Summer 2019 Highlights: The summer season in Eastern Canada has pretty much wrapped up while the Victoria group will still be sailing into December on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons when the weather is fair. Royal Vic YC even has the Ice Bowl Regatta on December 28th although they rarely have ice.
High water on Lake Ontario and Lac Deschenes was a challenge this summer. The Ottawa sailing clubs were dealing with flooding of their dry sail areas and sand bags until early June while Lake Ontario sailors were finding the water lapping their dry sail areas. The docks at Kingston Yacht Club were submerged when the club hosted the North American Championship. Despite that, the Kingston Yacht Club ran a great regatta with 20 boats in attendance from as far away as Florida.
The National Yacht Club initiated CanAm North 2.4mR Series, a four-regatta series ending with the Canadian Championship September 7-8th. They are already firming up dates for a repeat of this event in 2020 and making sure the dates do not conflict with other regattas.
In Victoria, the 2.4mR fleet has grown to 18 boats. They organized a Pacific Coast Championship in June with nine boats and followed that up with Royal Victoria’s Fall Dighies Regatta with twelve boats with Louise Anstey winning both events. The Victoria fleet is working with the Seattle fleet to encourage increased participation in the Pacific Northwest.
Increasing Exposure, Participation and Boat Ownership
There has been considerable discussion at the international level about what the class can do to increase the sailing community’s awareness of the boat and the people who sail it. We are a unique class as we welcome sailors with disabilities to compete with able-bodied sailors on an even basis. However, we are not a class or a boat that is only for sailors with disabilities.
In North America we hired a media professional to help us promote the 2018-2019 CanAm winter series. This included pre event articles and human interest stories before the series and stories and results sent to the various media outlets immediately after the completion of each of the series regattas.
At the local level we have realized that sailors are probably not going to buy a 2.4mR boat unless they have the opportunity to sail one. In Victoria, the fleet has been generous of offering their boats to other sailors who have expressed interest in the boat. In some cases it takes multiple sails before the prospective owner is convinced that it is the right fit for him/her.
In Ottawa we tried the same model with Monday evening demonstration sails for the members of Nepean Sailing Club who have been admiring our boats resting on the end of W dock. While the wind gods did not co-operate and a couple of evenings were scrubbed because of no wind, we did manage to get six members to sail the boat with more than one of them back at the bar telling other sailors about the positive experience they had. It was encouraging enough that we will try the same in 2020.
Another initiative which the Victoria Fleet has undertaken is to offer their boats to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club’s Inter fleet Championship. The top skippers from each of the yacht club’s dinghy and keelboats race short races in the 2.4mR to decide who will have bragging rights at the club. This gives the boat exposure to the best of the club’s sailors.
Upcoming events to mark on your 2020 calendar
St. Petersburg America’s Regatta and the 2019 – 2020 CanAm Winter Series
These regattas are the best medicine for escaping winter. The America’s Regatta is December 5 – 8 at the St Petersburg Sailing Centre in St Petersburg FL followed by the Charlotte Harbor YC Midwinters December 10 – 11 and the US 2.4mR National Championships December 13 – 15, both of the latter events are in Port Charlotte FL.
The other regattas as part of the CanAm Series are the Edge Sailing Midwinters January 25 – 26, the CanAmM Regatta #4 February 22 – 23 and the CanAm Finale March 27 – 29, 2020. All events take place at the Charlotte Harbour YC.
The 2020 CanAm North Series will be a series of four regattas (one weekend per month) starting in June 2020 and finishing with the Canadian Championships September 12 – 13 at the National Yacht Club in Toronto. Check the website for the exact dates.
The 2020 2.4mR World Championships will be held at the Davis Island Yacht Club, Tampa Florida November 7 to 13, 2020. This is the most important class event and it comes to North America once every 5 or 6 years. Previous events were held in North America in 2009 and 2014. The Davis Island Yacht Club is a sailor friendly venue and the organizing committee has already lined up a quality team of on water personnel and judges.
For up to date listing of all events please go to www.canada24mr.com
Clagett Boats For the past three years, the Clagett Regatta Organizing Committee of Newport RI has annually purchased two new Norlin Mark III 2.4mR sailboats and provided them to North American sailors with a physical disability. Of the six boats currently in the program, five have been lent out to Canadian 2.4mR sailors. The most recent recipients are Peter Eagar of National Yacht Club in Toronto and Erick Poirier of AQVA in Pointe-Claire. The Canadian Class wishes to thank the Board of Directors of the Clagett Regatta for their continuing support.