LOSHRS glass steins will be handed out on Friday June 13, at the YYC Weekend skippers meeting for all boats who registered for the 'full series' BEFORE Wednesday May 21st.  Anyone missing that deadline will have to wait until the LOSHRS banquet, so don't delay, register today!


More details on the Lake Ontario Shorthanded Racing Series on the LOOR website.


Looking forward to seeing you all on June 1st.


Fred Harding

LOSHRS Committee Chair

Lake Ontario 300 Challenge  -  25 Years


In contrast to the New Moon we will be experiencing this year during the Susan Hood Trophy Race, the 25th running of the LO300 will be under a full moon. Amazing that these 2 great offshore races will provide us the best of both worlds in the same year. It's great to experience sailing by the stars and enjoying the Milky Way through the night. It is also a great experience enjoy watching the moon pass over and set in the early hours, and not to require a flashlight every few minutes to see where your ticklers are. Dont miss out.


Customized Apparel Draw:

Don't forget to be one of the best dressed crews on the start line by registering for this year's Lake Ontario 300 Challenge prior to the start of this month's Susan Hood Trophy Race and have a chance at special commemorative apparel for your entire crew with your boat name or logo on it.

The prize will be drawn at the Sperry Top-Sider Post Race gathering.


Registration here for the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge!


The 2014 Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Guide 


We are just going to print on this year's LOOR guide and it will be distributed to all clubs in the next few weeks.


Stay tuned, it's a great resource tool for every boater and an excellent read.


If you have not seen it at your favorite sail maker, chandlery or club, please feel free to contact us at


From The Archives - Looking Back


The following article was found in our files while looking through for some information. It's always good to re-read something from one of our past races written by a great participant and former Chairperson, Gordon Elliott.





The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge, run for the eleventh time last June, is really a great race and one of the few major long distance Great Lakes races that combines (usually) a good balance of up-wind and down-wind sailing. Having sailed numerous Port Huron to Mackinaw races in the 1970's when I was a member of Sarnia Yacht Club, my chief memory is mostly of spinnaker runs to Cove Island and beam reaches (when there was wind), south of Manitoulin Island, and on to the finish at Mackinaw Island. (I do also remember highly unpleasant weather in some other races when the wind was out of the North and lower Lake Huron produces those loveable 15 - 20 foot
waves !)
. However the Lake Ontario 300 is a two way race - if you get a downwind run all the way to Main Duck Island, you are generally faced with battling up-wind all the way back to the Niagara mark, and often on to the finish at either Oakville or Port Credit.


The Lake Ontario 300 is jointly organized by Port Credit Yacht Club and Oakville Yacht Squadron and the start alternates each year between P.C.Y.C. and O.Y.S. depending on which club is running the race. For the 2000 race it was O.Y.S. 's turn and the start was off the Oakville River, east to a mark off P.C.Y.C., then across to the Niagara River mark, on down towards Kingston, rounding Main Duck Island (leaving it to starboard) and back to the Niagara River mark and on to the finish line off the pier at the Oakville River. The rhumb line distance is about 305 nautical miles.


This year the weather had been stormy and wet and was somewhat unsettled - the sort of weather I would have happily avoided except for my intrepid crew of Joar Gronlund and Hal Mayer from O.Y.S. and John Williams from Sarnia who showed no visible concern for the elements! Crossing the start line on Thursday at 11.00 a.m. we had a fast spinnaker run down to Port Credit and a tight reach across to the Niagara River mark, arriving around the cocktail hour, (our log notes rounding at 16.57 hrs but the sun was at least well over our yard-arm !), from there it was a gorgeous spinnaker run all the way to Main Duck Island. With a full moon and 12 - 15 knots of breeze it was one of those truly magical nights that one never forgets. We were abeam of Pointe Petrie in the late morning, all alone on a large and empty lake. As we closed with Main Duck Island the first thing we saw was Jan Steyn's "Trpxprs" , a beautifully sailed Tripp 33, flying westward, tight reaching with a spinnaker, having rounded Main Duck Island on Friday morning at 11.17 a.m. At this point two small white triangles were also converging on the island, and as we got closer we realized that they were our Oakville opposition, Wally Krawec's "Lexington" and Ben Penman's "French Kiss" We rounded Main Duck Island with "Lexington" in the lead, "French Kiss" 1 00 yards behind him and "Tigress" 1 00 yards behind them. Our time at the shoal mark after rounding Main Duck was Friday 16.00 hrs. The Weather Man was forecasting ... "winds S.W. - going to W to N.W. and eventually to North" ... so we decided to stay on the rhumb line While we could, and then if driven North of the rhumb line, stay on port tack until the Niagara mark was bearing 46 degrees, then tack !. We carried the spinnaker, tight reaching most of the way to Point Pitre, close on the tail of "Lexington", then on the #1 as the wind tightened up. Crossing the shoal at Pointe Petrie in the dark I was somewhat worried when the depth sounder went down to 10 feet, but "Lexington" dead ahead of us seemed unconcerned. While I was re-checking the chart the depth went to 15 feet and then 20 feet and we all breathed a little easier!. Later that night we ran into a fairly major electrical storm with impressive thunder and lightning. The night sky was pitch black and very threatening but the bangs were at least three seconds after the flashes so we figured it was all at least half a mile away, but I was concerned for line squalls that can be very unpleasant. We were carrying a somewhat old and fragile # 1 genoa, rated for 18 knots maximum, and as the gusts built and our anemometer reading went up rapidly from 18 - 20 - 22 - 24 knots, we decided to change down to our #2. Sail changes at 2.00 a.m. in nasty weather are not quite as slick as when racing round the buoys, and the off-watch, hearing the noise and shouting, decided to assist in the sail change. With the No 2 Genoa eventually trimmed we had a problem - No compass light - no navigation lights - no Windex light - nothing electrical! Happily the main switch is on the side of the starboard bunk and the off-watch crew member, climbing out of that bunk to help, had accidentally brushed against it and shut it off !


The storm pushed us north of the rhumb line and we were hard on the wind still taking the preferred tack towards Niagara. At daybreak on Saturday we had light head winds and a "left- over" slop and slowly worked our way towards the U. S. shore. By late afternoon we were close to the 600 foot chimney near OIcott N.Y in very light winds and tacking out from shore, crossing about 500 yards behind us was our chief rival, Peter Miller's CS-30 "Sail la Vie", (who had beaten us soundly the previous year). On the next tack he was ahead of us by 500 yards (more wind off shore ?) and then the wind died completely and we sat 300 yards apart, going nowhere, for the next two or three hours. A small zephyr eventually filled his spinnaker and off he went. We were all geared up to go too, but felt nothing, and stayed where we were. By the time "Sail la Vie" got to the Niagara mark, around dusk, we were about Y2 mile behind him. At this point the breeze was blowing directly from Oakville to the Niagara mark and "Sail la Vie" tacked over onto port heading towards Scarborough.


As we rounded the mark I felt there was no sense in following him so we decided to stay on starboard and head along the Ontario shore for St Catharines and Fifty Point. With little or no wind we were making 1 knot, 1;2 knot, nothing, 1;2 knot, nothing, mirror calm and gorgeous lights from the shore, until 4.00 a. m. which was change of watch. Handing over to the other watch I gave them the bearing to the finish line, and the fact that "O.Y.S. was 16.2 nautical miles dead ahead". Falling into the bunk I was in a deep sleep for about five minutes when my watch mate, John Williams, in true Welsh form, shouted "Wakee Wakee we're nearly there" I had actually been asleep for over two hours during which the wind had finally filled in from the North. Putting up the spinnaker and dropping the # 1 genoa makes a noise like elephants on the deck of a Chaser 29 and I had not heard a thing! We were close reaching with the spinnaker at over 6 knots heading directly for the finish line. I called Oakville Yacht Squadron on channel #71 to report that we were within 30 minutes of crossing the finish line, and received a terse reply from the O.YS.  

Race Committee "We have you in sight - Tigress"
, We crossed the finish line at 06.44.30 on Sunday morning, dropped the sails and started the engine andmotored into the harbour. We received a hail from Johan Pederson, who not only was working on the Race Committee but was the original founder of the race eleven years ago, "Well done Tigress, you are the first boat home in your division" As a Chaser 29 we were the smallest boat in our division and everyone else gave us time, so we got to be "Numero Uno" ! This is a great race and one that you should not miss in 2001, it is one that you can really settle into and should enjoy thoroughly!


Gordon Elliott - Co-Chairman - Organizing Committee - 2001 Lake Ontario 300 Race




LO300 Night Shot Footer
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.