Sometimes good deeds do go unpunished!

the winning team (l to r) Sue Pilling, Callum Cooke, Steph Romaniuk

(181006) Meet your 2018 Canadian Wayfarer champions (above): Sue Pilling (helm), Callum Cooke (Friday crew) (below) and Steph Romaniuk (Saturday crew). Sue and Steph did it all at this year's Canadian Wayfarer Nationals sailed out of Sail Parry Sound: they were the main organizers and promoters and they hosted most of the Wayfarer contingent in their home. Talk about good deeds! And they went unpunished when Team Chich sailed W397 to 2-2-1-1-1 finishes to win the Canadians going away. Thanks and congratulations, Sue and Steph.

Ten Wayfarers shared the waters of the Big Sound with 24 Albacores and had lots of fun. We got three days of mostly warm sunshine and gorgeous Georgian Bay scenery but very little wind. Our PRO, Pat Lymburner, and his committees did what they could, including frequent mark changes, but in the end we never got much wind - mostly 8 knots or less.

The winds shut us out completely on the Friday and
a certain amount of frivolity became essential (above). Although Pat did tease us by sending us off to race after a wait of several hours in what had seemed to be ideal conditions for thermal developments which on Parry Sound bring 12 to 18 knots in summer weather. The short-lived attempt of about 15 minutes of racing into a dying gasp of breeze gave everyone - sailors and RC alike - a chance to practise before we were kindly towed in (below). This was especially disappointing for the young twin brothers, Callum and Quinn Cooke, who had been pressed into service with Sue Pilling and Dave McCreedy to fill in for crews who were unavailable for the Friday.

A fine Friday night dinner at Wellington's (above) soon made us forget our racing disappointment. A well earned night's sleep ensued while visions of more wind danced in our heads.

Saturday: After a wait of an hour or two a moderate SW to W breeze filled in and our very competent RC ran four windward-leeward races of two sausages each with a dog-leg to the finish line at the end of the second run (below):

Only Sue Pilling who had sailed Friday with young Callum Cooke but was now back with regular crew, Steph Romaniuk really thrived in these light, patchy winds. Sue and Steph scored 2-2-1-1 in the four races and had virtually clinched the Canadian title as only one or two races at best were expected on the final race day. Beyond that the field was quite scrambled and it was anybody's guess who else would end up on the podium.

larger image here

larger image here

larger image here

Sunday began much like Saturday - except for a virtually clear blue sky. We again went out and waited for the forecast wind. The beginnings of a lake breeze finally wafted in from Georgian Bay and we went off for our 5th and final race - one that move the fleets into drop race territory. The wind (race finish below) barely lasted through that one race despite what seemed to be ideal thermal development conditions.

Educated opinion blamed the far reaching influence of Hurricane Florence which was then just hitting New Bern, North Carolina.

Locals Sue and Steph put the icing onto their golden championship cake with yet another first while the Oakville's Pughs, David and Anne, scored a timely 2nd as the winds turned extremely flukey to take Silver. A 4th in the finale was enough to send the Bronze to Conestoga in the hands of Leo Van Kampen and his wife, Joanne. A huge dead spot on the final run dropped Oakville's Uncle Al and his fine pick-up crew, Calvin Groen (15) into a 7th-place finish and 4th overall.

A fine 3rd-place finish in the finale propelled the Toronto/Pembroke team of Mike Codd and Kirk Iredale into a tie for series 5th with North Bay's Dave Hansman and David Richardson. But it turned out to be all for nought as the Daves, with their race 4 2nd, won the tie-breaker. The handicap of being a heavy-weight team in light-weight conditions caused Mr. Hansman to delve into the relationship between crew weight and finish positions - details here.

A quartet of well-matched team rounded out the fleet. Series 7th went to TSCC Commodore, Bob Stevenson with Dirk Townsend as their fine 5th in the finale moved them past Mississauga SC's Rob Wierdsma and daughter, Samantha, who edged out Conestoga's Scott Ramsay and Les Sherratt on a best-finishes tie-break (5th > 6th). The U.S. also provided a team of Daves (from Michigan). Sailing the pretty Jamaica Blue acquired from Marc Bennett, Dave McCreedy and Dave Wilpula displayed good form but were unable to escape last place when all was scored and done.

Nationals Special Awards:
  • Best Female/Male Team - the Sweet Award: Sue Pilling/Steph Romaniuk
  • Best Parent/Offspring Team - the Gillespie Award: Rob & Samantha Wierdsma
  • Best Rookie: Calvin Groen