Fourth annual 5.5 Metre North American Fall Regatta
October 2, 2017
From September 22-24 2017 the fourth annual 5.5 North American Fall Regatta was held in Midland, Ontario. The sailors experienced sunny, hot days with light wind. Eight races were held over the three days with spirited competition. Thanks to Midland Bay Sailing Club for hosting the event. Thanks also to Bay Port Marina for launching and hauling all competitors at no charge.
This year we welcomed O’Kelly, BAH 16 now CAN 79, recently purchased by Don Cameron of London, ON. Many thanks to Dan Rossi for helping co-ordinate the purchase of the boat in the U.S. This is the second Evolution boat competing, joining Dean Harker’s Columbia 5.5, Summer, CAN 30.
There was a great spirit of camaraderie. Thanks go to Kim Malcolm for lending Summer School, CAN 31, to Matt Thurley, as well as John Lister for lending Nantoria, CAN 22, to Stewart Bletcher and Dean Harker for lending Jill, CAN 03 to John Lister.
After many years of convincing Joe Lambert to replace his boom, this year he showed up with a new and improved one. Everyone noticed a notable improvement in his boat’s performance.
All the out of town competitors were billeted with other 5.5 racers. Evening meals were hosted at the Mills’ home Thursday night. The MBSC graciously included everyone in their weekly Friday Pub Night dinner. The Thurleys hosted dinner at their home Saturday night and a wrap up barbeque was provided by John Lister and Susan French. At the barbeque photos were shown of the weekend’s regatta as well as wonderful shots provided by Thies Först from the 5.5 North American Spring 2017 Regatta which he attended along with Kaspar Stubenrauch and Ekkehard Schlichtenhorst sailing on GER 97 . Everyone appreciated the fun photos.
During the regatta, Thies sent an email offering to provide a trophy, the Meltemi Classic Trophy, for the best 5.5 Classic of the North American Spring Regatta from 2018 onward. This news was greeted with great enthusiasm and appreciation by all.
At the encouragement in the spring of Kaspar, Thies and Ekkehard there was much discussion around going to Europe next summer. Currently there looks like there will be two possibly three 5.5 teams going to Europe mid-summer to participate in a few of the 5.5 regattas.
In conversations at the end of the event Dan Rossi commented on how delighted he was at the progress we are making at re-invigorating the North American 5.5 fleet. Although still small, he believes we have reached ‘critical mass’. Already we anticipate 10 boats at the Spring 2018 Regatta.
Many thanks to all who participated in the Fall Regatta and a very special thank you to Matt and Cheryl Thurley and Dean Harker for organizing the event. Onward and upward.
1st Place: US 51 Purple Haze, skipper Dan Rossi
2nd Place BAH 16/CAN 79 O’Kelly, skipper Don Cameron
3rd Place: CAN22 Nantoria, skipper Stewart Bletcher