Monthly Archives: October 2013

Heineken High Performance Dinghy Open (HPDO)

The scoresheet pretty much tells the story…lots of DNC’s and DNF’s.  This year’s edition of the HPDO was windy! Ninety seven boats were registered however the conditions were too much for some of the boats and many didn’t sail at all.


How windy was it?

HPDO wind

And that was just Saturday.  Sunday started out even windier with steady winds in the 30 Knot range resulting in a postponement ashore.

But Saturday first.  Winds were in the 20 to 24 knot range but the waves were 8 to 10 feet and very steep. Four boats managed to get to the start line.  The RC (who were looking a little green and seasick) managed to get two races off with everyone capsizing at least once either before or during the races.  Jospe and Egli had a substantial lead in every race and so the fight was for second place and on.  McEvoy and VanRossem were comfortably in second when a gybe wasn’t executed well just before the finish on the final downwind.  Once the boat was recovered and the spinnaker squared away Tom Bird and Barbara Kozminski and gone by to claim second.

The second race of the day got underway with only two boats taking the gun.  Tom managed to break his boom and required one of the overworked rescue crew to tow them in leaving Tom and Joe with an uncontested bullet.  Fortunately Fee Mitroupolous had a spare boom in his garage and Tom was able to get squared away in order to race on Sunday.

The after race beer courtesy of Heineken was much appreciated and American Yacht Club hosted an excellent buffet dinner where tales were told of the day’s events and numerous door prizes distributed courtesy of APS and Ronstan. And of course there were the usual min-kegs from Heineken on each table.

Sunday began with an AP ashore due to sustained 30 knots.  Eventually the wind moderated (to about 28!) and we were sent out.  The waves were as big as Saturday but much less steep. Four races were sailed with no one having anything for Jospe and Egli.  The start of the fourth race was a little exciting as all of the boats were on the line.  Tom Bird was at the boat and stalled drifting sideways.  McEvoy contemplated going above and then at the last minute bore off below and fouled Jospe and in the process whacked Egli with his boom.  In the ensuing circles McEvoy capsized allowing the fleet to sail away and giving him a challenge to catch-up.  It took until 2/3’s of the way down the last leg but he did get back to claim second place ahead of Laura Malonda and Mike Moleski

Final results

Photo highlights are here

Screwball 2013

Somehow Screwball has become the signature regatta of Fireball Quebec. It is always the last event that we hold before the water gets hard and we focus on skiing. It celebrates all the goofy things we have witnessed, or committed, over the course of the sailing season. Sailors from near and far come to participate. In the thirty-two years that this event has been run, it has come to be known for strong winds, cold weather, great competition, and lots of fun.

This year, the attendance was good with thirteen boats registered. Visitors came from Calgary (Debbie Kirkby and Gregg Ferguson), from England (Joe Grant), and Ottawa (Mike McEvoy, Peter Van Rossem, Phil Locker and Ian MacLaren).

We sat on shore waiting for wind on Saturday, to no avail. The lake had a glassy look, much like that found on the faces of the competitors. The flags refused to flutter, and even our enthusiastic Race Committee decided that staying ashore, near to the bar, was the only prudent course of action. It was warm and comfortable, but not very exciting. Saturday night dinner at the club was a near-gourmet experience, thanks to Andrew McCrae and company in the kitchen.  Entertainment was provided by John McGuinness and his band. We were well fed, well-watered, well entertained, and a little stir crazy. Hope was high that the next day would be better.

Sunday dawned with remarkably similar conditions. Our race committee, headed by Madeleine Palfreeman, detected a hint of a chance of a light breeze, and sent us out after postponing onshore. Somehow, and my memory might be deliberately fuzzy, we managed to get two races in before paddling home. I suspect that if there was a two knot minimum to run races, we might have been in trouble. The low speed battle on the race course generated some noisy mark roundings, one protest, and lots of boats swapping places, as spinnakers collapsed and filled erratically. I think every boat had plenty of time to contemplate the finish line that appeared so close, and yet so hard to cross.

The battle throughout the fleet was fought as fiercely as conditions permitted. The podium results: Debbie Kirkby and Gregg Ferguson were third; Robert Levy and Jon Driver second; and Tom and I were first.

Every competitor was awarded a prize following the Screwball custom. The crews’ union was ably represented by Peter Kelly and Tom Bird. Their ability to weave a story to fit the stuff purchased days’ ahead at the dollar store is quite impressive.

While more wind would have been appreciated, it was an enjoyable weekend. We are looking forward to next year.

Joe Jospe

CAN 14911