Father-Son go the distance for victory

Published on August 14th, 2022

The doublehanded team of Martin Rutter and his dad Brian were the overall winners of the 2022 Lake Ontario 300 on their Beneteau First 36.7 Neptune’s Car, racing the 300nm course against both shorthanded and fully crewed teams.

Starting July 15 from Mississauga, Ontario, two courses – Main Duck Island Course (300nm) and Scotch Bonnet Island Course (185nm) – zigzag Lake Ontario before returning to host Port Credit Yacht Club.

Completing the long course in 2:11:31:04, Martin shares some observations:

• The LO300 has seen a trend towards more fully crewed boats participating, while in general we have noticed an increased in shorthanded distance racing on Lake Ontario. The LO300 was launched as a doublehanded-only event in 1990, and then was opened up to fully crewed boats in 1998. Sixty-two boats competed in 2022 of which 10 were doublehanded (six in the Main Duck Course and four in the shorter Scotch Bonnet Course)

• The LO300 is not only the longest race in Canada, it is the longest freshwater sailboat race in North America, yes, longer than the Chicago and Bayview Macs. It is run by the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing organization that run several races on Lake Ontario including the Lake Ontario Short Handed Series.

• There is a singlehanded division as well as a 600 mile division for those that think one lap of the lake is just not enough

• This 2022 race was not the “norm” as it was 90% upwind or close reaching. Less than a couple of hours of spinnaker work during the entire race. We like to go upwind! One theme that continued to hold true this year was that the LO300 is not over until it’s over. You spend days on end constantly trading places with your competitors, always having to maintain your stamina in continuously trimming the boat for maximum speed.

• Shorthanded racing has grown dramatically in the past few years with upwards of 50 boats participating in Short Handed Series events.

• Doublehanded vs Full Crew keeps the decision making quick and simple and being a father and son duo who have raced for years together we are on the same wave length (most of the time!) for strategy. Being doublehanded also keeps the boat light with a lot less gear onboard and easier for food planning.

• Boat prep was mainly safety related with all the gear needed for offshore multiple day racing. A bottom cleaning and tuning the rig to expected conditions for the long range weather forecast. Close attention to weather forecast models is key right up to the start line.

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