Black Diamond Finishes Off-Shore Yacht Race

The Black Diamond crew is back safely in Toronto (My self, Paul Thornton, Rick, Mark and Monica Doedens)…We had a lot of fun, and a great race. We were competing against professional sailors, hard core amateurs, and locals with knowledge of the gulf stream, and lots of ocean racing experience. As you know we just completed a couple of months in the Bahamas, so the boat was out fitted for cruising, with scuba gear, dinghy, and lots of other junk. Most of the boats in this race, had a chase truck. They would unload the entire boat of everything, including the crew’s bags, and items deemed unnecessary by the skipper. Their driver would meet them in Charleston with their stuff. On Board the two STP65 all out race sleds, only one roll of tooth past amoung 20 crew was allowed, and the tooth brushes were cut in half to save weight. Many of the crew decided it was not necessary to brush teeth, and they were only allowed one pair of shoes, the ones you were wearing, either you have your deck shoes or boots not both. The amazing thing was, the race boat beat the chase truck to Charleston!

Considering all, I was very happy with our performance, 408 nautical miles (800kms), in 2 days and about 6 hours 37 minutes. Initially I thought it might take over 3 days. We had a respectable finish, with PHRF only 10 mins behind 3rd place. Had we known that, we might have taken it far more seriously. Like calling for the spinnaker more often. One time I said we should put it up after lunch was done and all cleaned up. Right there we could have saved 10 mins alone. Our Sirius Sat went down for the first part of the race, and we went far to far east, and were out of the gulf stream for half a day before we noticed. Once we got our Sirius Sat back, and were back in the gulf we were making good time again.

There are additional photos available at click on Fort Lauderdale to Charleston.

I will now be heading down with a new crew for Charleston Race Week on Thursday. Details and results will be at – The crew will consist of myself, Craig Russell (PCYC), Derek Presswood (PCYC), Ivan
Vulicevic (Bronte), Chris Bonner (Charleston Local) and possibly a another local. There will be 3 days of offshore racing around the buoys. This will be the first time Black Diamond will race with Spinnaker around the buoys, first time offshore around the buoys and with this crew. We are in the cruising fleet, more appropriately placed, so we should not do too bad. However we are the 2nd fastest PHRF rated boat in this fleet, so we will be handicapped for it. The bottom line is, we are all here for fun, and I am sure we will have lots of it.

After the Charleston Race Week Regatta we are heading for an offshore cruise to New York City, leaving on April 20th, hope to arrive April 23rd, 24 or 25th. Weather depended. We have to round Cape Hattaras, one of the most dangerous capes in the world, in bad weather. We may have to wait for a weather window which could delay our arrival.

** UPDATE **

Sailing a large format colour glossy international magazine in October’s issue ran a story about the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston race, that we did with the Doedens and Paul Thornton, the last two paragraphs in the article mention Black Diamond, even though we were credited for losing, we are still one of the only other boats mentioned!
Hey for the record we came in forth, beating some boats, and one that did not finish. Hey, we were 4 hours behind first place, and only 2 hours or 8 mins in PHRF corrected behind getting a 3rd place trophy. We completed 408 nautical miles in 2 days and about 8 hours. Not Bad. – See Link below for the full article.

Thanks for your interest in our little adventure, it makes it more interactive knowing so many friends are following along.

Ed Radonic

Congratulations guys (and Monica)!


s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

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1 Response

  1. Monica says:

    Thanks Roxane!
    It was a fabulous race and we had an amazing experience. We probably could have been more competitive, but hind sight is always 20/20. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world – sailing with the spinnaker up with the full moon reflecting on the water; watching the dolphins play off the bow; eating pasta (that Marc made) and drinking wine after the race – what could beat that!
    Many kudos and thanks to our Skipper! He was always upbeat positive and kept spirits high!

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