Race the Cape

Lack of wind meant late ar­rival in Ben Eoin in first leg of Race the Cape

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - sports@cb­post.com BY KEN MACLEOD

Lack of wind meant late ar­rival in Ben Eoin in first leg of Race the Cape.

Hurry up and wait was the or­der of day as Race the Cape 2015 fin­ished the first stage of the an­nual sail­ing race from St. Peter’s to Ben Eoin later than an­tic­i­pated early Mon­day evening, due to a lack of wind on the south­ern part of the Bras d’Or Lake.

“There’s very light wind and the sail­boats are just bob­bing around out there,” said re­gatta co-or­di­na­tor Jen­nifer Rowe, as vol­un­teer staff waited at the Ben Eoin Yacht Club for the 40-some of­fi­cial en­trants to come into view. “There’s no way to de­ter­mine what the wind will be like. You have good wind some days and bad wind on oth­ers — it’s just Mother Na­ture.”

The third year of the an­nual Cape Bre­ton sail­ing race that in­cludes five legs of rac­ing around the Bras d’Or Lake, fin­ish­ing up Satur­day in Syd­ney, will see a new wrin­kle this year with the in­tro­duc­tion of a “cruis­ing class” to the race.

“The race is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, so this year, we’ve changed it a lit­tle bit by adding a cruis­ing class where the boats aren’t re­ally com­pet­ing, but are just fol­low­ing the other boats.”

Not sur­pris­ingly, one such cruis­ing class ves­sel, the Aca­dian Gemini, with Don Boudreau and Lorna Ben­nett aboard, was the first to ar­rive in Ben Eoin, mo­tor­ing into the yacht club while the com­pet­i­tive boats were still un­der sail.

The Hal­i­fax res­i­dents — Boudreau is orig­i­nally from Wedge­port, N.S., and Ben­nett hails from Cox­heath — have only had Aca­dian Gemini in the wa­ter for two years af­ter buy­ing her in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, and this is their first time tak­ing part in Race the Cape.

De­spite the lack of wind on the course, they say they had a pretty good time out on the wa­ter Mon­day.

“We were sup­posed to fol­low the fleet, but be­cause there was no wind, we got here be­fore ev­ery­one else.

“It was so flat and sunny, I think the jel­ly­fish were ac­tu­ally sun­ning them­selves.”

With Ben­nett be­ing a na­tive Cape Bre­toner, the cou­ple had been look­ing for­ward to sail­ing the Bras d’Or.

“It was a nice chance to come up and see the (Bras d’Or) Lake,” said Boudreau. We heard it was a great place to sail and we also wanted to get some ex­pe­ri­ence on the wa­ter.”

As rel­a­tively in­ex­pe­ri­enced sailors, the cou­ple didn’t travel up the coast to Cape Bre­ton all by their lone­some.

“We ‘buddy-boated’ our way to Cape Bre­ton with three other boats,” said Boudreau, “so we learned a bit about sail­ing through that.”

So far, they’ve been en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence and will take some good mem­o­ries back to Hal­i­fax with them.

“Go­ing through the St. Peter’s locks was in­ter­est­ing — if you want to ex­pe­ri­ence the Lake, this is the way to do it.”

Vol­un­teer Ann Chaf­fey, from Cor­ner Brook, N.L., was work­ing the re­tail tent at the ben Eoin Yacht Club on Mon­day as she pa­tiently waited for the sail­boats to ar­rive. She and her hus­band, David, have come over from New­found­land each year of Race the Cape, where David crews for Avatar, a Cape Bre­ton sail­boat owned by a fam­ily friend.

“We en­joy the ca­ma­raderie of the sailors and I love the fact that it brings the event to small com­mu­ni­ties all over Cape Bre­ton,” she said. “And as a New­found­lan­der, I feel we share some­thing with Cape Bre­ton­ers — we were wel­comed with open arms.”

To­day’s leg of Race the Cape is the Barra Strait Cup Yacht Race, with a 10 a.m. start from the Ben Eoin Yacht Club to the Bras d’Or Yacht Club in Baddeck, a dis­tance of 30 nau­ti­cal miles.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the event go to www.racethe­cape.ca.

KEN MACLEOD/CAPE BRE­TON POST

From left, Don Boudreau, for­merly of Wedge­port, N.S., and Lorna Ben­nett, for­merly of Cox­heath, re­lax in their sail­boat, Aca­dian Gemini, at the Ben Eoin Yacht Club, Mon­day af­ter­noon. The Hal­i­fax res­i­dents reached the yacht club long be­fore the rest of the boats fin­ished the St. Peter’s to Ben Eoin leg of Race the Cape 2015, mainly be­cause Aca­dian Gemini is en­tered in the non-com­pet­i­tive cruis­ing class that’s part of the race for the first time this year. They were able to mo­tor in on a day that made for slow go­ing by sail be­cause of a lack of wind.

Chaf­fey

Rowe

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