2018 Soling North American Championship
Published on September 30th, 2018
The Soling Class held its 2018 North American Championship on September 27-30 at the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in Montreal, Canada. The seventeen boat fleet included three former world champions and boats from Canada, USA, and Germany.
The four day event started on a beautiful sunny day but the wind did not rise with the sun and racing was cancelled allowing the crews to spend the day wandering around beautiful Montreal.
Day 2 dawned with a promising 15 knot wind for the 1000hrs start and the racing was close. However, as the race progressed the wind dropped off and GER 1, with Roman Koch, Martin Zeileis and Michael Dietzel, who chose to go left, led from start to finish, followed closely by CAN 1 with Bill Abbott, Joanne Abbott and John McNeil. USA 834 rounded out the podium with Paul McGuan, Ashley Henderson and Mark Keast.
The fleet waited over an hour for race two but the wind did not co-operate so the Race Committee decided to tow everyone to the nearby Point Claire Yacht Club to wait it out. After several hours of waiting, a little lunch and maybe even a cold beer, the breeze began to fill in from Southwest and race two started in a 5 to 10 knot wind and flat water.
This time CAN 1 came out on top followed by Manfred Kanter’s CAN 231 with crew Anne Marie Villain and Gord Devries. In third, with another good race, was USA 845 was David Baum, Cate Muller and Brian Lennie. Unfortunately, the setting sun and evening’s fleet dinner did not allow for another race so four were scheduled for Day 3.
Sunny enough for sunscreen, glasses and a hat, the racing on Day 3 started and ended with 10-12 knots of wind from the west and the four races had course changes to the left and to the right and also a large hole around one windward mark with some crews going from front to the back of the fleet and others considering taking up golf!
At the end of the day the winners were CAN 1, GER 1, CAN 231, and local hero Peter Hall in CAN 225 with crew William Hall and Steve Lacey.
Day four dawned overcast and cold but the 15 knot WSW wind quickly warmed up the competitors. CAN231 and CAN 1 were tied with 11 points followed by CAN225 with 19 and GER 1 with 21 so there was plenty up for grabs. The Race Committee planned two races and with the shifty winds, big holes and the natural stream of the St. Lawrence River, it promised to be an interesting contest.
CAN 1 won the first race, closely followed by CAN 231 and CAN 225. GER 1, who was in the fight, ripped their spinnaker and had to settle for a sixth. The top two boats were separated by one point.
The final race was an epic battle between Kanter and Abbott with constant lead changes until the last half of the last beat when Can 231 was able to get past CAN 1 and hold on to the lead to became the 2018 North American Soling Champion.
That ends the Soling racing season in Canada, however, for those willing to travel, there is still racing to be done in Annapolis Maryland, Europe, Japan and of course the 2018 World Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina in November.
Source: Bill Haliburton