The weekend of August 12th and 13th marked the 20th anniversary of the John Farrell Able Sail Martin 16 Ontario Championships, hosted by Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. The regatta was inaugurated in 2003 by Past Club President Stephannie Farrell in memory of her late husband John, who was a past Vice Commodore of Junior Activities. The Regatta Chairperson for twenty years has been RHYC’s Jenny McEwen-Hill, also a past VC of Sail Training.

Five Gold sailors and seven Silver sailors vied for the championship last month in challenging weather. The more experienced Gold sailors sail on their own, while the less experienced Silver sailors sail with a companion in the back seat of the Martin 16. The Gold fleet raced in the morning on Saturday and in the afternoon on Sunday. The Silver fleet raced in the afternoon on Saturday and in the morning on Sunday. Transfers, often with the aid of the four dock-mounted “Jenny Lifts”, are made at lunch time after the return of the morning racers. Many dedicated volunteers are required to perform this important work. The majority of participants came from the Able Sail programs at RHYC and BS&BC, with two competitors attending from the Able Sail program at the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club in Belleville.

The start of racing on Saturday was delayed two hours waiting for a torrential thunderstorm to pass. Once the weather had cleared, the Gold fleet enjoyed three good races in light to moderate wind. However, by the time the Silver fleet got on the water mid-afternoon, the west wind had increased to 12 to 15 knots, gusting to 20. The less experienced, but more numerous Silver fleet completed one race before the windy conditions resulted in the cancelation of the rest of the afternoon races.

On Sunday morning, the Silver Fleet again ventured out into strong west winds in the morning, but were able to complete three good races before retiring from the field. The Gold fleet, in a more moderate breeze in the afternoon, also completed three more races.

2023 John Farrell Regatta Final Results
Gold Fleet
1 Cam Perry RHYC 6 pts
2 Al Nicolls RHYC/BSBC 10 pts
3 Steve Franczuz RHYC 12 pts
4 Kevin Glaschan BSBC 23 pts
Silver Fleet
1 Nicole Flynn Quinte Sailability 3 pts
2 Kal Freeland Quinte Sailability 5 pts
3 Joanne Vassel-Pitman BSBC 11 pts
4 Alexis Rowley RHYC Able Sail 11 pts
5 Melissa Marshall RHYC Able Sail 13 pts
6 Chad Bower Lasalle Able Sail 15 pts
7 Barrie Erskin BSBC 20 pts

Many thanks to Rob Mazza for submitting details for this Ontario Sailing Community Spotlight story. Photos by Rob Spiering, Rob Mazza, and Bob Rowsell.