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2000 Marblehead Championship


"Bob Lombard, Ray Davidson, and Peter Van Rossem" - photo by Lana Butler

Davidson Wins Canadian Marblehead Championship Again



Canadian Marblehead Championship, July 8-9, 2000, Kingston, Ontario

by Professor Ronald L. Watts

At the Canadian Marblehead Championship 2000 hosted by the Kingston Yacht Club and sailed at the Confederation Basin on July 8-9, Ray Davidson of Toronto dominated the racing in a wide variety of wind conditions from almost calm to those requiring B rigs. Ray reeled off firsts in the first 9 races and added 6 more firsts in the remaining 13 races. Only twice (one a DNF) did he place below second place. To those experienced in Marblehead racing in eastern Canada this was no surprise, however. Ray had previously won the Canadian Marblehead Championship in Kingston 1995, Toronto 1996, and Toronto 1999. In the 1997 Championship won by Janus Walicki of Germany, Ray placed 3rd but was top Canadian, and in the 1998 Championship he was not able to compete when it was held in Vancouver. In all these previous championships Ray has sailed the same blue Bantock Paradox, CAN 64. Once again it was superbly tuned and sailed to a deserved and popular victory.

The fleet by standards of previous years was modest in size with 11 competitors compared to 12 in 1999 (Toronto), 8 in 1998 (Vancouver), 18 in 1997 (Kingston) and 16 in 1996 (Toronto). In the 2000 Marblehead Championship six competitors came from Toronto, four were from Kingston, and Bob Lombard from Connecticut was the sole U.S. entry.

At the skippers meeting at 9 AM on Saturday, the skippers were greeted by the Kingston Town Crier in his ceremonial robes who read a proclamation of welcome from the City of Kingston, the Kingston Yacht Club and the Kingston Marblehead fleet. The commencement of racing was delayed for awhile because of lack of wind, but about 9:30 AM a light northwesterly breeze under 5 knots made it possible to get in the first race. When that wind died again there was a further delay until the more usual south-westerly began to fill in at about 5 to 8 knots. By lunch-time six races had been held. Already the top three had emerged clear of the pack with Ray Davidson, all firsts, well in front, Peter Van Rossem of Kingston in second place and Bob Lombard in third.

During Saturday afternoon the wind continued to increase in strength to 10 knots or more so that by race 12 virtually all the boats were sailing with B rigs. By the end of the day 15 races had been sailed with the placing showing Ray Davidson well in front, and 2. Peter Van Rossem, 3. Bob Lombard, 4. Brian Chadwick, 5. Ron Watts, 6. Dick Stanford, 7. Dave Bowes, 8. Keith Rodgers, 9. Ashley Marshall, 10. Norm Patt, and 11. Larry Votary.

Unlike Saturday which had been bright and sunny, Sunday dawned overcast and threatening rain, but there was plenty of wind from the south west at well over 10 knots gusting to 20 knots at intervals, although it dropped a little later in the morning. Most skippers, including Ray Davidson, opted for B rigs, although a few brave souls, Peter Van Rossem and Dave Bowes among them, managed quite well with A rigs. By mid-morning it started to rain and the last four races were held in increasing rain. After seven races an early lunch break was called, and when after lunch there was no sign of the rain relenting and the first three places were already clearly established, a vote of the skippers was overwhelmingly in favour of concluding the regatta.

At the awards ceremony held at the Kingston Yacht Club, Ray Davidson (15 firsts) was crowned reigning and raining Canadian Marblehead Champion 2000, Peter Van Rossem who sailed consistently well (5 firsts) was second and Bob Lombard (1 first) third. Each received a special plaque and all the other skippers received special caps marking the event. First to fifth places after 22 races with 3 drops were well spaced out by about 20 or so points between each and with Brian Chadwick in fourth place. Fifth place was closely contested however, with Ron Watts barely clinging on to fifth place edging out Keith Rodgers by just one-quarter of a point, and Keith Rodgers in turn just edged out Dave Bowes, also by a quarter of a point, as a result of Keith's spectacular first place in the final race, thus providing some exciting racing in the middle of the fleet. Dick Stanford had some bad luck with breakdowns and dropped from sixth at the end of Saturday to eighth in the final results. Norm Patt achieved a fourth in the third race on Saturday and showed bursts of speed at other times but generally placed consistently in the bottom half of the fleet to end up ninth overall, one place higher than at the end of Saturday. Ashley Marshall after some good races in the early going was troubled by a bad back and did not race on Sunday dropping from ninth to tenth place. Larry Votary had two very good races coming second in the second race and third in seventh race on Saturday, but was hampered by the lack of a B rig when the wind later gained strength.

Among the Canadian Marbleheads, Bantock hulls with Bantock sails and Whirlwind winches and Sterne hulls with Sterne sails and a variety of winches predominated. The exception was Peter Van Rossem who had Craig Smith sails on his Paradox. The five Bantock Paradoxes placed 1st (Davidson), 2nd (Van Rossem), 4th (Chadwick), 5th (Watts), and 9th (Patt). The five Sterne designs placed 5th (Viper Plus, Rodgers), 7th (Logic, Bowes), 8th (Logic Standford), 10th (Logic, Marshall) and 11th (Logic, Votary). Bob Lombard from Connecticut sailed a Walicki Scalpel which with its deep keel and unique rig with a rotating streamline most sailed consistently well to weather, particularly in the heavier wind conditions, finishing third overall.

A highlight of the regatta was the barbecue organized by Lana Butler and Peter Van Rossem and held at Peter's home on Saturday evening. After a day of fiercely competitive sailing, the skippers and their families and friends enjoyed the warm camaraderie of an outdoor barbecue on a beautiful clear evening.

At the award ceremony on Sunday warm tribute was paid to Terry Doble who as Race Director had kept the racing moving briskly, to Dick Stanford, Kingston Marblehead fleet captain, and organizer and registrar of the regatta, to Cynthia Ormsby for her scorekeeping and many others contributions to the regatta, to Jonathan Standley as judge, to Brian McNulty as mark sergeant responsible for laying marks and rescuing disabled boats, to Peter Van Rossem as CRYA measurer, and to Lana Butler responsible for the social arrangements and photography.



The final results of the Canadian Marblehead Championship 2000 after 22 races (with 3 drops) were:




Sail #


1st Ray Davidson CAN 64

Bantock, Paradox

2nd Peter Van Rossem CAN 20

Bantock, Paradox

3rd Bob Lombard USA 65

Walicki, Scalpel

4th Brian Chadwick CAN 66

Bantock, Paradox

5th Ron Watts CAN 25

Bantock, Paradox

6th Keith Rodgers CAN 771

Sterne, Viper Plus

7th David Bowes CAN 49

Sterne, Logic

8th Dick Stanford CAN 24

Sterne, Logic

9th Norm Patt CAN 12

Bantock, Paradox

10th Ashley Marshall CAN 7

Sterne, Logic

11th Larry Votary CAN 125

Sterne, Logic



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Last modified: November 24, 2005