The Long Harbour Classic is the premier event of the SPOG season and the unofficial annual championship. Held sometime near the end of the summer, this is a regatta series of short races in the confines of Long Harbour around the crab traps and other obstacles (with apologies to BC Ferries). The winner claims the Kerr Trophy, rededicated in 2009, previously given for Best Canadian Bred Boston (which we believe is a type of hog).
Hart Buck Takes the 2018 Classic in a Squeaker. Bill Cote wins the Lightning Match Race
After the longest, sunniest summer on record, Day 1 of the Long Harbour Classic started in a cold drizzle. But the SE wind was perfect, even if the shifts caused some anguish. 5 races were put on the sheet before ferry traffic and general fatigue brought things to a halt.
At the very end of the day, Robert Shoore was gentlemen enough to stand for the salute with the customary five horns from the ferry. Former champs Thom Stubbs and Hart Buck – both Old Guys (over 50, less than 60) are even at the front of the pack going into Day 2. goes on August 25, 26. Among the bulk of fleet of Older Old Guys and Really Old Old Guys (over 60), Brian Woodward, Hugh Jarvis and Allan Strain are duking out.
Day 2 of the Classic was all out war in somewhat sketchy zephyrs. The 1st race had to be abandoned as the wind died and the ferry threatened to treat the fleet like speed bumps. When we finally got a race off, Greg Slakov finally found his defending champion form to win the race, with Brian Woodward in 2nd, Thom Stubbs in 3rd and Hart Buck in 4th. With 2015 champ Stubbs holding a 1 point lead over 2017 champ Buck, it was going to be a match race.
After 2 General Recalls, the race was on. Hart used his wily experience to put 2 places between him and Thom to win the race and the regatta. Thom Stubbs placed second and Greg Slakov third.
Bill Cote and his crew on Revenuer finally had some boat on boat competition in the Lightning fleet. With 5 wins in 6 races, they add another tag to the Lantern Trophy. But Robert Shoore wins the Best in Show prize for his wonderful Lightning restoration.
In the battle for Season Champion, Brian Woodward pulled into the lead and hoping for a Two-Peat with a 4th place finish in the Classic. But Allan Strain is hanging on and his 5th place finish leaves him one point behind Brian heading into the Doug Baxter Closer at Thanksgiving.
Thank You’s go out to the great Race Committee – Marilyn Woodward, Jean Cote (who did double duty as photographer and time keeper), Carolyn Matthews, Maya Gudmunseth, Jeremy “Hornblower” Brandlmeyer, and Grant Brandlmeyer in the Rescue Boat. And special Thank You’s go out to Kim Ballantyne and her team of helpers including Clare Strain, Lynn Bradbrooke, and Lorna Pawluk for putting on such a fabulous feat the Commodore’s Dinner.