North Sails LOFT NEWS
LAKE ONTARIO 300: A TRUE TEST
Powered By North Sails, Team Blast Battled In Grueling Conditions
The Test of Time
After three plus days of offshore racing and over 300 miles traveled, Team Blast endured one of the toughest tests of perseverance and tenacity that the annual Lake Ontario 300 Challenge (LO300) could throw at them.
For 29 years, the LO300 has been the hallmark event for extreme and committed sailors around North America; a pilgrimage for those enticed for long distance racing in the midst of July, giving sailors a measurable challenge to circumnavigate 300+ miles around the waters of Lake Ontario.
For the crew of Team Blast, this years LO300 will be one not forgotten. With the lack of breeze, emotional highs and lows, starting in 1st to 6th to 2nd, and not to mention battling with fatigue and discovering new species of bugs the size of small birds. This race was one of the toughest yet for Team Blast.
The Race: “A Constant Uphill Battle”
Prior to starting, the wind forecast called for showers throughout the day on Saturday with 0-3 knots and not showing to pick up until Monday evening to 10-15 knots with the potential of severe thunderstorms. The crew knew this scenario very well, as specializing in light breeze has become a common occurrence for the crew on Lake Ontario. This meant there was a potential for periods of zero breeze. To combat this, the team knew their brand new custom A2 spinnaker would be their secret weapon, along with a new 3Di main sail. This, with their laser focus mentality to never give up, no matter how light the breeze, would take them through the race.
On their first leg they were able to jump into the lead heading downwind along the rum line to Oswego. By the time they arrived, their position swapped to sixth place around Main Duck then they clawed their way back to second and held it to the finish. The team is very pleased with the result, considering the conditions they endured. Words from Blast helmsman Mike Hasko describe the teams friendship and dedication to the race:
“What made me most proud was that even during the most difficult (drifting backwards, melting on deck from heat) moments, not once was their mention of giving up and retiring. While turning on the engine and motoring back to air conditioning and work commitments would have be an easy out, the fact that we were determined to finish made me proud to call you friends and be part of Team Blast.”
So the inevitable question is asked, “Will Team Blast be returning next year for another go around the lake?” Right after every LO300 the grimacing answer is often “Please never again.” However after several days – the answer almost always changes to the later, with a positive yes. As the team members of Blast come out of their post 300 daze, they are looking forward to enjoying a drink all together celebrating yet another Lake Ontario 300.