Belwood Lake Sailing Club, between Belwood and Fergus Ontario, Canada, hosted the 2016 International Regatta. There were 15 Y-Flyers, 5 from the USA and 10 from Canada. Mark Barton from the Grande Maumelle Sailing Club of Little Rock Arkansas, and his sister-in-law Jill Barton, showed the other sailors how to compete by winning 5 of the 8 races and finishing second in the other 3. Pat Passafiume from Louisville, Kentucky with Charlie Bohn were second, and Colin King from Belwood Lake with Terianne Rouleau were third.
Belwood Lake is not a large lake and it has bays and long water areas that inherently have winds that can be puffy, steady, and affected by the shoreline. When it blows in the direction of the longer lengths of water, some very fine racing is provided. That is the way it was this year.
The regatta began with a practice race on Monday evening in which only 3 boats competed and the first 2 chose not to cross the finish line. Richard Quinlan from Lethbridge, Alberta Canada, the greatest distance traveler, crossed the finish line and was declared the winner.
The regatta starting time each morning was 11:30 giving the winds time to build as each night they went to almost nothing. In the lighter winds as we began on Tuesday and Wednesday, a Windward Leeward modified twice around course was set. When the winds increased in the afternoon and white capped the lake, the course was changed to an Olympic modified.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the regatta sailed 2 races, came to shore for a short break, then returned to the lake for a third race. On Thursday, the winds were up as we began and an Olympic modified course was sailed for two races. Then the regatta was complete.
Although the spinnaker sail on the Y-Flyer is authorized, only Richard Quinlan used it. The Old Salt award is given to the skipper who with the combined ages of the skipper and crew, less the regatta finish position, has the highest number. Subtracting a finish position of 2 from a combined age of 127 of Pat Passafiume and Charlie Bohn equaled 125 and made Pat the 2016 Old Salt. Pat was previously the Old Salt at the 2010 International Regatta at Lake Chippewa. Old Salt runners up at 117 were youngsters Terry and Joanne Fraser also with a combined age of 127 but finished 10 in the regatta.
Pat Passafiume also won the International Challenger Award being the highest ranking skipper who had never won the award, or the International Regatta.
One of the attributes of the regatta was the meals Belwood provided. Blueberry pancakes and Canadian Bacon with fruit was the order each morning. Pizza was served Monday evening, a pig roast on Tuesday evening, and chicken and home made pies on Thursday evening. On the open Wednesday evening, we were taken to a horse race track in nearby Elora to watch sulky racing and enjoy a buffet dinner. The third horse race featured the Y-Flyer International Sailors and we were taken down right next to the track to watch the race. Standing next to the track, we were able to feel the thunder of the horses as they raced past. After the race we had our picture taken with the winning horse, the driver, the owner, and the horse trainer. Then we returned to our dinner tables and resumed eating and betting on the horses in the 8 remaining races. We each were given $15 of complementary vouchers to bet on the horses or play the slot machines in the adjacent casino. After playing the free vouchers, most casino players left “even”. I gave my $15 vouchers to Mark Barton and his luck won $21.
Some of the sailors stayed at motels in Fergus but most formed tent city on the Club grounds. The Belwood Lake Sailing Club previously hosted the Y-Flyer International Regatta in 2006. We again sailed a fine regatta and left with the renewal of old friendships, new friends, and a lot of memories. All who were not able to join us missed a wonderful and fun regatta. Richard King, Warren Flannery, Frances Norlen, and Colin King were the Regatta Committee, and Jim Carroll of London, Ontario was the Principal Race Officer in 2006 and again this regatta. I assisted Jim on the committee boat.