2017 Soling 1Meter “CanAm Challenge” Regatta – Stowe, VT
by Charlie Berry

The 9th Annual CanAm Challenge Regatta for Soling 1M’s was held in Stowe, VT on Aug. 26 & 27. The event drew 29 entries this year, 15 from the USA and 14 from Canada. We limited registration to 15 participants from each country, which created a good balance for team honors. We used the Odd/Even system, which works well with the regatta’s theme: “A Friendly Cross-Border Rivalry”. Racing was based on individual performance but we also scored the two countries as follows: Take the average score of the top 10 skippers from each country, cumulate these averages and take the “average of averages”. This made for a very close and unpredictable outcome until the last race was completed.

Winds were very light & variable for Saturday (what’s new, Stowe?). The Race Committee managed to run a total of 10 races (20 heats) that day. At day’s end, Jack Ward held a two-point lead over Jim Goddard. These two sailors held a substantial lead over the balance of the fleet. That evening, the Commodores Inn held its popular roast beef buffet dinner. And after dinner, Jim Goddard and Bob “Boots” Boutilier presented me with a Canadian Maple Leaf T shirt for years of running (and sometimes racing in) the CanAm. Much appreciated, guys.

The forecast for Sunday was for virtually no wind, thanks to a high pressure system on top of us (great weather, just no wind). Fortunately, a light northwesterly developed after the first set of races, allowing the RC to run off six races before we finished up for lunch & awards.

In what was a very close battle throughout the weekend, Jim Goddard held off Jack Ward by just one point to take home first place. Bruce Nourjian had a strong day on Sunday, moving up on the top two, but there was too much separation after Saturday to close the gap. He finished just three points behind Jack. Chuck Millican, sailing just 12 days after hip surgery, finished an impressive 4th, considering he could only walk a short portion of the course. Don Ouimette rounded out the top 5.

Did the Canadian gift of the Maple Leaf T shirt to the RD backfire? I wore the shirt on Sunday, perhaps providing a curse on Team Canada. Its top 10 skippers averaged a 5.96 finish; Team USA won the team trophy with a 5.20 average. And, yes, the chant “Wait til next year” was yet again heard during the awards.

Summary Version:

            Event: CanAm Challenge Regatta

            Class:  Soling 1M

            Date:   August 26 & 27, 2017

            Location: Commodores Inn, Stowe, VT

            Host Club: Stowe Yacht Club (#159)

            Entries: 29

            Winds: Light & Very Variable

            Races completed: 16 (32 Heats)

            Scoring System: Two-Fleet Odd/Even; Low Point

            Regatta Committee: Charlie Berry, Rosemarie Fitzhugh, Bob & Suzan Letwenski, Louise Townsend


2017 Soling 1M CanAm Challenge: Top 10 — 16 Races (32 Heats); 2 Throw Outs


Others (in finish order): Bill Croft, John McKinney, Peter DeWolfe, Graeme Welch, Tim Stone, Don McDermaid, Gary Bugden, Ron Prokop, George Townsend, Julian Whittaker, Jose Montcalm, Clark Abbott, Tim Peat, John Martin, Rick Wakeman, Robert De Gols, John Rankin, Paul Erickson, Jim Linville.

 2017 CanAm top 5

Top 5 – From left to right: