2013 Quebec Open Championship podium – results here…
Text by Joe Jospe
This was a regatta with something for everyone. We had rain, sun, light airs, wild and challenging wind shifts, medium and moderate conditions too. We even had a fleet of Contenders to share the waters with the seven Fireballs. The early season event may have contributed to our numbers being limited, but every competitor had reason to go home with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Stephen Waldie and Nic Mocchiutti celebrated their first win in a major Fireball regatta in Quebec. They have been knocking at the door for quite some time. They put together some superb sailing in challenging conditions and earned the title of 2013 Quebec champions. Their victory was welcomed and cheered by every competitor. Some of the older sailors are hearing the bell tolling ever louder, but that is hardly a new story.
While Rob Levy and Jon Driver did not sail to their own expectations and usual standard, they did manage to go home with the third place trophy. More satisfying was witnessing how their coaching over the last few years contributed to Stephen and Nic’s success. Rob has had both Stephen and Nic crew for him at major regattas, and has spent countless hours helping them sharpen their tactical and strategic skills. That has been time well spent.
Pierre Carpentier and Tom Bird showed moments of brilliance. They had excellent speed, and seemed to be able to anticipate some of the more dramatic wind shifts. They were definitely in the game in every one of the six races. Their performance was a dramatic improvement over last year, and they are serving notice that their days of cheering others on the podium are fast coming to an end. They missed a third place finish by the smallest possible margin, losing out on a technical tie-breaker.
Jochen Mikosch and Rune Lausten won the fifth race of the series. This was the first time that they ever won a race in Montreal, showing that their Ottawa-based training program is yielding fruit. Jochen and Rune are quick. They sail fast and they are absorbing some of the tactical lessons with astonishing speed. This bodes well for developing a healthy intercity rivalry between Montreal and Ottawa. To be continued…
Laura Malonda and Will Kelly are new to Fireballs this year. They were clearly the lightest and youngest members of the fleet, and enjoyed a great learning experience. They had a little coaching between races from our race committee chair, Tof Nicoll-Griffith. There were some interesting battles on the water with Lucas Poon and Mark Ronkin, sailing in Jeremy Kennedy’s boat from Ottawa. Both boats were sailing in their first major Fireball event, and had an interesting and enjoyable experience. Both benefitted from a few tips on boat set-up and we were glad to see them as part of the group.
Tom and I were pleased with our second place overall finish, particularly in light of our less than stellar first day performance. We decided that Sunday should be our day of redemption, and at the end of the day we were satisfied.
Racing throughout the weekend was marked by the lead changing often, and only narrow margins of victory. Close racing with a good number of boats in the mix will serve to sharpen everyone’s skills. This should be an exciting year.