Jan 8/24 – 2024 SPOG Season
Please stay tuned. The local Cabal that sets the annual SPOG calendar has not had a chance to meet yet. Moby’s has just changed hands and there is a wait-and-see period with new owner before we commit to a meeting over burgers and beer.
Sep 16/23 – The CFL Ends the Hart Buck Juggernaut
September 16 was gorgeous – an incredible sunny and warm mid September day. Unfortunately the wind did not get the memo and really did not show up (at least until after lunch at Moby’s was over). The Doug Baxter Closer was a drifter with just enough wind to get one race off. The CFL managed to get ahead of Tim Slaney and mostly stay there finishing first, with Tim second, and the Ornery Measurer getting a podium finish by nature of his “intending to be there”. In the Lightnings (just show up) category, Robert Shoore’s Pele, a recent acquisition for the grand price of $Free, sailed around a sort of course missing the ferry and coming in first.
Aug 19/23 – Getting Monotonous – Hart Buck does the 3-peat
It was a fantastic sunny day with 10 boats fighting in 5 races. But really everyone was fighting a gusty westerly with lots of snakes and ladders as SPOGgers tried to navigate the many headers and stay upright in the gusts.
Jul 11/23 – Moby’s Marathon – Hart Buck Makes it 2 in a Row
Hart is accustomed to being at the lead, but he had all he could handle from new SPOGger Marcia MacDonald. On Leg 1, Marcia (a 3 time Olympian) was actually leading, but failed to notice the secret location the Committee Boat.
Jun 17/23 – Hart Buck Wins the SPOG Opener
It was an early start to summer with the heat wave starting at beginning of May. You would have thought that after 6 weeks the water would have heated up. But alas!
Six (seven if you include Marc OwenFlood who couldn’t finally of his bits) sailed this year. Hart Buck was the lone ringer from Vancouver, and despite sailing back and forth across the course ripping up spray on a beam reach, sailed well enough when it counted to stay ahead of the others and win the Opener.
Jun 20/23 – Tuesday Night Racing
Tuesday Night Racing starts on June 20. Tim will be handling things to start and want to start at 3-ish to ensure there is time for beer before his 6pm appointment.
June 24-25 is the big Lightning hoo-ha. Bill is expecting 8 boats for the 2023 Pacific Coast Championship.
May 27/23 – 2023 Season Starts in 3 Weeks
The 2023 SPOG Season starts with the Round The Isles Opener on June 17. Get your boat from under the house and sort through the rubbish for ropes and a sail.
Jan 30/23 – Is Your Laser stale dated?
If you have not sailed your Laser for a few years and are not keen on bending your body into the cockpit anymore, maybe it is time to move it on. Some boats can go to other keeners, some probably to the dumpster. Just saying!
Jan 27/23 – 2023 Dates Announced
The brain trust that forms the local cabal of SPOGgers met at Moby’s in January to decide the 2023 SPOG event calendar.
Round the Isles Opener – Jun 17
Scott Point Lightning Invitational – Jun 24-25
Moby’s Marathon- Jul 15
Long Harbour Classic – Aug 19
Doug Baxter Closer – Sep 16
And there will be Tuesday Night Racing starting on first Tuesday after the Opener. First racing and beers will be on Jun 20 around 4 – ish.
Jan 27/23 – Don Martin Wins the 2022 Season Championship
After a referral to the Replay Booth, the call on the field stands; and the 2022 Season Champion is Don Martin. Don ended up with 29 points from the 4 main events. In an almost photo finish, Allan Strain was the runner-up with 28 points. All Hail!
Sep 10/22 – The Closer Ends in a Tie
The Doug Baxter Closer was held early this year as the Old Guys have a phobia about sailing in colder weather. Three races were managed in lighter variable winds (after 3 days of a heavy westerly-sheesh). With nothing to separate them but age, Allan Strain and Tom Bradbrooke ended up in a tie for first in the Laser fleet and will share Doug’s Whisky Water Jug Trophy. Despite big improvements in each race, Gordie May’s Revenuer fell short of the mark laid down by Jeremy and Tara Smith aboard Martini in the Lightning fleet. RESULTS AND MORE
Aug 13/22 – The Long Harbour Classic was a Classic
It was a great day with 4 races in a flood tide and gusty SE’er with lots of hiking to keep the 12 Lasers and 2 Lightnings entertained. It was nice to see pre-covid numbers of attendees. Don Martin did not need his nearly dead old guy points winning 3 of the races to best Matthias Heinzemann and Thom Stubbs. The 2 Lightnings traded 1s and 2s with Jeremy and Tara Smith beating Bill Cote on a tie breaker. RESULTS AND PHOTOS HERE
Jul 31/22 – Bob and Sterling Bush Win Scott Point Lightning Invitational (also Western Canadian and PNW Championships)
Both days were HOT HOT HOT. After the 3 races on Day 1 Bob and Sterling Bush from Wilsonville, OR lead with three straight bullets. However, the strong ebb current in the longer distance Owl Islet Race on Day 2 proved to be a mystery to them and they joined Bill Cote (sailing with Don Martin aboard) and Matt Henley (with Steve White for local knowledge) stuck in a no-go zone and needing a tow home. Claire Rawlinson and Brian Woodward did a great job managing the currents and calms to come in 1, 2. But to no avail, as the Bushes had built an insurmountable lead. Claire came second, and Bill Cote third (on a tie-break with Brian Woodward).
Jul 14/22 – Sailing Instructions Posted for Scott Point Lightning Invitational
The 2022 Scott Point Lightning Invitational is also the Pacific Northwest Regional District Lightning Championship and Western Canadian Lightning Championship. The event is scheduled for the August long weekend (which is actually mostly in July) – July 30-31, 2022
Jul 9/22 – Kinsey Finds Out That Winners Drink Guinness
Proving once again that Guinness makes the difference, Steve Kinsey belatedly realized that it is an important part of the competition and managed to down a pint of the black nectar. It was a good thing as he was in a tight race with the more experienced Allan Strain – who likes his Guinness.
Jun 25/22 – Sanderson and Cote Win Opener Honours
Chris Sanderson had two 2nd place finishes and used his Really Old Old Guy status to top a 9 boat Laser field. Hart Buck (who interestingly has never won the Opener) came in 2nd and Don Martin was 3rd.
May 16/22 – 2022 Season Dates Announced
A small cabal of SPOGgers met in a dusty and dark corner of Mobys to dream up the 2022 schedule. Here it is:
Round the Isles Opener – Jun 25
Moby’s Marathon – Jul 9
Scott Point Lightning Invitational- Jul 30-31
Long Harbour Classic – Aug 13
Doug Baxter Closer – Sep 10
And there will be Tuesday Night Racing starting on Jun 28 with starts around 4:30.
October 4/21 – Don Martin Wins the Doug Baxter Closer. Steve White Takes the Season Championship
Oct 2 was a little blustery and there seemed to be more volunteers for Race Committee than sailors. But 6 hearty souls took to the water including Jeremy Baxter representing (and sailing better than) his dad. In between ferry sailings and before a general feeling of soreness from too much hiking consumed the participants, there were 3 races. Don Martin was the class of the fleet, as well as the oldest, and won all 3 races and claimed the Doug Baxter’s Whisky Water Jug trophy.
Steve White takes home the Season Championship plate by virtue of attending all the 2022 events and performing at a higher level than the CFL and Chris Sanderson,
Sep 11/21 – Laser Turns 50
One of the classic stories in Laser’s history is Hans Fogh helming the prototype Laser in an October 1970 regatta held for boats under $1000 at the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin. It was called ‘The America’s Teacup Regatta’. Ian and Hans decided to call the prototype the ‘Weekender’ with sail number TGIF, the abbreviation for ‘Thank God It’s Friday’. The Weekender prototype had never been in the water before that regatta. Hans and the Weekender went on to win the event and the rest is history.
This story and many more, including interviews with Ian Bruce, Bruce Kirby and Hans Fogh, are documented in a 1974 film “The Boat that Ian Built”. Andy Roy, great Laser sailor and Class mucky-muck, has arranged for a re-release for the 50th Anniversary.
Come out and join the 50th celebration at the MacKenzie Meander starting around 11:45 on Saturday, September 11.
Sep 5/21 – SPOG Laser 50th Update
On Saturday, September 11, SPOG will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the collaboration between Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby that ended up with the most successful sailboat ever. The celebration (nicknamed the MacKenzie Meander) will start around 11:45 and include a zany course round all the familiar SPOG landmarks, as little beating as possible. Details and Course Map HERE
All to be followed by appropriate toasts, and lunch (possibly at Mobys if enough are interested). If weather is not perfect – warm(ish), no rain, and not too much wind – celebrations may be revised to pictures and the trip to the pub.
Aug 27/21 – SPOG to Celebrate Laser’s 50th Anniversary (yes, we still call it a Laser)
Saturday, September 11 has been chosen by the Laser Class boffins as the day to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the collaboration between Ian Bruce and Bruce Kirby that ended up with the most successful sailboat ever.
And so it would be fitting that SPOG, whose members might still remember 1971, participate in this celebration. We are hoping see many SPOGgers out on the water for a fun event, including those who have tried to put their laser days behind them.
We are thinking of a perfect race in perfect conditions where everyone ties for 1st. We will start sailing around 11:00 and everyone will have to stay behind the Ornery Measurer until the last downwind leg. And everyone will have unlimited handicap points. If conditions are less than perfect, we will just align the boats, sails, flags, and sailors for a group photo. In either case, we will bugger off to Mobys for lunch and talk of past glory. Come and join in.
Aug 21/21 – Don Martin Wins Long Harbour Classic
. Don Martin used wile and age points to best the fleet in 6 races over 2 days, and becomes the first career SPOG Slam winner now having his name on all 4 main trophies. In the usual SPOG discrimination against the younger, John Polglase won 4 races, but still came in 2nd. Steve White and Allan Strain tied for 3rd. A special SPOG Thank-You to Drew Rickard for his outstanding Race Committee work.
Aug 1/21 – No Wind, Wind, No Wind, Wind, No Wind
On a fluky day, Menno Bos and his crew on 3 One, sailed 4 good races and held off a strong challenge from Ran Vered’s team aboard O3 Zone to win the 2021 Lightning Invitational. We won’t mention that a navigation miscalculation in Race 1 and an overly eager arrival at the Start of Race 4 were Vared’s undoing as he sailed a great regatta. Third place goes to Claire Rawlinson on the newly named Tempest.
July 31/21 – Lightning Invitational – Where Did the Wind Go?
After a 3 hour postponement which sent everyone to the Saturday market, a puffy breeze set up and the first race got off. But the promise of wind turned out to be illusory and the only race of the day had to be shortened. The winner was Menno Bos’ 3 One followed by Claire Rawlinson’s Tempest (there is a story here) and Vared’s O3 Zone. The three local boats, Revenuer, Azzuri and Roaring 40s were mercifully finished-on-course.
July 10/21 – Moby’s 2021 – OKAY That was Weird!
While the 2020 Race was another victim of Covid19, the 2021 race was victim of new over-zealous dock management at Salt Spring Marina. Rather than pay $10 per boat to tie up for lunch, the assembled fleet (3 Lasers, 2 Lighnings, 2 Dutch Herring Buss’) sailed longish course around Captain Passage in a very lumpy wind against tide thing. After a trip to Owl Islet Buoy, Batt Rock, and Welbury Spar, SURPRISE — Hart Buck won the lasers even after a couple of navigation errors; Bill Cote won the Lightnings; and Nicky Arnoldus won the race of classic 12 footers (but we call them dutch herring boats).
Then we all drove to Moby’s for a great lunch and cold beer. It sure was better than a beat against a growing SE’er with a full belly and fuller bladder.
June 13/21 Greg Slakov and Bill Cote Post Wins the Round the Isles Opener
With Covid protocols halting travel from the mainland, a small number of Saltspring based SPOGgers had a great day out in hot, sunny weather. Starting around noon after the ferry left, 6 Lasers (some silly fools try to tell me it is now called the ILNA Dinghy) and 1 Lightning took to the harbour in almost no wind.
With the first race worth 2 points, Greg Slakov posted a 2nd and 1st to beat Tim Slaney’s 3 and 5 and Steve White’s 4 and 2. Jeremy Baxter actually had a 1 and 3, but had to deal with the handicap for those SPOGgers in Training waiting for their 50th birthday. Bill Cote and his crew aboard Azzuro beat off all comers in the Lightning fleet and posted 2 1st place finishes.
June 6/21 Planning Underway for the Lightning Invitational
The Scott Point Lightning Invitational is set for a return in 2021 after taking a Covid break in 2020. With the expected easing of travel restrictions and hope for opening of the US/CAN border, teams are eager to get back on the course
The 2021 event is set for Saturday July 31 and Sunday Aug 1. Teams from Salt Spring, Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Lake are already making plans.
June 1/21 SPOG Gets to Go Sailing
Round the Isles Opener is good to go for Jun 12. Sort of!
Dr.Bonnie lifted restrictions on outdoor activities and BC Sailing says racing can commence. So June 12 will see a few boats sail around the rocky bits of Long Harbour.
But this will have to be an Islanders Only event as inter-health region travel is still restricted.
Apr 11/21 Ornery Measurer Gets Ornerier
Today SPOG announces a new handicap category for those 80 and older. SOOG’s are Super Old Old Guys and get at least 4 or 5 points per race. Ron McKenzie, SPOG’s very own Ornery Measurer and inspiration for the whole damn thing, is the first SPOGger to reach that mighty milestone. We are sad that we cannot be with Ron and Joan to celebrate, but look forward to seeing Ron on his ancient laser “Mr. Bil” on Long Harbour this summer.