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Chester Race Week

Chester Race Week ~ Good day at Canada’s largest annual keelboat event

The second day of Chester Race Week was productive as all the competitors posted scores in their fleet classifications. The largest fleet is the Bluenose where Christian Luthi’s Fish ‘n Chips team has opened a seven point lead on the 23-boat fleet. Racing is scheduled for August 12 to 15.

Depending on where they were racing today on Mahone Bay, racers either had great conditions, or not-so-great conditions – but they all experienced a “white wall” of fog. Regardless, the Chester Race Week race committee pulled off another fantastic day, showcasing their world-class race management skills with multiple races on all courses.

“There can be some challenges associated with racing here,” said Principal Race Officer Liz Shaw. “Where other races would have canceled or postponed in such a heavy fog, our racers went out, managed to find their marks and came back – some of them without any electronics, sophisticated or otherwise. I admire them for being so tough.”

Alpha fleet got in two races, a short five-mile windward to leeward race, and an 18-mile race with lots of reaches and runs. Course conditions were good, with steadier, more-consistent winds with an average speed of about nine knots. Despite the fog, the boats were great on their starts, and had very close racing around the course.Chester Race Week

The One-Design fleet also enjoyed good conditions, and despite a couple of general recalls, managed to get in four races. In the J/24 fleet, Ian Dawson (Bedford Basin Yacht Club) took first on Lightning McQueen; Jay Nadelson (Chester Yacht Club) took the top spot in IOD class on Elida.

Sonar class continues to be a tight race, with Henry Demone (Lunenburg Yacht Club), once again taking top honours on Bella Rena. First time Chester Race Week participants, Rodrick Jabin and the crew of Ramrod (Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, Maryland) had four bullets, beating out hometown favourite Rob Gale (Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron) in the Farr 30 class.

“We’re having a great time,” said Ramrod crewmember Ian Coleman. “It’s beautiful here and so picturesque; it’s like sailing in a Wyeth painting.”

Overall, a great day of sailing. As one racer put it, “It was an awesome day, fast racing, fun, and friends – it’s Chester Race Week at its best.”

more info …….chesterraceweek.com

by Michael Dunn

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