North Sails LOFT NEWS


One Of The Best One Design Fleets On The Great Lakes

Fleet 4 Captain for the J/105’s, Rod Wilmer, shares his report from the 2019 J105 Canadian Championships held at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on September 27-29th. A total of 16 boats came out for the event over three days. Heartfelt congratulations to all competitors from the North Sails team! 

Once again the J/105 fleet championship produced a great competition amongst the best keelboat fleet on the Great lakes. Congratulations to the RCYC, the race committee and particular the regatta chairman Doug Bullock for putting together a fantastic eight race event over three days in late September. 

Mandate skippered by Terry McLaughlin and co-owned with Rod Wilmer and their experienced crew of Sandy Andrews, Ian Howse, Fraser Howell, and Andrew McTavish came through as repeat Canadian Champions leading from the first race onwards accumulating 10 points. Frank McLaughlin’s Starcross with 22 points challenged their rival Mandate throughout the regatta and beat them with superior downwind speed in the breezy race six. Jim Rathburn’s ever-present HEY JUDE rounded out the top 3 with 33 points. Notable finishes from Jamaica Me Crazy (Peter Hall) and Thunderstruck (Andrew Moor) came through the competitive fleet for 4th and 5th place. 

Late September on Lake Ontario can deliver a variety of racing conditions and this regatta got it all. Friday started with an AP for an hour followed by a light air race building to winds in the mid-teens for the second race and light wind for the third. Saturday saw stronger winds with a steady 12-16 knots for the first race, however a line squall came in and hit the fleet on the final downwind leg of the second race with a 180 degree shift ending the day for racing. It is a credit to the seamanship of the fleet that the un expected line squall resulted in only minor mishaps and the sailors were able to adjust quickly to the challenging conditions. The last day saw large seas building from the east topping out at 10-12 feet and winds 16 to 18 with gusts over 20 knots for all three of the final races. These were challenging conditions for crews up wind but Ideal surfing conditions down. 

The regatta dinner held on Saturday night featured 400 Oysters, shelled in a record time of one hour by one server followed by a Steak Dinner for 140 all included in the entry fee. The legendary reggae musician, Errol Blackwood, provided the night’s entertainment. 

A Gold Clean Regatta, for the third time in a row from the Sailors for the Sea, this regatta had it all covered, from responsible dinnerware and reusable signage to refilling water bottle station and paperless race management. Our goal was to eliminate one use plastic and reduce the garbage coming off all boats at day’s end. 

Our J/105 fleet is very fortunate to have incredibly generous members who were able to raise an astonishing $29,500 that supports our local Broad Reach Foundation that introduces kids at risk to sailing. The J/105 Fleet 4 Lake Ontario has been supporting Broad Reach for over 15 years. It is an important part of this regatta and our Fleet culture.

North Sails Toronto was thrilled to support the Clean Regatta efforts of the event by donating water bottles to encourage reusable drink ware and reduce the garbage impact. While it was not needed we were happy to provide overnight repair services for racers, just in case!

To learn more about J/105 One Design Products and Services, see here.

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