Crews sail away with Cape Breton memories
North Sydney boat best in its class
Favourable winds made for billowing sails and faster than expected times as Cape Breton’s premier sailing regatta wrapped up Saturday in Sydney harbour.
The fifth and final leg of the five-race competition ended at Westmount’s Dobson Yacht Club after more than three dozen competitive boats and many more of the recreational cruising class made the trip from Ingonish in much faster times than were anticipated, with the first vessels entering the harbour around 3 p.m.
The last race — the Casino Nova Scotia Cibou Cup — was a far cry from the first leg of the annual competition that saw the finishing line changed after boats were left languishing on the Bras d’Or with hardly any wind to fill their sails.
“It has been an absolutely fabulous event,” said regatta co-ordinator Jen Rowe. “Everybody seems to have had a wonderful time and after the disappointment of the first day, the sailing conditions have been perfect.”
The Lunenburg-based Poohsticks proved to be the fastest boat in the spinnaker fleet, while the Windermere of the Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney was the best of the non-spinnaker boats.
The third edition of Race the Cape began Monday in St. Peter’s and included ports of call in Ben Eoin, Baddeck, North Sydney, In- gonish and Sydney.
The legs to and from Ingonish marked the first time the competition went “down north” but Rowe said it will not be the last.
“The crews just loved it. There is no doubt that we will be going back there,” she said.
The weeklong regatta also in- cluded daily social events featuring local entertainment and good food. Wednesday’s layoff day gave crews a chance to explore the island and many visited the Bell Museum in Baddeck, toured the Cabot Trail and golfed, while others opted for a quiet day on the Bras d’Or.
“And that is what it is all about — a great competition with great people in a great place,” said Rowe, who admitted she and the event’s many volunteers are very much ready for some rest.
The distinctive Batman-themed sail of Sea Smoke was clearly visible as the Halifax-based fractional sloop made its way across Sydney harbour at the conclusion of Race the Cape 2015 on Saturday.