Finish of the Lake Ontario 300

Taken from the second spreader by Will French

Taken from the second spreader by Will French

We finished the LO300 Monday night at 11:57PM North American EST time. Just 3 min. before Tuesday, so we can claim we came in on Monday. ; ) Thats 2 days 12 hours 57 minutes. Almost a day earlier than last year. We are happy with our results, as a beginner crew, still learning the boat, we found out in this race that the rig is not tuned properly for performance sailing and we ripped our spinnaker. Thanks to Will French and Andrew McAllister for many strategy and tactical lessons which we will focus on more next year. This leaves lots of room for improvement. Hope to be back next year and do  just a little better again.

We tacked in shore, and started sailing the rhumb line to the Niagara mark. We should have done that the whole time on this leg, would have placed much better. Once we rounded the mark, the wind shifted, and it was a spinnaker leg to the finish. We lost lots of time on this leg, at least 3 hours. The wind then died completely, and the last 6 miles took us another 3 hours or more.

We encounter some heavy winds….15 to 22 knots. Our top speed was 10.5 knots, cruising steady at 8 to 9.5 knots on the first leg, Sailing the asym spinnaker at about 110 to 130 degrees to the wind. Then on the 2nd leg, Main Duck to Ford Shoal, we sailed through 6 to 8 foot seas, in about 13 to 17 knots of wind. Our average speed here was 7 to 8 knots, sailing 40 to 60 degrees to the wind. We put 2 miles between us and the boats behind us in this leg. We passed 3 boats and caught up to the fleet ahead of us. After this race, I think our PHRF rating of 87 is pretty fair. I think we have so many areas we can improve on as sailors that in the next many years we will do much better.

For those that followed the Mackinac yacht race this week-end on Lake Huron, you’ll know that the conditions on Lake Ontario were much better. They had very light winds through most of the race. Average boat speeds were around 3 knots.

Everyone jumped off the boat and went home for a good nights sleep. I too slept 6 hours last night, then the family showed up at 8:30am to drop Thomas off at Sailing School. We are now spending the day just cleaning up the boat.

Feel free to e-mail me if you wish, or post comments. [email protected]

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]

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Artem says:

    To All crew of Black Diamond
    My friends,
    i’m very happy to see your progress. It was really through the race – with a lot of wind .. and no wind on finish.
    I can imagine how it was hard.
    In our division “Lively” had very hard competition – with perfect boats and good crews. We are not in first place (it’s goal for next time:), loosing our spinnaker and making couple our own mistakes was not a big help for winning) but we could beat some faster boats ( Including Zoom ).
    Wish you more luck and enjoy of sailing. Waiting with impatience for next OL300.

    friendly greetings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Me