North Sails LOFT NEWS
EVENT SPOTLIGHT: EASTERN YACHTING CIRCUIT
A July Gem Of A Regatta
At North Sails, we don’t forget the importance of supporting the club racers. The Eastern Yachting Circuit is a longstanding, friendly competition between ten Canadian and American clubs in Lake Ontario. EYC epitomizes what club racing is all about. Many of the sailors have lost count on how many EYC regattas they’ve attended. For some, they are the 2nd and even 3rd generation racing. It’s a PHRF regatta with one-design classes, like the Sharks, getting their own start if numbers warrant. What began many years ago as a circuit like the Lake Erie Inter-club Cruise, has settled on one club hosting the regatta each year. Alternating between American and Canadian clubs, the 2019 edition hosted by Henderson Harbour Yacht Club lead by regatta chair Tom Tomlinson, Art Bronstein and their team of volunteers. A lovely understated club nestled in a well-protected cove in Henderson Bay, about 30 minutes southwest of Watertown NY. Henderson Harbour YC was to have hosted in 2017, yet high waters forced the last-minute change in venue to Oswego Yacht Club. It speaks to the camaraderie and spirit between clubs to step up and help each other out for the good of racing.
The record-high waters returned in 2019, but the team at Henderson Harbour persevered. They made allowances and contingency plans so the show would go on. And it did! Everyone attending was from a club that was dealing with the same high-water issues. Enough said.
Despite record-high water levels and the unpredictable weather of the spring season, nearly 30 boats came out to play. Henderson Bay so idyllic but it can be difficult to find lodging for crews and families. The solution for many is to travel with a ‘mothership’ or bunk boat. Not only does this add convenience but also provides a vibrancy on the docks before and after racing. This PHRF regatta is distinguished by a middle distance race of 20 to 30 miles on Thursday followed by two days of windward/leeward course racing. Small fleets of 5 or 6 boats get their own starts. The opening distance race provided a chance to see the local sailing waters; Association, Stony, Little Gallo and Calf Island to name a few while working out kinks and getting acquainted with new crew members. Old rivals duke it out. Newcomers jump right into the mix. The course racing was in the protected but windy waters of Henderson Bay. Of course, the competitive juices flow, yet it remains friendly. Protests were minimal with infractions settled by a quick circle, or later, a round off adult beverages bought by the offending crew.
A number of North Sails clients found themselves at the top of the fleets, including Art Bronstein’s Hambone, a well-trimmed C&C 35 and overall circuit winner, Tom Doran racing an immaculate J-24 Oz. As a sponsor to the regatta, North Sails, understands the importance of ‘grassroots’ regattas to sustaining our sport. The owners and crew want sails that are well built, fast that last more than a season or three. North Sails delivers every time.