Lake Ontario 600 Challenge

The First Lake Ontario 600 Challenge

“Double the Fun, Double the Challenge” 

Have you ever wanted to sail the Newport to Bermuda Race, The Fastnet Race, or the Sydney to Hobart Race, but just didn’t have the time, experience, or enough saltwater in your veins to quite get to the starting line????  Well, we may just have the answer for you, with a challenge almost as long, from the comfort of your own back yard!  Read on…..

While thinking about different ways to celebrate the 25th running of the Longest Annual Freshwater Race in the World, the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Group (LOORG) came up with the idea which is as simple as it is challenging.  Why not a challenge which is, simply, twice as long, and twice as challenging, as the Lake Ontario 300?  Therefore, in collaboration with the 25th Annual Lake Ontario 300 Race, the LOORG is pleased to announce the 1st running of the Lake Ontario 600 Offshore Challenge.

Why:  Every other year, the Chicago and Port Huron Mackinac Races offer a “Super Mac” course, which is simply Port Huron to Chicago, or Chicago to Port Huron (depending on where the yachts start their respective races).  In racing a “Super Mac”, the yachts cross through the finish line, being scored for the Mackinac Race, then continue on to the finish line of the Super Mac, which is actually the start line area of the other lakes’ race.   Since Lake Ontario is separated from the other lakes, we do not have quite the same option, but we DO have the option……of TWICE AROUND.

What and Where:  The idea is simply this:  Sign up for the Lake Ontario 600 when registering for this years’ race.  Sail the Lake Ontario 300 race course, cross the finish line at PCYC (being scored for the Lake Ontario 300 division in which you are sailing), and then complete the course a second time, continuing on again to Gibraltar Point, Ford Shoal, Main Duck and Yorkshire Islands, and the Niagara Bar Buoy, before returning again to the PCYC turning mark and finish line.

Who and How:  Intrigued yet?  Are you ready to try this Challenge….fantastic news.  This Challenge is open to all divisions; Fully Crewed, Double Handed, and Single Handed yachts.  However there are a few pre-requisites to consider.  First off, safety is our number one concern.  Therefore, in the Fully Crewed and Double Handed divisions, we will be limiting this challenge only to “skippers who have completed at least one Main Duck Course Lake Ontario 300 Race in the past”.  Choose your co-skipper and or crew wisely, crew with both the experience and time availability to complete this challenge.  For the Solo Division, we will be limiting this challenge to members of the Great Lakes Single Handed Society (GLSS) only, meaning there are currently 18 skippers from Lake Ontario eligible.  GLSS members from the other Great Lakes (regardless of whether they have sailed a Lake Ontario 300 Race) are also eligible.  In addition, only yachts with a PHRF rating of 183 and lower (or corresponding level of IRC rating) will be qualified to sail in this Challenge.  Finally, all yachts registered for the LO600 Challenge WILL BE subject to a Pre-Race Inspection at PCYC, prior to the July 12th start of the race.

Registration Instructions: Since the Lake Ontario 600 is really two races in one, we need to perform some manual tweaking to your registration in YachtScoring to make it work and score you for the LO300 and the LO600 separately. Please select the LO600 course when registering in YachtScoring and indicate in the comment box whether you are racing solo, double-handed or fully crewed; this informs us you wish to participate in the new challenge. We will then manually create a second entry for your participation in the LO300 and add a LO600 suffix to your yacht name for the LO600 entry.

Remember…..this is truly a Challenge, in the spirit of the original sailors of the 1990 Fujinon 300 Challenge.  Even if you do not complete the “second lap”, you will still be scored for your Lake Ontario 300 finish of the “first lap”.  The LOORG is working on some very special prizes and new trophies for the Lake Ontario 600 Challenge.  Depending on the interest level in the race, this may be a Bi-Annual Race, or a Tri-Annual Race.  So why not be a part of something really special this year?  Sign up today for the 1st Lake Ontario 600 Challenge, on Yacht Scoring, and challenge yourself and your crew this year!!!!

For more information, please contact Brent Hughes at 416-984-7967, or bhughes@ucci.ca.

 

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