Port Credit Yacht Club (PCYC) has a 36-year history of supporting the Lake Ontario Short Handed Racing Series which originated in 1997 as the Lake Ontario Single-Handed Racing Series. Now, it constitutes 6 races over four separate weekends and is acknowledged by Derek Hatfield, skipper of Spirit of Canada as the series that first got him interested in long distance, single handed sailing.
In 2003, this challenging racing series expanded from the exclusive domain of the single-handers to include a double-handed start. In 2004, there were almost as many vessels with a skipper and one crewmember as there were single-handers.
In 2011 over 120 yachts registered, and the fleet averaged over 75 boats on the starting line for each race. This allowed the organizing committee to establish 13 divisions for tight, fair competition, and a fantastic opportunity to put your names on over 31 trophies.
All boats are raced either single-handed (one skipper) or double-handed (one skipper and one crew member). The fleet and skippers are placed into similarly rated divisions for awards, flags and trophies. As well as separate classes for single and double-handed, the boats utilize their PHRF ratings and can fly spinnaker or white-sail. The coveted trophies, awards, flags and keepsakes associated with this series are varied, and sought after. The racing series has its own Awards Banquet, held at the Port Credit Yacht Club in November.
Come away from the series with more confidence and expertise at short-handed sailing, by sharing the roles of skipper, crew, navigator, and galley cook between only one or at max two people. You also have the option of enjoying the solitude, thrill and frustration of sailing your yacht single-handed!
Remember, there is a lot of help associate with this fleet, and during the season, you can learn how to equip, handle and race your yacht against similarly rated sailboats. LOSHRS boats typically range from purpose built ‘racers’ to heavy displacement ‘cruising’ sailboats. It all comes up more or less even with the PHRF rating system.
Why not provision your yacht with your favourite, snacks, drinks and hors-d’oeuvres to toast your fellow competitors/revelers at the end of the race. Bring along some mellow or rockin’ tunes. After securing your yacht, join our fellow skippers, friends and colleagues for a sit-down dinner at the hosting club. If you like, you can even invite your spouse to join you for the festivities.
The camaraderie of competitors and the interesting characters that race short handed always make for a memorable and fun time before, during and after the events.