The 2013 Susan Hood Trophy Race will be remembered as the largest race since the early 1970's with 95 boats at the start including 3 IRC divisions and a J105 Fleet. As a major line squall came through during the skippers meeting there were flashbacks of last year's race that was postponed due to high winds. But after Ron Bianci's excellent weather briefing and the help of WRI WX weather system's updates the race started in unsettled winds which were up and down and straight out of the west with light showers, making Burlington a true Susan Hood beat. Depending on what division you speak to there was wind at the Burlington Weather Tower and there was the usual doldrums. For the most part winds picked up and held steady for the run to Niagara, which were west, south west making for an excellent overnight spinnaker run. But once again for the bulk of the fleet the winds went light at the Niagara mark once the sun started to come up in the early morning. The lead boats that made it back before 9am had good wind at the finish, for the next two starts it was a long series of light wind shifts for the last five miles that caused many painful light spinnaker jibs, peels to jibs, back to spinnaker and as time went on the later starts converged into the growing group of yachts trying to finish in light winds. It was a challenging finish that definitely had an impact on finishing orders with so many boats in proximity to each other after 75 miles of racing.
A special thanks to Susan Hood for showing up to our skippers meeting and our Saturday Flag presentations. It's always a great honor to have our namesake at our event, she is a wonderful lady.
Congratulations go to Gaucho a Farr44 by Maggie MacDonald for taking Line Honours with an elapsed time of 0:11:09:19 in a bit of a battle with Spitfire the J145 skippered by Jonathan Bamberger who came in 24 seconds later and corrected over to take first place IRC division one and First Overall in IRC.
This year was an amazing race for the Susan Hood Trophy and it is worth mentioning that the top boats in the running all held an amazing time difference on the rest of their division. They went hard and did not let up
from start to finish. In some cases 49 minutes ahead of the next boat in their division holding the similar PHRF ratings.
Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer on the J105 Mandate were one of those yachts won their division with a finishing time of 0:12:35:29 over 30 minutes ahead of the next J105 making them this year's Susan Hood Trophy Race Cup Winners. Excellent race gentlemen, well done!
A special thanks for Sperry Top-Sider for our skippers shirts and our post race BBQ.
Thank you, to North Sails for their participation in providing top notched flags that are the Coolest Flags on the lake.
Thank you, to Mount Gay Rum for their prize donations to the overall winners in IRC and PRHF and of course, great drinks.
For those of you who did take pictures, we want to get them posted. So please send them in or post them on our Facebook page.
We look forward to seeing everyone at this year's Lake Ontario 300 July 13th for another exciting distance race.