The 6th Annual CanAm Challenge Regatta for Soling 1M’s was held in Stowe, VT on August 2nd & 3rd. We had 24 entries this year, evenly split between Canada and the USA. We ran two-fleet racing under the Odd/Even system, which works well with the regatta’s theme: “A Friendly Cross-Border Rivalry”. The racing was based on individual performance but we also scored the two countries by taking the top 4 skippers from each country for each race. In this manner, any sailor could help out his country by scoring in the top 4 for their team in any given race
The Race Committee, led by George Dean and Bob Letwenski, set us up with windward/leeward/windward race courses. The first two heats were sailed in near-drifting conditions, but a light southwesterly filled in by the start of the second race. The breeze continued to build to moderate conditions for the balance of the day. Ten races (20 heats) were run on Saturday, giving us 2 throw-outs. At the end of the day, Jim Goddard (11 pts) held a solid lead over Bruce Nourjian (18 points) and Charlie Berry (19 points). Boots Boutilier (23 pts) and George Townsend (24 points) rounded out the top 5 skippers. In team scoring, the USA held a 19 point lead over Canada. That evening, the Commodores Inn held a great buffet dinner for the sailors & guests and there was lots of talk about “it’s going to be different tomorrow”.
And, yes, it was different on Sunday. The winds were very light and shifty, with many “holes” to contend with. The RC managed to run off 3 races (6 heats) in these challenging conditions. Despite these variable conditions, the top 5 skippers from Saturday all maintained their respective positions for the overall regatta. And, as most of them said, “it wasn’t easy”. Stowe managed to provide something for everyone with the conditions, placing a premium on consistency, which the top 6 skippers aptly displayed over the course of the two days.
The Team Award once again went to the USA group. And the chant from Team Canada: “We’re Number Two, We’re Number Two”. This reflects the camaraderie that has been firmly established in this “friendly cross-border rivalry.” While this event began virtually as a Halifax vs. Stowe challenge, it has grown to include a number of different clubs in both the USA and Canada. We are all looking forward to next year’s event!