Winter Racing in Vancouver Winds Down with a Whimper


A great winter season of racing in Vancouver ended on an awkward note this year.  Both series ran into trouble recently with complicated courses leading to a certain amount of ‘interpretation’ by the racers.

In English Bay, the VRC Polar Bear’s penultimate race was a ‘twice around the bay’ affair, that appeared to require the fleet to round the RC boat to commence the second lap.  Or not.  Confusion took over and a number of boats omitted a mark or two.  A week later the protests have been heard, a few different solutions were proposed, and as of today the race stands as it was scored in the first place.  Indications are that this is not final yet.  In any case, the four divisions are led by Andy Allan’s big Beneteau 45f5 Electre, Supreme-Leader Ben Rummen’s Hotfoot 31 Thursday’s Child, Wade Harrogate’s C&C 30 Silik, and Ed Estabrook’s Ericson 27 Salus.  One race left to go on March 13 and it looks like Div’s 1,2, and 4 are still very much up for grabs.

The next week over in Howe Sound, WVYC’s final Snowflake race suffered a similar fate.  A clockwise tour of Vancouver harbour using all port roundings sparked at least 3 or 4 different interpretations.  Winning boats in divisions 1 and 2 rounded either 1 or 2 of the 3 marks of the course.  Protests flew, redress was requested and (so far) denied.  Finally, the RC elected to abandon the race.  It turned out that a couple of judge’s interpreted the course to be correctly completed by anyone who started, turned clockwise, and crossed the finish line immediately.  All the rest of the sailing around the bay was apparently just for fun.  A few of the selected courses are shown below, plucked from one redress filing.  This left the results from February as the series results, and they show a rather tight series.  Div 1 is tied between Peter McCarthy’s 1D35 The Shadow and Rich Alban’s Farr 30 Spiny Norman.  The tie breaker goes to the Shadow, but would have gone the other way if the final race counted.  Same in Div 2 where Jason Vandergaag’s Schock 35 Excalibur wins the tie breaker with Matt Wagstaffe’s M24 Sawlty, who also would have taken the title in the final race.   A mess you say?  Division 3 was much more straightforward with Jamie Van Poole’s Yamaha 35 Radiant winning nearly every race.

WVYC course below, in several versions.  Note that all three leave all marks ‘to port’…

snowflake snowflake 2 snowflake 3





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