Photo Credit to George Linthicum
Big breeze and rain for day one met Canadian and American Albacore sailors at Miles River Yacht Club for the start of the 2023 North American Championships held in St. Michaels, Maryland October 7-9. Six Canadian teams traveled south to compete in the event from Toronto for a total of 19 boats registered. After a short onshore postponement, the race committee headed out to set the course for what would be a fresh and fast three races. The wind increased as the day went on, with the last race seeing a sustained 20+ knots. Double triangles were the course du jour which fed the adrenaline loving sailors of the fleet. Blast reaching and sketchy jibes allowed for a most exciting and tiring day of Albacore sailing. There were several capsizes, which showcased the breezy conditions. Gale Warning (Barney Harris, Ernest Ayukawa) and Strung Out (Darren Monster, Mabel Chan) were in a league of their own sharing first and second in each race. Back on shore sailors warmed up, de-rigged, and headed inside the MRYC clubhouse for a fantastic dinner. During a brief intermission from refueling, a couple of daily awards were handed out. The “Middle of the Pack “award and the “Dumb Decision of the Day” award were given to Dave Tingle and Albert Chau and the DDD award went to Bob Bear and Michael Tellep.
After dinner, the US Albacore Association held its AGM and nominated its executive board. Two board members stepped down allowing for a new Secretary and Vice President to be elected. Greg Jordan was elected secretary and Tyler Philips was elected Vice President.
As the sun rose on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, it became clear another windy day was upon the sailors for day two. Four races were held on Miles River in 14-16 knots. Olympic and Triangle courses were sailed. The race committee did a great job of firing off the races and keeping things moving along. Back on shore sailors gathered at Foxy’s for dinner and Albacore trivia. Leading the trivia was Master of Ceremonies, Ralph Glass. Saturday’s winners of the daily awards were Marty Minot and Jordan Minot. The DDD award went to Stephanie Stalinski and Mr. MC himself, Ralph Glass who did a fantastic job!
There was a lot to play for on Monday as 2nd and 3rd place were still very much up for grabs. An offshore breeze meant the day would be all about connecting the dots, going from one puff to the next. The Albacores, now very much used to ripping across the river, were at times becalmed. Skippers and crews spent a great deal of time searching for the next zephyr to pass a couple of boats before the next mark. Back on land, sailors worked together to de-rig and load up boats onto trailers. After the awards were handed out, Chris Bennett made an incredibly generous offer to the American Albacores. He gave a burgee from J-Town, a sailing club in Toronto, to Eva Hogan and said if she makes it up to the Mecca of North American Albacore sailing and presents the burgee, she would be provided with a boat for three days of racing.
Congratulations to AL 8261 Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa on winning the 2023 Albacore North American Championship. Rounding out the podium were Darren Monster and Mabel Chan in AL 7363, and Stephen and Ian Duncan sailing in AL 8199. Top female helm went to Stephanie Stalinski, who sailed in AL 5009 with Ralph Glass.
2023 North Americans Photo Album
Photo Credit to George Linthicum