2016 North Channel Race serves up a great set of legs

The crew of Harmony II, Jack Groom, Paul Siberry, Steve Ward and Mike Norton pose with the trophy as overall winners of the North Channel Race Week during a dinner held at the Anchor Inn Hotel on Friday, July 22. photos by Michael Erskine

NORTH CHANNEL—The second annual North Channel Race Week came to a conclusion with a well-attended celebration at the Anchor Inn Hotel on Friday, July 22.

The North Channel Race Week was created by the Algoma Sailing Club in partnership with the North Channel Yacht Club and the Little Current Yacht Club in 2014. The five-day race takes sailors through the outstanding waters and scenery of the North Channel, ranging from Hilton Beach to Little Current with port stop-overs in Thessalon, Blind River, Spragge and Gore Bay. Since its inception, the race has been expanded to include the Blind River Yacht Club.

“This has been a great week of sailing,” said NCRW chair Gordon Simpson during a break in the awards ceremony preceding dinner. “Everyone seems to be having a great time,” he added, gesturing to the laughter and animated conversations taking place throughout the bar.

Overall winner of the Spinnaker Class was Harmony II and the team of Jack Groom, Paul Siberry, Steve Ward and Mike Norton.

Overall winner of the Jam Class was Echo, with the two-person team of Gerry and Carol Neave.

The captain and crew of Riga were the winners of the Gore Bay to Little Current leg of the North Channel Race Week. The team poses here with race co-chair Gordon Simpson, right in photo.
The captain and crew of Riga were the winners of the Gore Bay to Little Current leg of the North Channel Race Week. The team poses here with race co-chair Gordon Simpson, right in photo.

The winners of the Gore Bay to Little Current leg of the Jam Class NCRW were originally announced as RIGA, skippered by John Abols with first mate Diane Abols and crew member Mike Cooms of Kagawong. Mr. Cooms is well-known by the acronym MBB. “That’s ‘Mary Buie’s brother’,” he laughed.

There were only four of the five legs of the race completed this year, as leg 3, the Blind River to Spragge leg, was left bereft of wind one and a half hours after a promising start under mild breezes.

Leg 1 winners (17.5 nautical miles from Hilton Beach to Thessalon) was again Harmony II. Leg 2 (24 nautical miles from Thessalon to Blind River) winners were Skyship with Gordon Simpson, Glenn Simpson, Leroy Pieri and Phillip Routh. Leg 4 (19.6 nautical miles from Spragge to Gore Bay) were Elusive with Tim Matheson, John Gamble, Terri Munn, Bruce Draper and Glenn Estill. Leg 5 (21 nautical miles from Gore Bay to Little Current) winners were Blue Jacket with Peter Zieleniewski, Brent Masson, Bob McCallum and Greg Wright (of Little Current).