Elite Race Around Toronto Island (14.3km)
The morning started with a forecast of winds shifting to NW. That could've meant a possible change in direction around the Island. In fact, the winds were NNW at 8am and 9am at the Island Airport. Luckily, Larry Cain (and Brandon Elslander?) did some on-water reconnaissance and determined that despite what the Island Airport was reading, it was blowing NE on the water near us. That meant we were sticking with the original plan of going around clockwise and we'd take our chances when we got to the airport. The wind ended up staying NE for the entire race. Thanks Larry and Brandon. For most of the race, winds were NE 8-12mph with some gusts to 20mph.
We had a nice downwind leg from TWC to the Centre Island pier, but as you all experienced, in a NE wind, we get some interesting reflected waves off the Island's concrete walls coming at you in the opposite direction of the wind blown swell. That made for quite a few falls in that section. Once we got past the pier, the reflected waves subsided, but then we had some nice breaking swell onto the beach just before Gibraltar Point. I know a few of you got some good rides on those bumps in that area! This long downwind stretch was almost 5km.
After rounding Gibraltar Point, there was a nice flat sheltered section of 2.5km along Hanlan's Beach with some side wind. However as we turned the corner at the airport buoy, we were hit with chop and upwind conditions through the Western Gap. The upwind chop was there all through the Inner Harbour making for an almost 5km upwind leg to the Eastern Gap. This section wasn't tricky like some of the downwind parts, but it was a "put your head down and grind it out" stretch. Inconveniently, the wind increased to 12mph with gusts to just over 20mph just as most racers were doing the upwind leg.
The Eastern Gap gave us a short break from the wind but once we turned into the Outer Harbour, it was back upwind along Cherry Beach for the final 1km leg to the finish.
So the course gave us a nice mix of conditions like it usually does - as well as some nice scenery. I measured 14.3km on my GPS.
Rec Course (4km)
This course was 2 laps around an elongated triangle course off Cherry Beach. Total distance of about 4km. We were trying to keep the course relatively close to Cherry Beach to avoid the anticipated offshore wind. However, the wind ended up being mostly parallel to the beach with the longest leg going upwind. In hindsight, it would've made for a slightly easier course to have gone around in the opposite direction. All the rec course racers did a great job. We even had a walk-on racer who was just biking past the beach and asked to participate (Annabelle from Australia?). The TWC lent her one of our inflatables (10'2"x32", not what I'd call a fast board) and she finished the course and had a good time.
Congrats to the winners
- Elite Around Island Men's Overall: Larry Cain
- Elite Around Island Men's 50+: Larry Cain
- Elite Around Island Women's Overall: Tracey Finlay
- Elite Around Island Women's 50+: Tracey Finlay
- Rec Men: Terry Hanna
- Rec Women: Jillian Flower
Tracey and Larry, current and defending champs.
Volunteers and Sponsors
This event couldn't happen without our amazing volunteers!
Nadia Rahman, Hugh and Karen Wilson
Nadia Rahman and Karen Wilson, for handling registration, results recording and the organization of the race awards. They are a HUGE reason why we're able to run the event so smoothly on race day. Not only that but they also helped out to the end with cleaning up the clubhouse. Nadia also typed up the race results and had them to me by late Saturday night. So it's my fault it's taken until now to get the results out (I was working all day Sunday unfortunately). Hugh Wilson, for the great job on the mic, with a perfect blend of being entertaining, informative, and keeping things moving. And for helping out with cleanup at the end too.
Chris Hope, John Darling and Ivan Dimic, for coming very early to get all the race buoys inflated and the course set. John Darling also filled all our boats with gas just before the big day.
All our boat drivers and spotters, for monitoring the racers around the various sections of the course. You may not have been aware of it, but a detailed boat safety plan is worked out in advance by Mike Tindall and I to make sure we have good coverage of the race around the Island. Each boat has its role and route. Here are the drivers and crew: Robert Cowley, Jeff, Davor Popovic, Stan Zieba, Behnam Parsa, Alexander Linkov, Paul Waterhouse, Wade Graham, Peter Penev, Jonathan Rickard.
James Statham, for letting us use his Boston Whaler as one of our safety boats. Mike Tindall, for pulling together the boat crews and keeping them coordinated with radio contact during the race. Jeff Martin, for doing the paperwork to obtain the TPA permit to race through the Western Gap. Debbie Dewar, Tricia and Jason Peekstok, and Deb McKenzie, for helping to set up the lunch room and staffing the lunch desk for hand stamps. And also for helping with clean up.
All the great photographers at the Mammoth, in particular, Warren Won, Nadia Rahman and Tracey Finlay.
Peter Penev in one of the boats took some video footage, so there may be another great Mammoth video coming soon.
Silent Sports for generously donating all the event T-shirts.
Werner for donating a nice adjustable paddle.
Starboard, for donating an inflatable PFD and T-shirts.
Epic, for donating T-shirts.
Mike Fekete, KayakSport and TWC for the very generous prizes offered in the draw.
Mike Fekete, Michael Shin and Nadia Rahman
Mike Fekete and his team, for organizing the surfski race (and bringing all those nice Starboard race boards to try out).
I'm sure I missed some of our volunteers as it takes a big effort to make this thing happen the way it does. So thanks!
I'll post this on Facebook as well - but I'm brand new to Facebook and this email is so long I have no idea how Facebook will like it. We'll see.
Some Photo Albums
TWC SUP Director