Leibel wins fourth stage of 2.4mR CanAm
Published on February 24th, 2019
Can Am #4, the penultimate regatta of the five-event 2019 2.4mR CanAm Championship, saw 20 competitors – the largest fleet of the season – compete February 22-24 in Port Charlotte, FL.
Although missing veteran 2.4mR class competitors Janice Graham-Foscarini, Louise Anstey, and Audrey Kobayashi, the addition of Guatemalan racer Rodolfo Quezada; the three Massachusetts sailors (Jerry Blouin, Shan McAdoo, and Doug Trees) who are building a new Marblehead-based 2.4mR fleet; and class newcomers Geoff Moehl of Orlando and Patrick Reiss of Bonita Springs, made for an exciting weekend of racing.
The races on day one started in an eight-knot southeasterly breeze which died near the end of the first race, forcing the race committee to postpone racing for an hour. With the racecourse relocated to the west, a light sea breeze filled which allowed the second race to be completed on a rising tide.
By the third and final race of the day, the southwesterly had built to 12 knots. Three sailors from Canada dominated the day, with Allan Leibel of Toronto winning the first race, Peter Eagar, also from Toronto, winning race two and British Columbia’s Bruce Millar winning race three.
The Race Committee had less than five knots to work with as they set up for the planned three races on day two. However, once the new line was set after a shift in wind direction and subsequent relocation of the course to the west, the southwesterly breeze built into the mid-teens for the remainder of the day. The relatively minor oscillations provided few opportunities for competitors that needed to overcome bad starts.
Leibel, who represented Canada in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics (in the Dragon and Tempest, respectively), crossed the finish line first in all three of the day’s races to win the event.
“The racing was wonderful,” said Leibel, who has been racing a 2.4mR for 10 years. “The conditions were ideal. On the second day the wind blew perfectly steady… no shifts… no changes in velocity. It became a boat speed contest and I happened to be fastest.”
Leibel’s enthusiasm for the class was apparent when he admitted his goal for next month’s final event of the season isn’t to win.
“I’m doing the last event because I love it [racing the 2.4mR] so much.” Leibel explained that he first got into the class to help Bruce Millar, who was training for the Paralympics and needed coaching and competition. “A group of us started sailing his second boat to help him. I stayed with the class. Love it as a sailboat. I still have an Etchells, but the 2.4mR is a top performing boat with less demands from a logistical standpoint. We have roughly a dozen 2.4mRs in Toronto, but the class is huge in Europe and the competition is great.”
2018 2.4mR North American Champion Dee Smith of Annapolis, Maryland, placed second with 11 points, three points behind Leibel. Millar, winner of the Edge Sailing Midwinters in January, finished in third with 12 points, followed by Tony Pocklington, of Fort Myers, Fla., fourth overall with 17 points. Charlie Rosenfield of Woodstock, Conn., completes the top-five with 27 points.
2018-19 CanAm Championship Series
December 3-5, 2018 – 2.4mR North American Championship
December 6-9, 2018 – 2.4mR U.S. National Championship
January 25-27, 2019 – Edge Sailing Midwinters
February 22-24, 2019 – CanAm #4
March 29-31 – CanAm Championship Finale
The third edition of the CanAm Championship Series will feature five 2.4 Meter Class events hosted from the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club (CHYC) in Port Charlotte, Florida. The series champion will be determined from the results of all five regattas after his or her worst score is discarded. For competitors who do not race in all five events, the scoring will count all events sailed (i.e. they will not drop their worst result).
Source: Jan Harley, Media Pro International