Sound's Sue Pilling and Steph Romaniuk
beat out hot fleet in calm-shortened Ontarios
Report by Uncle Al W3854
(2021.10.09) The Saturday (Oct. 2nd) of this year's Wayfarer Ontarios hosted on Humber Bay by the Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club, was a classic case of "It was too good to last". Perfect sailing weather prevailed as a well-matched 11-boat fleet battled it out in four light- to medium-air races. At the end of the day, much of the fleet was still in with a realistic hope of victory. Everyone was eagerly anticipating race 5 which would allow the "drop" to kick in. But it was not to be. The forecast was half right: the day of scattered showers did arrive but the 5 knots of wind did not. Sadly, further racing had to be cancelled after due consultation with the competitors by Race Officer, John O'Dwyer.
When the dust had settled, the 2nd-seeded team of Sue Pilling and Steph Romaniuk out of Parry Sound, Ontario, had won their 6th Ontario title and their first since their streak of five straight wins ended in 2015. Team Chich ended up scoring 2-1-6-5 to beat out Oakville couple, David and Anne Pugh, by three points. The Pughs (below) started their series with a most unwelcome 8th but then picked up their pace with 3-5-1 in the very competitive fleet.
Top-seeded Marc Bennett and Julie Seraphinoff (above) drove in from East Lansing, Michigan, and started their series with a 1-2 but then the wheels fell off. By the time news of their race 3 OCS had reached them, they were well up the first leg, and after re-starting, Marc and Julie did well to score a 9th. It later turned out that their morale was not the sole source of that sinking sensation: After post-race haul-out, Team Bennett discovered a substantial amount of water under the floor of their new Mark 4. No cause for this was immediately apparent. A 4th-race 7th in their ever more water-logged boat left Marc and Julie with 19 points and tied for series third with TS&CC's Mike Codd/Kirk Iredale and Peterboro SC's Rob and Samantha Wierdsma whom they beat out on the tie-breaker.
The Codd - Wierdsma tie-breaker then went to Mike and Kirk (above) - best finish 2nd ahead of Rob and daughter, Samantha (below) - best finish 3rd. As it turned out, that turn of events left both teams tied as the regatta's Most Improved teams at three places above their seeds: Mike and Kirk seeded 7th finished 4th overall, and Rob and Samantha, seeded 8th, placed series 5th.
Ottawa's Frank Goulay and pick-up crew, John Koetsier, as they win race 3.
Only three points back of the 3rd-place agglomeration at 22 points overall was another tied trio. Frank Goulay drove in from Ottawa with Kim (below) who had a ton of school (teacher) work to do and did not have time to sail. An emergency pick-up crew was duly arranged in the form of MSC's John Koetsier who was eager to get some Wayfarer experience before his Mark 4 arrives in February 2022. Frank and John won that three-way tie breaker by virtue of their "bullet" in race 3.
A sparkling 2nd-place finish in race 4 gave the local team of Kit Wallace and George Waller (above) the nod ahead of the Conestoga team of Leo Van Kampen and his wife, Joanne, whose best finish was a 4th. A bit of a disappointment for the Van Kampens who had dominated a 17-boat 2019 North Americans fleet at TS with nothing but "bullets" and have historically been at their best on Lake Ontario waters.
This series was not at all a fluke festival and it speaks to the high quality of the sailors that the 3rd seed ended up finishing 9th overall. The TSCC team of John Cawthorne and Robert MacDonald (above) started off with an impressive 3rd but after that had one of their rare bad days on Humber Bay. The Conestoga duo of Jan d'Ailly and Tom Legrady (below) had Class Coach, Uncle Al, observing them and taking pictures with a view to finding correctable flaws in technique and/or sail trim in their day's sailing which resulted in a 10th-place finish on the day. Al was able to offer some suggestions that were to be tried the next day. But of course, that was not to be.
One of the small suggestions was not to pull the pole so far aft that the spi foot was draped over the forestay.
Despite their string of 11ths - a.k.a. DFL - Wayfarer rookies Keith Dyke and Craig Nogas (above) maintained their good humour. They, too, had hopes for a better day on the Sunday, having discovered that W938 had developed appreciable forward mast rake which a group of Wayfarer surgeons soon corrected (below).
Uncle A has been scheduled for a sailing re-union with his Detroit friend of 50+ years, Nick Seraphinoff (above) in this event but ended up having to bow out due to health issues. So Al decided instead to be the official photographer - shades of his 2014 ISAF suspension which he still remembers fondly. Thanks on behalf of all of us to PRO, John O'Dwyer, to Rob Logan (below right) and to Charlotte Safieh for their fine committee work - photo below:
Sincere thanks also to Ed Tait and Emma Dale (above) as well as to Gord Nikkaido with ??? who did safety boat duty for us.