Submitted By Salt Spring Sailing Club
Salt Spring Island Sailing Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in sailboat racing by holding a weekend regatta. Eighteen sailboats from the Salt Spring Sailing Club and the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club competed. Sailors ranged in ages from teenagers to over 80.
The forecast for high winds and rain did not deter anyone from showing up at the skippers meeting Sunday morning. As one competitor said at the dinner to welcome SNSYC sailors the night before, “There are no bad days, just bad gear.”
As it it turned out the day saw much lighter-than-forecast winds and only one shower.
The two scheduled races had the fleet start at Second Sister, at the mouth of the harbour, circle around some local marks — Batt Rock, U60 near the Channel Islands, Horda Shoals and Welbury Spa — and finish back at Second Sister.
The fleet ranged from the very competitive boats, with full crews, such as local favorites Ogopogo from SISC and My Tai from SNSYC, to older cruisers single-handed by the likes of Tony Meek on Minke and Tim Amy on Hina. A system that “corrects” for the different types of boats and sails allows any sailboat with a PHRF-BC rating to compete, and possibly podium.
The first race called for a long beat against an uneven, faltering wind out to the Channel Islands, around Welbury Spar, and back to Second Sister. Race officer Richard Ballantyne wisely ended the race, and scored the boats as they crossed a hastily imposed finish line at Welbury Spar, in order to leave time for the second race to be started at 12:30 p.m.
The second race was designed to be shorter to accommodate the lighter than expected breezes. But, as usual when sailing in our waters, expect the unexpected. The breeze picked up, leading to a very competitive start, some good natured calling for room, and a quick, exciting race.
Ogopogo, skippered by Paul Faget and crewed by his wife April and three sailors from SISC’s junior program, prevailed over the My Tai (also with three junior sailors from their SNSYC club) in a double tie-breaker. The team event was won by Ogopogo, Radiant Heat, skippered by Tony Brogan, and Shingebiss, skippered by Gyle Keating.