New Challenges for Lake Ontario 300 Challenge
Published on July 10th, 2017
With less than a week before the start, this year’s running of Canada’s premier offshore yacht race has already been hurdled with new challenges. Unmatched weather and water concerns on Lake Ontario have raised the water levels and curtailed the launching of many yachts at clubs on both sides of the lake.
These conditions have also severely impacted the ability of Port Credit Yacht Club to host a racing event the size of the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge.
The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge (LO300), often an extremely strenuous race, circumnavigates Lake Ontario starting and finishing at Port Credit Yacht Club in Mississauga. Anywhere from 100 to 150 yachts, from 28′ to 60′ in length compete in the annual challenge, which is the longest annually run fresh water yacht race in the world.
This year’s high-water levels are preventing Port Credit Yacht Club from rafting visiting yachts along the main docking wall, which is where the majority of participating yachts are accommodated prior to the start. The high water has forced the club to remove electrical supply to this area but the real dangers are the 6 foot drop from the boat deck and the risk of boats overriding the wall.
The empty docks typically available at PCYC have been taken by many visiting boats that cannot dock at their home club due to the same high-water issue.
The organizing committee has been working furiously to find a solution and competitors have been put on alert that there maybe alternate accommodation plans utilized prior to the race.
Joe Doris, Chairman of the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Committee stated: “We have had to explore every option possible to make this year’s event run as smooth as possible. To make this year’s event a success we are soliciting the assistance of neighbouring City of Mississauga Marina’s, the Port Credit Marina and neighbouring Lakeshore Yacht Club. DriveHG, the title sponsor has already offered up a fleet of vehicles to be used as shuttles.
“If the rains hold off and the water level drops a little more, we think we can bring in a massive amount of fenders and place them along the main docks to provide a means to accommodate our competitors. It is a huge expense and is still unknown whether it will work, but looks like the most effective solution.”
Competing yachts are generally scheduled to arrive at Port Credit Yacht Club starting July 13th and will be ready for the pre-race party activities starting Friday July 14th. After the race starts on Saturday July14th at 10:00AM, all the high-water level problems of the club will be gone and the challenge of completing the Lake Ontario 300 will be front and centre on every yacht.
Source: Steve Singer