We just had another ultra successful GP event. With a moderate turn out of 16 boats (including 1 all female team), Kingston served up a perfect weekend of sunshine and breeze. Day 1 was 5-8 knots from the East. Day 2 was 7 – 12 knots SW with Day 3 12 – 16 knots SW, all under sunny skies.

Photo credit: Kalu.ca

Team “Brown Town” owned the event with a total of 10 bullets across 15 races. Duking it out for the other two podium spots were Mori/Barnes and Brodeur/Carlton. In the end, the former (from Toronto) bested their Montreal rivals and took the silver medal. In doing so, Mori and Barnes from 905sailing.ca leap frogged their closes competition to take 2nd place on the 49er.ca GP with only one event remaining.

Regatta Results
Regatta Pictures
2012 49er Canada GP Results
2012 49erNA GP Results

This year’s edition of CORK OCR brought 16 49er’s together for what was supposed to be 5 days of racing, but due to some severe conditions only 3 days of racing would be had. After buying a new boat in the summer and taking our time getting it set up properly CORK OCR was to be the first event for the new boat.

Credit: Luka Bartulovic

The strong 49er fleet at CORK OCR coming off the line in a pack

The first day of the event started off with lighter 8 knot winds where we got off to a bad start and had to work our way through the fleet to catch up to Dubreucq and Parekh finishing second behind them. The next two races the breeze picked up to 12-15 knots and we really found our stride. In the next two races we led from start to finish even after breaking our vang arms on the first rounding at the leeward gate. In the 4 races of the day the breeze picked up to 18 knots in the puffs and sailing with no vang finally become too much and we had a bad race finishing 6th. After the race our support team brought us new vang arms and we managed to make the swap but started the race 20 secs late. We took everyone’s transom and rode a lift up on the right, flipped back and crossed the fleet back out to the left hand side and didn’t look back, taking the win. After day one with the drop we led Dubreuq and Parekh by one.

Credit: Luka Bartulovic

Matt & Trev chase Frosty downwind... Grrr!

The second day of the event was set to be a big breeze day with numerous storm systems moving through which brought alot of lightning. Regardless the RC set up to get a race off, but abandoned the races before one got off and everyone just managed to get in before a 35 knot squal hit. With storms continually blowing through racing was called off for the entire day.

The third shaped up to be a big one with the top 2 boats set to square off to jump ahead and gain a points cushion. The breeze came in from the left over systems and we had 4 good races in a 12-15 knot shifty breeze. We came prepared for the day knowing that we would have the heat on us after being the leaders from the first day and we had 3 very solid races where we led from start to finish, and gained a big lead on the rest of the fleet. The next race was one to forget, as we had a bad start and took too many gambles trying to get back into the lead and suffered in the shifty conditions and finished with our worst result of the event a 9th. After the race the RC started another in the dying breeze and shifting conditions and again we put ourselves in a bad spot to thankfully the race was called.

Credit: Luka Bartulovic

Colourful fleet heading back downwind in the lee of the wind turbines

On the final day of full racing we again entered the day with the lead and had enough of a cushion that we knew we had to look to defend against the top three boats behind us. The winds were again very shifty and puffy which was going to make it a challenge to hold the lead, but we sailed the day very conservatively, being careful not to take too many chances to allow the close chasing boats to get by us. We sailed 6 races over the day had we managed to beat who we needed too and still had some good results going 4-4-4-1-3-2. We also got some help from our other competitors who stepped up to help put some the the close chasing boats further back. One of those being Mike and Tom from Montreal who got their first bullet at a major regatta, so props to them!

Credit: Luka Bartulovic

The champs in their new boat, making it look easy...

On what was to be the last day with the medal race the breeze was on big time (25knots, puffing to 30 knots and with more forecasted to move in) racing was abandoned for the day leaving us with the victory. At the end of the event we managed to have 7 bullets of the 15 race event. A big thanks to all the 49er’s for coming out and making the racing very tight and also a big thanks to Trev for taking the beating by us so graciously!

Rob Frost

CAN 1251

Photo credits: Kalu.ca

Frosty wins! (report to come…)

Credit: Geoff Webster

Results: http://www.cork.org/past-results/results2011/OCR9ER/49RTBL.HTM

Photos:  Kalu & Geoff Webster

Last day video: http://vimeo.com/28157128

49er in Kingston 2011 from Matthieu Dubreucq on Vimeo.

Day 1 – Everyone Defriended
The plan today (once we get to the boat) is to give everyone a good hello in the morning, and then defriend everybody as soon as we’re afloat! Every regatta is more important than the last to us.
What a fun day of racing. We had 15-20 knots, and 4 races. Although we cannot find the results online, they post them in the window. We got a first and 3 seconds in the races. Billy and Ian had a bit better speed than us around the course. We credit that to a bit of stability and dialing in to the groove. They are not that much heavier than us, but that extra 5 to 10 pounds goes a long way in the breeze especially because they are both well over 6 feet tall. I need to trapeze harder downwind. We had the best point today, but they had better speed in the bigger wind. We still have 8 or 10 races left, so there’s lots of room for making up 3 points.
After racing today, Trevor (Canadian class president and national team member) hosted a meeting and then had the whole fleet go to a driving range. It was my second time ever driving a golf ball, and I was so bad that some of the others had to take a video of me trying to hit it. Dan on the other hand was smashing the balls 250 yards! It was pretty amazing, and everyone loved watching him nail them to the end of the range, but the best part was when he let go of the club and it went in the lake. He had to swim after it! That is gold.
Tomorrow should be another good day for racing! We’re going to fix our flaws from today and see if we can win some races!

Day 2 – The Battles
Today was just another day of the Kingston thermal we know and love. It was a bit late coming in, and we were pretty flat out most of the time, but there were some lulls to watch out for, and we had to be careful not to press out of the puffs early in the day. We were fighting really hard with Billy and Ian, the senior team. In one race, they came at us with some match racing techniques, and although we have never match raced, we held our own ok, but we almost put us both over the line early in the process. Upwind, we were throwing in fake tacks, and downwind was a constant battle of gybeing on each other and trying to steal wind and positioning for the next move. This dog fighting style of racing is new to us. It’s damn fun, and a bit hectic. We had 5 races today, and we scored 1,2,3,1,2. After today we’re still only 3 points behind 1st. That’s well within striking distance, especially if we get the four races that are planned for tomorrow. Here we go again!!

Day 3 – 49er.ca Champions Crowned
The regatta finished today, after 4 races in a fading Northerly that was pretty strong in the morning, for 2 of our races. We were making good use of the shift coming from the left shoreline, especially at the top of the course. After we got 2 bullets, Billy and Ian were coming at us hard and not worrying about the rest of the fleet because of the points difference. At one point, we almost put our spinnakers up on the way to the windward mark because they took us both so far past the layline! In the last race we were in last and second last at the top mark, then we finished 4th and they finished 11th, which were both our drop races. After 13 races they won by 2 points and we came second. On our way home from the awards, Dan reminded me that Billy and Ian weren’t even planning on coming here about a month ago. Then he said that what we got out of these 3 days of racing at the nationals is way more valuable to us than the likely Canadian title for this year if they didn’t show up. It was a fight, and we were really pushing each other. Definitely a good regatta. Also a big thanks to Nate & Tom for coming all the way up from Boston.

- Jon Ladha, CAN 097, Newfie Gold

Here are the results from the 49er Canadians in Kingston last weekend:


And here are the updated 49er.ca GP Results:

And here are the updated 49erNA GP Results:
2011 49erNA GP Results

Pictures from Kalu and Geoff Webster to come…

Although there are places with better breeze in North America, in the 3 years that we’ve competed in the only NA stop for the ISAF World Cup, there has always been a good variety of conditions during the event. It started it out at Coral Reef YC as usual, with the opening words, regatta official introductions, and the buffet.  Yes, the food is very good, but anymore than 3 of those meatballs the night before a regatta could slow you down a bit.  The event started with decent breeze and on time, so it’s a good thing that we were able to show up 23 seconds before the start.  It wasn’t because of the meatballs, as everyone knows, stuff breaks on the 49er more than any other Olympic class, but it is just way more fun.

The 49er fleet was Canada’s strongest Olympic class at this event, with 3 boats in the medal race, and that’s awesome!  Hopefully we’ll be even stronger and bigger next year.  This year we had 8 Canadian boats, so it was a good turnout, but there could have been more.  15 boats would be a great turn out, and that is very doable for next year.  It’s amazing that 49er.ca is funding and putting off camps for the whole fleet in the spring and summer. Everyone will get better, and more people will start sailing the 49er in Canada, and hopefully there will be a lot of us there and at the Gorge and San Fran in the summer.  Those places definitely have lots of wind, and the Worlds in 2013.

MOCR was a good event for the Canadian 49er Class, and things are only going to get better.  Thanks to 49er.ca, the best national 49er site out there and thank you to Screech, Newfoundland Rum!

- John Ladha, Skipper CAN 097 (Screech)

KINGSTON, ON – The Seiko 49er.ca Championships took place from August 21 to 25 in lovely Kingston, Ontario during the annual CORK Olympic Classes Regatta. In all, 22 races were held plus a medal race on the final afternoon. Competitors came from far and wide for this event, including Mexico, Seattle, Wisconsin and Edmonton. Three nations were represented with 20 teams competing for the Canadian championship.
The first day was cloudy with a Nor’Easter gradient breeze, making for tricky, shifty conditions. Canadian Sailing Team members Jon Ladha and Dan Inkpen of Newfoundland jumped out to an early lead over three of their team mates. Day 2 was much the same with Ladha and Inkpen continuing their dominance over the other 19 boats.
Monday, day 3, sailors were met with a honking Easterly breeze of 15 to 20 knots against the current, making for short, steep, dirty chop. That made for extremely tricky conditions and plenty of pitch poles and capsizes, even among the top sailors. Monday is when Billy Gooderham and Ian Hogan of Toronto made their move from the middle of the fleet, vaulting themselves into second place, posting only top 3 finishes on the day. Tuesday, the sun finally showed up, but still the fabled Kingston thermal breeze was nowhere to be seen. With light and shifty conditions, the quiet but pensive Olympian Gordon Cook and young-gun Paul Ehvert emerged from the pack, posting four bullets on six races to take the series lead.
Wearing the yellow bibs on Wednesday morning, Cook and Ehvert went out to extend their lead over Newfies Ladha and Inkpen in the blue jerseys. However, Ladha posted a bullet while Cook hit the weather mark and was shuffled back in the pack, dropping him into second. With jerseys exchanged and only three points separating them, the top ten teams went back out for the medal race, just off the pier at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. It was a tight and well fought medal race, with Ladha and Inkpen working hard to battle former Olympian Cook. Ladha put a big gap between himself and the fleet to win the medal race and the series, earning Seiko watches, the newly minted Canadian trophy and two bottles of champagne. Gooderham and Hogan were able to hold on to the third position even after fouling a boat, spinning and dropping back in the fleet.

Seiko 2010 49er Canadians – Medal Race from Matthieu Dubreucq on Vimeo.

Results: http://cork.org/results2010/OCR/4MLTBL.HTM

Pictures: http://photoone.smugmug.com/Sports/sailing/CORK/13448947_RLkCG#978924912_RTUmL

The second event of the 49er Canada Series at Nepean Sailing Club had another solid turnout from the class. At the Ottawa Skiff Regatta we had 9 boats show up, with 8 of them sailing the new rig! We were pleased to welcome up some Boston boys (Ryan Pesch and Trevor Burd) who will hopefully be joining in on more of the circuit this year.
The first day of the regatta didn’t start off looking too promising. There were a series of fronts moving through which presented some difficult race conditions. As the fronts moved through they brought winds around 6 knots and as they moved out during the races the winds died off to the 2-3 knot range. Two complete races were held under these conditions where Dubreucq / Parekh and Frost / Arbuckle traded leads back and forth with Dubreucq / Parekh getting the best of races grabbing two straight bullets. Brodeur / Carlton had a very strong race one as they finished 3rd 49er, proving that the old rigs can still hold their own. A third race was attempted, but later abandoned as the winds had unexpectedly built to 25+ in the puffs, leaving most way too overpowered as the race had been started in 5-6 knot conditions. It was wide spread carnage across the course with numerous break downs and boats pitch-poling in every direction during the attempted bear offs.   
On the last day of racing the conditions were miserable. Air temperatures were cold and there was a constant rain throughout the day. The system however did bring wind that varied from 5 to 10 knots. Dubreucq / Parekh again proved to be the most consistent and used their speed to work through the shifty conditions and grabbed 6 out of 7 bullets in skiff A class (straight bullets in the 49er class). Frost / Arbuckle were consistent as well finishing 2nd 49er in every race but one. The Boston Boys Pesch / Burd also showed that they have some good speed as they finished strong with a couple 3rd overalls and a 2nd in the 49er class. Dubreucq / Parekh finished 1st overall in the Skiff A class (a first for the 49ers at the event), with Frost / Arbuckle tying for second, but losing the tiebreaker and finishing 3rd overall.

- Frosty 49er 
Results for 49ers Overall were:
1st - Dubreucq / Parekh
2nd - Frost / Arbuckle
3rd – Pesch / Burd
4th – Brodeur / Carlton
5th – Crossley / Crossley
6th - Chouinard / Chouinard
7th – Delgaty-Cook / Blake
8th – Mori / Barnes
9th – Waldie / Brazier

Results: http://www.osrf.ca/gp_files/results/Ottawa%20Skiff%20Grand%20Prix%20June%202010.htm
Photos: www.kalu.ca
GP Standings: http://www.pitchpoleenterprises.com/49er-class/?page_id=319

On Canada’s Victoria Day weekend, we had a great turnout for the first regatta in the 49er Canada Series. The 2010 TS&CC Icebreaker regatta drew 8 49er’s (6 new rigs and 2 old rigs) for a solid two days of racing.

Day 1 was cloudy and drizzly with a light to medium Easterly breeze. Gooderham / Hogan and Dubreucq / Parekh traded bullets. Meanwhile, Farmer / Williams scored a surprise 2nd in the 2nd race of the series, before tearing their kite to shreds at the finish, forcing them to miss the 3rd race as they went in for repairs. The day continued on with an oscillating breeze, forcing competitors to be on their toes. Mori / Barnes showed some promise as they acclimatized themselves to skiff racing. In total, we had 6 races on the first day, before the fleet went to shore in time to watch the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals at the TS&CC bar.

the beautiful skiffs

Day 2 didn’t look good right from the start. It was sunny, hot and foggy. The races were postponed on shore for about 30 minutes, until a light sea breeze filled from the Southeast, at about 6 knots. Just after the start of the day’s first race, a thick fog patch rolled into the racing area, obscuring our view of the windward mark. No one could tell where it was! All you could do was keep tacking until you got close enough to see it! At times during the race you couldn’t see any boats around you. This race definitely necessitated the use of your compass and watches! Dubreucq / Parekh won the first race, and the Crossley brothers pulled out  a surprise bullet in the 2nd race, taking advantage of a shift on the first beat and a shortened course in the dying sea breeze. After waiting for 30 minutes in thick fog which eventually cleared (taking the breeze with it), the RC abandoned the balance of the scheduled 14 races and sent us in for prizegiving.

Regatta pictures here:  http://tsccicebreaker.wordpress.com/photo-album/

Regatta results here:  http://tsccicebreaker.wordpress.com/results-2010/

Grand Prix Results here: http://www.pitchpoleenterprises.com/49er-class/?page_id=319

2010 49er World Championships

Freeport, Grand Bahamas

The bright blue waters and pristine beaches of Freeport played host to the joint 2010 29er/49er World Championships.  The racing area was quite literally straight off the beach, between the shoreline and a reef less than a kilometer offshore that ran parallel to the coast.  This created one major positive characteristic, and the possibility for one major negative scenario.  Flat water is ideal for skiff sailing, while running aground at high speed is not so ideal.  Some teams found this out the hard way while training.  It was quite unnerving, as the water was an average of 8 ft deep and it was quite easy to see the shadow of the boat on the bottom!

Qualifying Series (2 fleets: Red & Green):

The first day of the regatta coincided with the first large cold front, bringing with it moderate to strong (16-18+ knots) Northerly winds.  With the shoreline running East-West, this made the racecourse very short with the windward mark set 50 ft from the beach.  Stronger winds combined with a short course meant 4 lap races, and with 3 races a day scheduled, it also meant exhausted crews.  Our day started quite well with a 6th place in the first race, but we struggled off the start line in the next two, placing 15th and 18th.

Day two brought colder temperatures and really fresh and gusty winds (18-30+ knots) from the North.  Racing was very challenging with numerous teams, veteran and rookie, going for involuntary swims.  The first race of the day (Race 4) had a mediocre start and first leg, but we gradually picked off boats until we were just outside the top ten until the final windward mark where we caught a huge puff during the bear away and pitched it in hard.  We crossed the finish line in 19th.  The next race we decided to tighten the rig more, and keep the rig in the air.  We had really good upwind speed and finished 8th.  The race committee sent us ashore after two races as the wind was building and they were worried about the other fleet not getting any races.

Day three was the last day of the qualifying series before the fleets were split into Gold and Silver.  At the start of the day we were in 28th, and needed some strong finishes to get into the top 25 (Gold).  The conditions were similar to Day 1, with 16-20 knot Northerly winds.  Overall the day went quite well, and we finished with a 5, 8, 14 and we moved into 21st.

Final Series (2 fleets: Gold & Silver):

The Final series began with different weather conditions as the cold front had passed.  Day 1 of the final series had light and unstable winds from the North.  The Gold fleet was able to get three early races in where we scored an 8, 16 and 20.  Conditions really deteriorated during the last race where we dropped from the top half on the last run to the finish.  Silver fleet was unable to get any races, as the wind became totally erratic.

The second day was a long day for the Silver fleet, as the race committee tried to make up for previous day.  The wind came in from the WSW at 8-12 knots, and the temperature had warmed enough that most sailors were no longer wearing toques or full wetsuits.  It was a nice change.  The Silver fleet started with two races, and then the Gold fleet went out for three, followed by the silver fleet racing two more races later in the day.  Overall our day was okay, but not entirely satisfying, as we often didn’t demonstrate enough patience on the lower half of the beats.  We ended the day placing 14th, 16th and 19th.

The final race day featured two races each for Gold and Silver fleets, followed by the Medal race for the top 10 in Gold fleet.  Another cold front had pushed its way down bringing strong Northerly winds, cold temperatures and plenty of rain.  As a general rule, it always rains on the last day when everyone has to pack up.  The first race was going reasonably until we capsized in a large puff while trying to gybe, and our score ended up being our drop (23).  In the final race we crossed the line 19th, and ended the regatta in 22nd place.  It was a little disappointing to finish the event with a relatively poor performance, but at the same time we demonstrated large potential.

Looking back at the event, I have to say I am satisfied with our performance.  Gordon and I had never sailed together prior to December, and only had the chance to train for six days together before the start of the event.  It had also been two and a half years since I crewed a 49er (It was a physically painful re-introduction I might add).  The hard part is ahead.  We have to train hard physically and mentally, and develop more as a team to reach the next level.  I am looking forward to the challenge.

Next Up – Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta (Jan 25-30)

-Hunter Lowden, West Coast Rep

Top Canadians : Gordon & Hunter finished in 22nd

Rest of Canadians :
Billy & Ian : 41st
John & Dan : 45th
Matthieu & Trevor : 49th

Team Dubreucq-Parekh sailing the starting line this afternoon

Dubreucq-Parekh at the leeward mark.

Januray 4th : Day 1 of racing

Visit media.49er.org for more Videos

January 3rd : Practice race & opening ceremonies

September 19 – 20, Kingston, On

Since there was a “no-show” at the Quebec Skiff Championships, the 2009 49er Canadians were moved to the season’s last regatta, Fall CORK, in Kingston. We were anticipating between 7 and 10 boats at the event, but due to some last minute drop-outs and mis-communications, only 4 boats showed up at the regatta. In attendance were Blumer / Soosalu, Dubreucq / Parekh, Cook / Blake, and Grant / Williams, who made the trip all the way from St John, NB. A big thanks goes out to the Newbies for coming all this way to race with us!
Saturday was light and shift. The racing was very close and very fun with the top 3 boats quite evenly matched. The first race saw numerous lead changes with every shift and every cross. Eventually, CAN 946 was able to eek out a narrow win over the other two “new rigs.” Things were the same for all three other races that day. Interestingly, for this regatta only we allowed the “old rig” to start 2 minutes before everyone else. This allowed them to lead a little and to engage more. In the last race of the day, Blumer / Soosalu had some vang problems and decided not to race. This proved to be a costly decision, as the DNS they had to drop as a result cost them 2nd place in the regatta.
Sunday morning, the three new rigs did a little tension clinic to establish “Base” and the come up with a new way to measure mast bend. We arrived at a number of 43 mm. (Ask us if you’re curious!)
Sunday was quite light. Conditions were ripe for a thermal, but it had trouble coming in. Finally around 1 pm, the thermal filled from about 220. In the first race, things were tight and shifty up the first beat. CAN 946 rounded in 4th, but decided to gybe-set (a bold move indeed , given that it was a thermal!) and it paid off, leap-frogging them into the lead. The next two race was just as tight, with Blumer / Soosalu edging Grant / Williams for a second time in a bid to take over second spot. In the end it wasn’t enough. Dubreucq / Parekh finished the event with straight bullets to win the 2009 Canadian Championship, with the Newbies finishing 2nd, while the little ones rounded up the podium even in the light conditions that favour them.
This was the last stop on the Cdn GP circuit for 2009 with a GP multiplier of 150. This topped up Dubreucq & Parekh just enough to wrest the CWL half 49er rudder from the hands of NA Champs Gooderham & Hogan.
See you all over the winter or next season! Only 14 weeks until 2010 Worlds!