The Richardson Regatta was held July 27 and 28th at the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club (est.1903), near Kenora, Ontario.
Ten scows competed, but only four attempted a practice sail on Saturday due to winds gusting to 30 knots. Two of the four capsized, including the eventual regatta winner. At about 2pm, races were cancelled for the scows for the day.
Conditions were great on Sunday, and races started early with a 9am gun. Winds were about 6-8 knots and building. The course was a W-L-W-L with leeward gates and an offset finish line. Rob Aitken was fifth around the windward mark, but was first to jibe at the windward mark, and was able to pass four boats. It took until the final jibe at the last leeward gate to get past Sandy Riley for the first race win of the day.
Raif Richardson was fouled at the start line by Don Konantz, but went right, and still pulled a "horizon job" on the fleet, winning the second race by a large margin. Konantz recoverd from his penalty turns and went right also, winning second place.
The race committee wisely shifted the course to reflect the wind shift and extended the leg lengths since the wind was now gusting to 15 knots, and the first two races were only about 15 minutes in length. With the wind building, a clean fast start and good boathandling were paramount. Konantz and Riley won the balance of the days racing with two wins each. Riley (and his fresh 2013 E) improved from his second place finish last year to win the regatta by the closest of margins. Konantz was second, and Raif Richardson third.
It was a fun and challenging event, since the race course was shared by 10 scows, about twenty Lasers, a couple 29ers, some 420s, several Opti's, and a keelboat thrown in for good measure. Special thanks go out to Jim Richardson and his family for sponsoring the regatta, along with the many volunteers that made it an excellent event. E- scow sailors are encouraged to keep their radar up and join us for next year's regatta. We would love to show off our club and beautiful Lake of the Woods. (www.rlwyc.ca)
Submitted by Rob Aitken