Canadian Radio Yachting Association
2001 Soling Championship Regatta
Van Rossem Rules !
By Dennis Hendel
They dragged him into the bulrushes, they knocked his mast down, but in the end the competition couldn’t stop Peter Van Rossem from winning the 2001 Soling One Meter Canadian Championship Regatta and capturing his third title in three years.
Peter racked up 16 firsts, 6 seconds, 2 thirds and a couple of fine re-dressed race positions out of thirty-one races sailed on Blue Heron Pond in Windsor, Ontario over the weekend of July 7 and 8. Of the thirteen racers who showed up to compete in this event, eight were from the Windsor Model Yacht Club and five drove down from the Toronto area and beyond.
Saturday’s races were sailed under cloudy skies and the threat of thunderstorms. The 12 to 18 knots of breeze out of the SSW was just about perfect for these boats. They charged around the Olympic Triangle course without much fuss at all, except for the occasional equipment failure. What a pleasure to watch! In all, 17 races were completed that day but even before half of them were over, it was fairly obvious that Van Rossem’s red, white and blue boat was fast and going in the right direction, too.
Saturday evening’s activities were held at a local eating and drinking establishment. I for one can attest to the fact that there was quite a bit of each going on. There was also some serious discussion as to how the racers could rig Peter’s boat so it would sink during a race on Sunday without him suspecting anyone. Finally they realized he is too smart for the M-80 firecracker treatment . . . and too nice a guy, so they dropped the idea.
Saturday night, as we all slept (except for Ashley who reportedly partied all night long) a front rolled through. . As a result, Sunday’s weather was a complete change from Saturday. The wind, what little there was, had shifted 180 degrees. It was a HOT, humid and cloudless day. Most of the 14 races were sailed in winds of 2 to 4 knots. Tactics switched from how to get to the marks first to how to get to the marks at all. Peter Van Rossem demonstrated his light air sailing finesse and won seven races. The wind rarely got above 5 or 6 knots and eventually the heat, sun and lack of a cooling breeze started to take its toll on the racers (and the race committee).
At one point the R/C called for a "water break" and handed out bottles of cool water. Everyone took a break to drink, except Ashley who was spotted splashing around in the pond.
Racing ended at 3 pm and everyone gathered under a large tree and a gazebo to cool off and wait for the final tally of race scores. Soon, with the counting done, the awards were handed out by yours truly. As presumed, Peter Van Rossem received a large cheer from the crowd and stepped up to claim his prizes - the Soling half-model perpetual trophy that he was already familiar with, one of the beautiful plaques custom made for this event by a fellow Soling skipper, Dick Reder of the WMYC, plus something new, a medallion from the CYA.
Second place went to Ashley Marshall who also received a medal (silver) and one of the plaques. Finishing third and receiving a bronze medal and plaque was Soling class secretary, Keith Rodgers. Incidentally, the CYA medals will be awarded at all future CRYA sanctioned championship regattas.
The Winner, Peter Van Rossem, caught in a reflective mood at the Championships. Lana Butler looks on having finished well up in the fleet.
A gaggle of Solings in drifting conditions at the Soling Championships—Peter Van Rossem nearest camera.
A gaggle of Soling Skippers also at the Soling Championships — some appear more attentive to their boats than others.
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