2004 AEC Wayfarer Worlds
the Worlds from a U.K. perspective
by Toby Mace and Neil Fletcher

Wayfarer Worlds Race Reports


Six Waldringfield Wayfarers went to Toronto for the Wayfarer Worlds from 2nd to 7th August. In total 16 boats were shipped from Great Britain and 2 from Northern Ireland with a further 2 UK teams borrowing boats in Canada. A total of 59 teams took part, coming from UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, USA and naturally, Canada.
Full results can be found at: www.pcyc.net/fleet/Wayfarer/index.htm

Day 1
Port Credit Yacht Club and Mississauga Sailing Club are jointly hosting 59 boats at the 12th Wayfarer World Championships on Lake Ontario, Toronto. The six Waldringfield boats had the most eventful journey with their container pulled by Canadian customs, with all boats emptied and reloaded resulting in them arriving just hours before the measurement sessions were due to begin.
Wind conditions on Lake Ontario in August are strange and unpredictable to say the least. Early reports from the first to take to the water were of light, variable winds and lots of holes. However Monday's practice race was held in a perfect steady F3, with Ian Porter gaining an early lead. However he couldn't really be bothered to finish, leaving this one to team Barker. The rest of the fleet soon discovered that lakes do in fact have currents. This resulted in many boats hitting the pin or windward marks. The race committee also needed the practice, learning which way up to hoist a Wayfarer class flag and how best to hide the signing off sheets from the competitors. Failing to sign off results in "Jerk" points being awarded and beers all round for the sailing committee.
Tuesday started in similar conditions, hot and breezy with a steady F3. Roger Challis/Mark Johnstone took a stonking lead by hitting the right side hard. However Ian Porter/Kevan Gibb gradually reeled them in, and Challis/Johnstone with frayed nerves in the falling wind lost out in a tacking duel right before the finish line. Neil Fletcher/Chas Edwards conscientiously covered Graham & Robin Barker and Gordon & Emma Harris with the boats finishing in that order.
The second race (after a forecast of 15 knots) became a drifter by the end of the first beat as a thunderstorm blew past. This resulted in most of the fleet going backwards in the current. John Goudie/Suzanne Hall benefitted from their newly slimmed down centreboard (having had to plane it down after measurement) to take first place, with Porter/Gibb second and Søren Jensen/Jesper Friis third.

Day 2
Race 3 saw some of the closest and most tactical racing of the week so far. The race officer made a great call to wait 2 and a half hours until the shifty wind eventually settled to a force 2-3 northwesterly. However, it took 3 attempts to get the fleet away, with a short, biased line causing a great deal of bunching. Olympic course today – hooray! (the Brits seem to favour Olympic courses but the North Americans definitely prefer windward/leeward, so we’re doing alternate days)
Challis and Johnston again hit a corner and again were first to the windward mark. But after a poor start, Porter and Gibb worked their way through the fleet, eventually taking the lead on the second beat. They had to work hard to keep the lead throughout the race with Challis/Johnston hounding them all the way. However, after being there or thereabouts throughout, Hartley and Philp sailed well to make it through to second with Challis/Johnston third.
Behind the leading battle the fleet were closing, big shifts and a large hole in the centre giving the opportunity for some massive gains (& losses). Fletcher and Edwards made the most of it to secure fourth right on the line from Ted and Wendy Gadd, with team Harris 6th. Biggest losers were probably Toby Mace/Rachael Rhodes and also the Barkers, both boats having to do turns and consequently dropping them from about 4th and 8th to 10th and 18th respectively. However this was enough to boost Mace/Rhodes to third place overall behind Porter/Gibb and Challis/Johnson.
Unfortunately race 4 was abandoned as the delay earlier in the day led the race committee to believe the wind would drop before another race could be completed.

Day 3
Thursday brought completely new conditions with windward / leeward courses and 3 races planned to replace the race missed yesterday. A fresh and at some stage very fresh cold northerly breeze caused huge and unpredictable rolling waves accompanied by some very strong gusts.
Race 4: Alan Chaplin made a perfect pin end start and crossed half the fleet on port tack. A third of the fleet misread the lay line and ended up over standing the windward mark, meeting boats bearing away frantically hoisting spinnakers.
John Hartley and Neil Fletcher pushed Porter and Gibb who managed to pick the right shifts to pass and then cover up the remaining beat.
Race 5: The star of race 5 was the partnership sailing Bizarre. After a poor start and rounding 30th at the windward mark, Dan and Guy stormed downwind and picked the shifts masterfully on the remaining beats to finish close behind Porter and Gibb who also had their work cut out with rounding 8th at the windward mark, but surfed the waves in the gusty conditions to cross the line first, with Fletcher and Edwards 3rd.
Race 6 saw the wind increase yet again with some severe gusts coming through at times catching many boats by surprise. Some boats even turned ashore to rest tired legs, but not 90-year-old George Blanchard who was still showing the youngsters a few tricks!
The starboard end of the line was favoured and Porter and Gibb rounded the windward mark first followed by the Spinaway father and daughter crew.
The downwind legs were very exciting and somewhat scary at times with many boats capsizing. Toby Mace and crew Rachael managed to pull through to secure 3rd position closely followed by the Northern Irish boys in Sink the Pink.

Day 4
Another blustery day, but today was choppy water conditions over moderate swell, rather than the big rollers of Thursday. Race 7 was the first chance of the championships to get some real speed up on the three sail reaches. Mace/Rhodes rounded the windward mark in 6th place but pulled through to second place behind Porter/Gibb at the gybe mark in a tight and delicately balanced F5 reach. Local boats Schönborn/Bennett and the Rahns demonstrated that they too can hack the stronger stuff notching up 3rd and 5th places respectively, their best results of the event.
Race 8: Roger Challis made it to the windward mark first again, only to be overtaken on the reaches, now gusting F6, by Fletcher/Edwards and Mace/Rhodes. Meanwhile Porter/Gibb sneaked through in a cloud of spray down to leeward on a hairy, edge of seat reach. Mace/Rhodes gybed outside Challis/Johnston but then the Challis mast decided to call it a day, and Fletcher/Edwards couldn’t hold the lay-line and had to drop the kite. This left Porter/Gibb first at the leeward mark, followed by Mace/Rhodes. However Fletcher/Edwards and team Harris correctly chose the left of the second beat to pull ahead of Mace/Rhodes, the boats finishing in that order. On the third and final beat Fletcher/Edwards nearly managed to overhaul Porter/Gibb but were more concerned about protecting for position against Harris and Mace, and let Porter keep the lead in order to maintain cover on the following two boats. Meanwhile team Barker ditched twice but somehow still managed to finish in 11th place.

Day 5
Race 9 (final race): No wind and overcast today - start delayed for nearly 2 hours waiting for a F2 lake breeze to fill in. This was going to be a tense race for the Waldringfield boats with Mace/Rhodes, Fletcher/Edwards and team Harris slogging it out for 2nd, 3rd and 4th places overall. Porter/Gibb, having already won the event, decided not to compete in this race. Team Barker got a perfect pin-end start and sailed off to win. The Waldringfield battle lines were drawn and the three boats crossed tacks off the line looking for clear air. Fletcher/Edwards failed to escape in time from a starboard sitter forcing them left, and that was their race over. Harris and Mace were tied at the top of the beat, and down the run. Both boats chose the port-hand gate mark and a tense tacking duel left Harris ahead. However Mace/Rhodes spotted the wind veering steadily and chose he right side, to just beat Harris to the second windward mark. Going right down the run consolidated the Mace lead. This left Mace/Rhodes 2nd in the race and 2nd overall, team Harris in 3rd overall and Fletcher/Edwards discarding to get 4th place overall.
This championship had it all. Light and shifty, steady and constant, strong and gusty, flat water, choppy water, rollers, Olympic and up/down courses. Excellent sailing and a wonderful race officer (John Weakley and team), a friendly club and good socials meant we were all glad we came along to take part.
AEC Wayfarer Worlds links
competitor profiles
complete results
report by Uncle Al
report from Richard & Michele
the real story by Toby Mace and Neil Fletcher
how we all fared
we got letters
the Whiffle that covered the Worlds

photos from on shore
on shore with Richard Johnson
on shore with Gord Leachman
at PCYC with John de Boer and Dave Hansman
at PCYC with Liz Feibusch and Tony Hunt
on shore with Uncle Al - 1
on shore with Uncle Al - 2
caricatures with Diane Zaremba (W440)
Saturday's Banquet
the Awards
one group's aftermath
a few pics of the champion boat's layout
the AEC Wayfarer Worlds Annex
at PCYC with Geoff Lepper - 1
at PCYC with Geoff Lepper - 2
at PCYC with Geoff Lepper - 3
Wayfarer Worlds XII: as Paul Robinson captured them:
Thursday's racing - 1
Thursday's racing - 2
Friday night was caricature night
leaving MSC for Saturday's final race
the Banquet