Here is the regatta round-up by Rick Thompson...
The first North Americans IOD
competition to be hosted by the Chester IOD fleet took place on August 29th
– August 31st in Mahone Bay and the harbour of Chester, Nova Scotia.
Eight teams came from the IOD fleets across the United States and Bermuda with
representatives from North East Harbour, Marblehead, Nantucket, Fishers Island,
San Francisco and Bermuda. The Regatta got off to a good start with a welcoming
cocktail party on the Thursday evening prior to the start of the regatta. This
gave everyone the opportunity to socialize, relax and enjoy the sights of
Mahone Bay. Many old acquaintances were
renewed and new acquaintances established.
The boat draw took place at the
skippers’ meeting on Friday morning prior to racing. In this competition the
skippers and crews get a different boat every day during the three-day regatta.
This ensures no one gets a perceived advantage of getting a superior boat for
the regatta or a slow one; it effectively levels the playing field. The first
day of racing saw heavy winds of 15 – 20 knots with gusts to 25 knots. These
conditions restricted racing to the inner harbour of Chester where the seas
were flatter. This also made it easier to set courses and reduce strain on these
beautiful wooden boats. Race Officer Jay Hooper wisely instructed against the
use of spinnakers for the day. The former
IOD World Class champion team of Peter Rugg and John Burnham from Fisher’s
Island got off to a great start. They favored the left side of the course and
ended the day with two firsts and a second to take a two point lead over the
Nantucket team of Bobby Constable. The San Francisco team of Paul Zupan trailed
in 3rd place by a further four points with a total of 10 points.
Day Two brought reduced wind
strength of 10 – 15 knots for the day. This enabled the fleet to fly the
fleet’s distinctive red and white spinnakers for the first time. Racing took place in the waters of Mahone Bay
beyond Quaker Island with windward-leeward courses. The mark boat was kept busy
moving marks to ensure a non-bias course setting for the three races that were
held that day. In the first race Craig
Davis of Bermuda was leading the race only to have his spinnaker halyard stuck
while trying to bring it down at the leeward mark. Bobby Constable took full advantage
of this mishap and won the race. In fact he won all three races that day
putting him ahead of the Burnham/Rugg team by 2 points with 2 races to be
sailed on Sunday. In 3rd place now was Jay Nadelson of Chester who
finished 3rd in all 3 races.
That evening after a long day on the water the competitors, host and
friends enjoyed a relaxing meal at Nicki’s Inn in Chester where the racing of
the past two days was the hot topic. There were many positive comments about
sailing in the waters of Mahone Bay as this was the first time in these waters
for all participants with the exception of the Chester Team.
The final two races on Sunday
August 31st were held in the harbour of Chester so as to give residents
a good look at the teams competing on the water. This was to prove a
match-racing duel between team Burnham/Rugg and team Constable! The first race
was critical for the Burnham/Rugg team as they needed to beat Constable to have
any chance of winning the regatta. They successfully pushed the Nantucket team
over the line at the start making them return to restart the race. A tacking
duel then ensued. However the Fisher’s Island team got caught in traffic and
lost their advantage over the Nantucket team and try as they may did not catch
them as they slipped a further 2 points behind Constable. The final race saw very tight racing with a
number of lead changes. However, on the final downwind leg Burnham/Rugg were
able to catch Constable and were leading him past the finish line when
Constable jibed and a fowl ensued. The final results of the race were not to be
known for some time as the protest committee was brought into the equation. After
a long wait the decision was made that Bobby Constable was disqualified and
John Burnham won the race. Despite this decision the final results did not
change as both teams had a throw out. The final outcome was that Bobby
Constable won the regatta beating the John Burnham and Peter Rugg team by only
1 point. There was indeed great racing from both these teams during the regatta.
Third palace was a tie between Peter McCausland of Nantucket and Craig Davis of
The warm glow of the North
Americans regatta is now behind us but the memories will stay with us forever.
Thanks to all the competitors for participating in our inaugural event. The
camaraderie and friendship exhibited by everyone was reward enough for us and
we look forward to seeing everyone back in Chester once again. Until the next
Chester IOD Class Captain