Susan Hood Trophy Race Hoping to NOT be ‘The Coolest Race on the Lake’

Susan Hood Race

June 1, 2016

Since 1956, sailors on Lake Ontario have been bundling up on the first Friday of June to race in the Susan Hood Trophy Race at the Port Credit Yacht Club.

The race is known as the “Coolest Race on the Lake” because of the extremely cold conditions on the lake in early June. Even though the forecast calls for a low of 12C, the water in the middle of the lake is significantly colder. Racers also have to contend with pitch black darkness and extreme winds. Hopefully with our recent warm patch the participants might get a rare night with warm winds, but not likely since our warm spell seems to be moving out.

The race starts on Friday, June 3rd at 7:55 pm and goes continuously overnight for 78-miles, with some lucky boats returning in time for breakfast the next morning. The fastest sailboat speeds are about 10 and 12 knots, or 11 to 13 mph but this high speed is never sustained the whole race and many times it will take a sailboat 120 miles to sail 78 miles because of variations in the wind and angles.

Over 450 sailors on 100+ yachts will be participating in this year’s race which is presented by driveHG.ca. The start and finish of the race can be observed from the head land park beside Port Credit Yacht Club, 115 Lakefront Promenade in Mississauga. There is a shoreline finish mark that runs early Saturday morning until the last boats arrive later that afternoon.

Offshore yacht racing is purely weather dependent, and no outside assistance or motors are allowed. This means that if the wind disappears the racers do anything they can to keep from drifting with the current, but if the wind is blowing hard it can become very dangerous.

This year’s race is even more exciting because of an expanded IRC racing fleet that includes arguably four of the fastest boats on the lake:

• Darren Gornal (Mississauga, ON) – Afterburn a Soto40
• Gary Benner (Toronto, ON) – Shock Therapy a Shock40
• Travis Odenbach (Webster, NY) – Rampage a Farr47
• Jonathan Bamberger (Toronto, ON) – Spitfire a Farr45

If they hold together, as they should, around this long course it will be great for spectators to arrive early to the shoreline and watch an exciting finish as the racers cross the line.

Ongoing race updates will be posted to the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing (LOOR) Facebook page.

Media are welcome at the Port Credit Yacht Club and the potential to get out on a boat to watch the race can be arranged.

A photo contest will take place during the race with pics posted to the LOOR and Humberview Chevrolet Buick GMC Facebook pages.

Location:
Port Credit Yacht Club (PCYC)
115 Lakefront Promenade, Mississauga, ON L5E 3G6

All details at: http://loor.ca/susan-hood-race/

 

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