Provided by the Stormont Yacht Club
Long Sault, Ontario – Many yacht clubs are steeped in tradition. The Stormont Yacht Club (SYC) is no different. The original Enduro race was a 24 hour dinghy race. It started in the mid 1970s and lasted 3-4 years. Usually six to eight boats participated with boats from SYC and other clubs. Over the past year, a nasty storm has hit overnight and unfortunately brought the Enduro to a halt.
Fast forward to 2019 and then fleet captain Paul Rodrigue had a vision to resurrect the race. After seeing the Enduro Trophy at the club, he knew he had to do something. The dinghies were replaced by keelboats and the 24 hour time limit would become 12 hours. In the summer of 2019, Enduro racing came back to life. Four boats ventured into the bay to begin a 12-hour race around Sheek Island. The boat that completes the most laps around Sheek and passes the clubhouse wins. Even with the COVID restrictions, SYC was able to successfully stage the race in 2020 and 2021.
SYC is proud to say that the tradition has continued with Enduro 2022! Very light winds would accommodate 4 boats in SYC Bay at 11am Oct 1st for the start. Mattea (Skipper Lynn-Marie Legault and crew Cory Petrie), Normal Node (Skipper Scott Smith and crew Jeff Ridal), Essoin (Skipper Chris Williamson and crew Nathalie Desrosier) and Sylphid I (Skipper John Becker and crew Matt Becker, Matthew Ogonoski & Gabe Rosenbaum) were ready to go.
They would race until 11 p.m. and the boat with the most laps around Sheek Island would be declared the winner. The winds were so light that spinnakers were needed almost immediately. It would take 5 hours before the first boat circled the beacon in front of the clubhouse.
The winds finally started picking up around 8pm and all boats reported fine sailing reaching over 7 knots. Mattea crew member Cory Petrie reported waves past the buoys at Devils Waters. The adrenaline started to rise!
At 8:20 p.m., Mattea and Essoin had completed 3 laps. Mattea completed his 4e turn at 9:30 p.m. with Essoin only a few minutes late. It was still a race to the finish! As we approached 11 p.m. a boat crossed the mark but the ground support team could not fully identify which boat. Was it Mattea or Essoin?
After some confusion and radio communication, Mattea was declared the winner at 11:10 p.m. along with Skipper Lynn-Marie Legault and her crew, Cory Petrie. A hot meal awaited our exhausted but happy sailors at the clubhouse. What a day!
Mattea’s Skipper exclaimed: Mattea exceeded my expectations and reached 7.3 knts! At night with very strong winds, big waves and little or no visibility, we were on the run. With an accidental gybe, the slapping of the boom, the billowing sails, the noise was deafening and eerie in the dark.
For more information on SYC membership, visit https://www.stormontyachtclub.ca/. The club is located at 17 Robin Road in Long Sault.