he Chester Fleet comprises of 11 IODs of which seven have been very active this year while two others have been in the water but have had limited sailing and racing. Zephyr which is on the hard and will be going through a refit this winter while Ken Florence’s Ghost has not been sailed owing to his commitments back in Toronto this year. Hopefully he will be back with us next summer. The year started with Peter Wickwire once again representing our fleet in the annual Bermuda International Invitational Race Week Regatta held in the first week in May. He seems to like the Bermuda venue as he once again won the Vrengen Cup.
Racing for our Fleet progressed slowly but steadily during June and July as sailors drifted in from away to take up residence for the summer fun. A number of our boats participated in the Lunenburg Yacht Club “Regatta in a Day” to start our season in June. Our next regatta was the Indian Point Yacht Club Regatta which is now set to be an annual event. They did a great job as usual in Mahone Bay. Six IODs participated – Mighty Mo, La Diva, Bella, Squall, Elida and Aileen. There were six races over two days (Saturday and Sunday) with the final one being from Mahone Bay to Chester. The final result had Squall winning followed by Bella, Mighty Mo, La Diva, Aileen and Elida.
Next up was the annual Chester Classics Cup, which takes place on the weekend prior to Chester Race Week. This is a handicap regatta put on by the Chester Classics Fleet and consists of three races on three separate days (Friday to Sunday). We get to race against the larger Classic yachts of Chester and Mahone Bay such as Hayseed, Virginia, Seneca, the Chester C’s Ripple and Eclipse as well as a number of smaller classics. It is a fun weekend and instead of racing windward-leeward courses we race around the buoys and islands in Mahone Bay. It turned out to be a great weekend for Peter Wickwire in Squall as she won the Classics Cup with two firsts and a third place finish. Mighty Mo came second.
The IODs sailed as a one design fleet for the second year in Chester Race Week. This is a departure from all the prior years when the IODs sailed in the Classics PHRF fleet. Racing took place on the One Design course over four days with windward- leeward courses. 14 races in all were sailed for the 6 IOD’s that participated. These were Rick Thompson in Mighty Mo, Peter Wickwire in Squall, Jay Nadelson in Elida, Mike Kelly in Aileen, Steve Bond in La Diva and Ted Murphy in Bella. After 13 races it was down to the wire between Peter Wickwire, Rick Thompson and Jay Nadelson as to who would win the week. The final race of the day saw Mighty Mo take the lead from Aileen on the last beat to windward with Peter Wickwire in Squal in third place. For Mighty Mo to win the regatta she had to put a boat between her and Squall. At the finish on the downwind leg Squall just pipped Aileen thus giving Peter Wickwire the Regatta over Rick Thompson in Mighty Mo by a single point and what was effectively half a boat length. Jay Nadelson was a few points behind in Elida. IOD racing in Chester has never been that close so it was great racing and great fun for all participants. We will be looking forward to more of the same next year with more boats on the line.
Other highlights by IOD representatives saw Steve Moody in O2 dominate the PHRF Thursday evening racing at the Chester Yacht Club. The year closes for us in mid September with the Indian Point Yacht Club Fall Regatta . A welcome trend this year has been the number of young people helming and sailing our boats here in Mahone Bay. Steve Bond and family have bought La Diva and have consistently raced her during the season. He is getting better with every race he sails as he gets used to the IOD’s characteristics. Bella, now owned by Mike Kelly, has been sailed by two very component young men, Ted Murphy and Evan Pettly-Jones. This of course bodes well for the future of the class.
It has certainly been another successful season for all of us here in Nova Scotia and we look forward to 2016 with perhaps another IOD coming to Chester. Our thanks to all our members and supporters in Chester and Indian Point.
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