Friday, July 23, 2010

CYA Sail East 2010 Overview:
Alpha Course (7 Races Total for all fleets: 5 races on Day 1, and 2 races on Day 2)
Laser Full Rig (8 boats)
Laser Radial (27 boats)
Club 420 (20 boats)
Bravo Course (8 Races Total: 5 races on Day 1, and 3 races on Day 2)
-Opti Green Fleet (9 boats)
-Opti Red, Blue and White Fleet (11 boats)
Day 2 Report

A Very Different Day Indeed!

I overheard varied reactions from sailors regarding the non-existent wind conditions that mirrored the water for the second and final day of racing in front of the Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney, NS on Saturday morning. Current leaders of the different fleets were quite satisfied with the five races completed during day 1, however, many others were hoping to mix up the results sheet with another great day on the water. The positive spin to an absence of early-morning wind made it possible for all sailors, coaches, parents, volunteers and race officials to attend the presentation by CYA’s Training and Competitions Manager, Sarah Case-Moscrop. Plans for National sailor, coach, official and club programming - outlined according to the Long Term Sailor Development framework (LTSD) - which is the backbone for the new vision of the CYA: Sailing to Win - Sailing for Life. The LTSD introduces the concept of a stage-appropriate model designed specifically for sailors individual needs. Please see the CYA's LTSD WebPage for more details.
As the clock ticked down on the water and sailors began temporarily abandoning their boats in search of cooler temperatures (i.e.: the water), Principal Race Officer, Rob Williams, extended an offer for sailors to practice start sequences taking advantage of a square start line set to a lightly building breeze. After lunch on the water and few practice starts, the wind had settled in nicely at about 3-4 knots from the North East and sailors were preparing for more tight racing. 
The Laser Full Rigs were the first to start on the outer loop of a trapezoid course. Skipper Karl Mitchell from LYC did a fine job of extending his lead from the day before with two bullets, proving he is a versatile competitor in light winds/flat water as well as medium winds with waves. 
The larger Radial Fleet at Sail East made racing a pleasure to watch with more crowded start lines and mark room situations. I must admit that I also enjoy watching the girls compete with the boys, especially when they finish on top of the standings. The racing after day 1 clearly distanced two competitors from Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club from the rest of the fleet; Rebecca Power and Caroline Muselet. After the first day of racing, Rebecca was sitting in first place with 1 point ahead of Caroline. The last day was going to be a battle between these two, however, they were both surprised when local Laser sailor, Philip Smith, posted his first bullet of the regatta sailing cleanly off the middle of the line playing the right side of the leg to the advantage of the veering wind conditions. For the final race of the day, Rebecca was leading Caroline clear ahead into “the zone” of the second to last leeward mark of their inner loop trapezoid course when another boat from another fleet took Rebecca past the mark allowing Caroline to capitalize on the situation to clinch the victory based on a tie breaker.  This unforeseen turn of events late in the race was a truly valuable learning experience for everyone and certainly kept the anticipation high in the Radial fleet right until the last seconds of the series.  I was most impressed with the level of fair sailing and professionalism demonstrated by all during that final day of racing. 
The 20-boat 420 fleet provided very tight racing and was impressive to watch. The strength of the 420 fleet at Sail East this year is evidence of strongly promoted 420 programs at local yacht clubs and sound coaching practices by a new generation of young coaches clearly making an impact with their sailors. Adam Taylor and Daniel Baker from Lunenburg recently returned home from Istanbul, Turkey where they represented Canada at the ISAF Youth World Championships. Hot off their international experience they were able to stay consistently ahead of the competition. However, they  had to fight hard to win back the first race from Steve LeBlanc and Stephen Cantwell after being port tacked off the start by these Northern Yacht Club locals. Only 10 points separated second and fifth place finishers, and beyond the scores were even closer. 
On Bravo course, the Optimists were able to sail three races on the final day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get out to the Bravo course on the last day, however, I did get some great video footage of the Optimists in the stronger wind conditions on Day 1. I also had the pleasure of spending a fair amount of time with Opti sailors during the 2 days of training before the regatta and was very impressed with what I saw. I was most impressed with the ability and positive attitude of the Green Fleet sailors. Also a special recognition to Christian Grantmyre for an almost flawless regatta in the Red fleet. After speaking with several of the Jury members after the regatta I think it’s a good thing for the on-water jury to continue to enforce and educate sailors on the limits of Rule 42 during these events. The Jury was very helpful in their explanations to sailors if they noticed any breaches to the rules.  
Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better mix of medium to light conditions to test these young sailors. 
Robin Blanchard, CYA Event Coach
Day 1 Report
After 2 days of training out of the Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, the sailors in Optimist Dinghies, 420s, Laser Radial and Laser spent today racing!

Day 1 of 2 days racing delivered prime breeze with little-to-no wave activity thanks to the minor change of tide direction and a an non-prevailing direction. 78 boats are on the water here, with Sailors and Coaches in attendance from host province Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

CYA Event Coach Robin Blanchard is delivering oversight coaching to all participants - on land and on-water, and optimizing the expertise of provincial and class specialty coaches visiting Cape Breton.Officials here are delivering race management, on-water judging and protest room jury. Chief Judge is Warren Nethercote and Principal Race Officer is Rob Williams. They are working with prime groups of judges and race officers who are developing in Canada's Atlantic region.

Event co-chairs Dean Baldwin and Dennis Astephen and the host organizing commitee is to be commended for putting on a great event, all the while encompassing CYA's on-line registration service - brought into place just this year to start the CYA's tracking of Canadian sailing athletes.

2010 CYA Sail East