This past weekend at the Hall Street wharf the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association hosted their first event of the 2014 season — the Nelson Cup Regatta.
The two-day race, which fell over the Mother’s Day weekend, saw a great turnout from sailors from all around the West Kootenay with a total of 16 boats and almost 80 sailors entered into the event.
“It was probably the best turnout we have ever had for this Regatta which is the biggest of the year,” said race captain Jim Reaburn.
After two full days of racing, the overall winner was Richard Deane of Rossland, captain of Wind Song, who captured the first cup of the season.
“He’s a consistent winner up at Gray Creek, but this was the first time he had been in the Nelson Cup Regatta and won the event,” said Reaburn.
Although rain on Saturday morning threatened to keep spirits low, by the time the third fleet started their first race the wind was gusting and the rain had stopped.
“The conditions were all over the map. We had super strong gusts that came barreling down out of the Ymir Valley. Sailing on the Nelson shore is really tricky because of the prevailing wind. It was exciting, everything from no wind to lots of wind,” said Hal Rezansoff, skipper of the Mallard.
The first day of the regatta concluded in thrilling fashion when Fast Forward, skippered by John Martin, had a man overboard.
For Martin’s efforts getting his crew back into the boat, they were given a couple of floaties as a consolation prize.
“He did a very marvelous job if getting them back into the boat very quickly,” commented Reaburn.
The regatta’s second day proved to be excellent for all of the boats.
“On Sunday it was forecasted to be extremely light winds. They were out of the north and just perfect for racing. They really exceeded everyone’s expectations. It was a stellar weekend,” said Jay Blackmore, crew member on Achates.
For the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association, which is made up of 75 members and about 30 boats, the season’s first regatta was a big success.
“It was a very successful event. It probably had the highest number of calibre sailors we have had in years,” said Reaburn.
“We are developing quite a good sailing corps in Nelson; there are a couple of very high end sailors in town here and they kind of just come out of the woodwork. It is developing very nicely.”
The regatta was divided into three fleets based on each boat’s handicap and speed. The first was made up of the fastest boats, the second fleet the next fastest, and the third comprised the slowest boats.
The fleet A winner was Reaburn, skipper of Orbit, the winner of Fleet B was Martin Le Marquand in Midnight Rambler, and the winner of fleet C and the overall winner with the most first place finishes of the weekend was Richard Deane and his crew sailing in Wind Song.
The next event for the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association will be the Father’s Day Regatta at Kokanee Park on June 14 and 15, followed by the Gray Creek Regatta which is the second biggest of the season.