North Americans 2014 – Wabamun Sailing Club
by Sean Holmes-Smith
Wabamun Sailing Club, west of Edmonton hosted 11 boats of sailors from Alberta, BC and Oregon. For those who had to rig their boats on Saturday morning the wet start was not a welcoming one but definitely a sign of things to come for the weather.
Saturday racing saw a the winds shift a lot and die down to as little as 5 knots and gust up to as much as 12 knots (just a rough guess and could be completely wrong). With that much change in the wind speed and direction it was a real busy day for all us sailors who were moving in and out way too much to keep the boat flat. The winners of the 5 races that were run on Saturday were Debbie/Gregg, Frank/Sean, Jamie/Simon, Debbie/Gregg, Debbie/Gregg. Despite only have one 1st place finish, Simon/Jamie managed to rack up 4 2nd place finishes on Saturday which had them leading the regatta. While Debbie/Gregg who were winners of three races had some boat problems and swimming problems that had them deep in the other two races, which had them 2 points back. This left Frank and myself 3 points back in 3rd (and only 2 points up on 4th). The only thing constant about the wind was that it was constantly shifting, there were a lot of lead changes and boats coming from way back and falling way back in one leg.
With only two more races left in the regatta and nothing decided yet, Sunday had two intense races with lots of lead changes, and surprises as well as a huge rain/hail storm and line squall to end it all. In first race of the day, Jamie/Simon, Debbie/Gregg and Hamish/Francis got out in front and stayed there until the last windward leg until a huge shift came in from the right side where Frank and I along with John Henderson and Mike Leitch were there to capitalize and catch up. At the last mark rounding before going downwind the finish the top 5 boats were completely mixed up and very close. Frank and I managed to stay in front of the charging Debbie/Gregg. In the final race of the regatta, it was a battle between 4-6 boats all the way around the race course, Frank and I spent the first part of the race battling it out and change positions with Debbie and Gregg, and then the 2nd half of the race we were also battling with Simon/Jamie, and John/Mike. Coming downwind towards the finish we had 4 boats battling it out hard to find the next gust and wave to get ahead, as well as Mark/Evelin charging up from behind with a huge gust. At the finish line there was 5 boat finishing at the same time (PHOT O FINISH!!!). Frank and I squeaked ahead to take the win with Mark/Evelin’s late charge grabbing them 2nd, and Jamie/Simon along with John/Mike tied for 3rd and Debbie/Gregg getting just edged out by everyone and finishing 5th. It’s not over till it’s over, and even then you don’t know for sure.
As soon as the top boats finished it was a race to get the spinnaker’s down as there was a big storm coming. The Sail in through that storm was crazy as there was small hail and heavy rain that were pelting down on us along with the massive wind that came with. This was a new experience, and looking back quite a cool one as the views of the boats sailing by us was quite spectacular.
Thanks to the Tichkowsky family and Wabamun Sailng Club for putting on the regatta. It was a grand time.
Full results 2014 North American Fireball
A great time was had by all at the 36th Annual Sam Myers Regatta at Pymatuning Sailing Club. We ended up with one Fireball short of having our own separate start with only four boats showing up and were placed in a very competitive handicap fleet consisting of four Fireballs, two Lasers and one very good Windmill.
Saturday broke with blue skies and the wind blowing from the south in the 10-12 mph range with gusts coming in at 15 with just the hint of white caps on the lake. The race committee got us off on time using a windward leeward course with Dave and Lainey White and the Windmill crossing the line together but with the handicap the win went to the Windmill and Dave had to settle for second place. Cal Cotton crossed the line in third followed by Fred Steward and John Abby brought up the rear. The second race saw the wind increase a bit and the race committee opted for a triangle course. The Windmill kept up with Dave and Lainey for the weather leg but the resulting reaches put the Fireball way in front but the Windmill still managed to beat Fred Steward for second place with Cal Cotton coming in fourth and John Abby taking fifth. The Lasers were in the group as well but at that point in time nobody was really keeping track of them. One more race was done on Saturday which went back to the windward leeward format only this time it was twice around and the Windmill got Dave and Lainey at the finish with Fred taking another third and John Abby placing fourth. Cal had to settle for a fifth due to a capsize on the last windward leg.
As usual the club had a good meal with plenty of conversation and partying into the night, leaving everyone wanting Sunday to come so we could do it again. But as Jimmy Buffet sings, there’s a big difference between Saturday night and Sunday morning. During the night a series of storm fronts started to push through the area and the weather turned grey with heavy showers and some thunder in the early morning. The race committee postponed the racing for about an hour and a half and checked the radar and the conditions on the lake several times before lowering the postponement flag and giving us the half hour gun. The wind was blowing in the 18-20 mph range with gust hitting the mid twenty’s easily. The waves were also starting to build into the legendary Pymatuning rollers which happens when the wind comes from the south. The race committee wanted to get as many races in as possible before the next set of storm came through so all courses were windward leeward. Once again Dave and Lainey White battled the Windmill for first place with Cal Cotton and John Abby fighting for second place. Both suffered a capsize and split the first two races. Fred Steward decided to call it a weekend and packed his boat up for home before the racing started. The last race saw the winds increase a bit and both the Windmill and the Whites had a great time planning both to weather and downwind with Dave and Lainey White getting to finish line first but again the course wasn’t long enough to beat the Windmill on time.
After sorting out the final standings and times the Windmill took first place in our division and Dave and Lainey took second followed by a Laser which ended up in third place. This was one regatta were another Fireball or four more Windmills would have helped. But the competition was good and everyone enjoyed themselves and in the end that’s what it’s all about anyway. Breaking down the boat in a rain storm wasn’t exactly fun but the memory of all three sails up and planning faster than anyone else heading down to the leeward mark was. So congratulations to Pymatuning Sailing Club for hosting another great Sam Myers and to everyone who came out to support it.
Weathermark Sailboats is happy to announce the appointment of Mike McEvoy as agent for the North American market. Mike has over 40 years experience in Fireball as well as many years as a race coach in Canada.
A perennial problem for potential Fireball purchasers in Canada and the USA has been the availability of boats without a long waiting period and in the face of high shipping costs. With regular shipments to the East Coast due to our partnership with Rondar Raceboats , we can supply boats, spars, and sails for the North American market with very reasonable shipping rates Pricing can be obtained by contacting Mike at email@example.com The first Weathermark boat in North America is expected this July and will soon be seen on the regatta circuit.
The principal at Weathermark is Dave Hall. As an old hand in the Fireball, Dave has put his years of experience and thoughts into the construction of the hull, deck and internal design. The hull is the current “wide bow” thinking but has a slightly more vee’d entry and is not as bulbous as the other current boats available. This makes the boat kinder through the water upwind. The water line length is also maximised and the aft rocker is as flat as the rules permit.
Inside, the forward part of the centreboard case is a low as practical to save those shins. The substantial jib bars go from the front of the case to the side tanks in line with the shrouds forming a rigid frame and fairing into an extra bulkhead
The centre board case rises after the thwart onto a flat table to allow owners a free hand in the way they like their controls. The deck has been made functional and aesthetically pleasing. The aft tank has the recess for the spinnaker sheets and the coaming is designed for function and comfort without looking too imposing. The foredeck comes back further than other builders but just far enough to add extra strength and rigidity to the mast area without fouling the vang.
Both hull and deck moulds have been made to the highest standards to keep the design shape and enable them to be used in conjunction with a vacuum bag system and to go in an oven for post curing.
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You can contact Mike for the latest updates and prices: 613-796-2122