the 2022 National Long Distance Race
as seen by Jim Heffernan
updated: 3 October 2022 at 2058 hrs

Long Distance Race on Parry Sound August 9, 2022

This event was well attended with old salts and newbies competing on the nine-mile course laid out near Killbear Provincial Park. With  gentle winds out of the NW, a course was laid from Lighthouse Point to a green buoy near Wall Island then returning past the point to circumnavigate Cousin Island before finishing at Lighthouse beach. Previous winners in W 397, Sue and Steph, led a rabbit start near the lighthouse and released the fleet toward Hole in the Wall. There was discussion about sailing through the Hole which looked possible early on. Fortunately that did not happen as the wind shifted and then died leaving the fleet chasing zephyrs that never materialized.

Local sailors, Sue and Steph, broke away from the group before the calm and worked out a commanding lead that held as their finish at the Lighthouse Point beach was recorded by Linda Heffernan. The wind filled in as the last few boats ghosted about the elusive green can, providing an exhilarating slog into a building breeze. A number of boats gave up before facing the strong winds and waves off Lookout Point. The international crew of Annette Grefe, niece Julia from Germany and Pat Kuntz from FL heard a loud bang as the main sail descended around them due to a broken halyard. The chase boat arrived quickly and took them under tow.

Three trophies were awarded at the evening social. First to Sue and Steph, second to Annelies with crew, Stewart, then the Top of the Last presented to Tania and Dad, Alan Asselstine, for their sixth place. They loved the Hans Gottschling Wayfarer bags.

Next year, perhaps a challenging course among the Thousand Islands while floating on the gentle currents of the St Lawrence.

Photos here.