Helly Hansen Chester Race Week 2019: competitive fleets, neck-and-neck racing

On The Water

Aug 22, 2019

Chester Yacht Club’s Peter Wickwire steers Squall ahead of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron’s Ted Murphy’s Restless in Day 3 competition in the International One Design Fleet. Credit: © 2019 Tim Wilkes /  www.timwilkes.com

Hosted by the Chester Yacht Club in the picturesque South-Shore Nova Scotia village of Chester in mid-August each year, Helly Hansen Chester Race Week is Canada’s largest keelboat regatta (four days of sailing) and plays host to more than 120 boats from near and far. Chester’s sailing regattas were first documented in 1856.

View From The DocksEach August, 1,200-plus sailors arrive on Nova Scotia’s scenic Mahone Bay to compete in one of 15 fleets racing simultaneously on five different race courses. The fleets accommodate everyone from offshore big boats and one-designs, to classic wooden boats, club racers and no-spinnaker cruising boats.

The C&C 99 Fleet held its North American championships during Chester Race Week and Agent 99 skipper Rob Crutcher out of Bedford Basin Yacht Club came first all seven races in the Inshore Fleet to claim the championship title in a clean sweep. C&C 99 Fleet Association President Rod Stright, skipper of Equinox 99, came in second overall behind Crutcher and says he was really pleased with how consistently close the boats were all week.

“We were able to draw five of the six C&C 99s from Nova Scotia where we had a great few days of racing and there were some really close finishes. We’re looking to grow a solid fleet and we’re starting to see that happen. My vision is to see more C&C 99s taking part from Ontario and other parts of Canada.

The DocksFor the event’s last six years, Rodney Johnstone, well-known co-founder, designer and builder of J/Boats, has skippered the J/35 ​J’ai Tu with four members of his original crew from 30 years ago. They keep coming back to Chester every summer because of the great conditions, and because they enjoy competing against other J/35s. Johnstone placed fourth overall in the Distance 2 Fleet, which was won by Chester Yacht Club’s Larry Creaser, his two sons and crew in their J/100 Young Blood.

“Every summer we have a crew reunion at Chester Race Week because there are lots of J/Boats here and the competition is strong,” said Johnstone. “In fact, J/Boats make up 24 per cent of the boats registered in Chester Race Week this year and won six of the seven fleets they were in, so we must be doing something right. Mahone Bay and these awesome conditions remind us a lot of where we sail at home in Stormington, Connecticut, and we really enjoy sailing the longer legs in the Distance fleets. It’s more fun than sailing around buoys all the time.”


Bluenose (One Design – 22 Boats)
1. Wahoo, Bluenose, Henry Demone , Chester, NS, CAN 45
2. Privateer, Bluenose, Connor Mraz , Brooklyn, NY, USA53
3. Faster, Bluenose, Chris von Maltzahn , Halifax, NS, CAN -58

Classics (Pursuit – 8 Boats)
1. Seneca, Classic 48, David Creighton , Chester, NS, CAN – 5
2. Virginia, Wm Gardner Q 46, John Wurts , Chester, NS – 7
3. Hayseed IV, Wm Gardner P 54, Chris Wurts , Chester, NS -13

Distance 1 (PHRF_ToT – 7 Boats)
1. Ramillies, Beneteau First 44.7, David Wilson , Halifax, NS – 9.5
2. Deviation, J 120 40, Stu McCrea , Halifax, NS, CAN -16
3. Chaos, Farr 395, Mark Gosine , Halifax, NS, CAN – 20

Distance 2 (PHRF_ToT – 11 Boats)
1. Young Blood, J 100 33, Larry Creaser , Chester, NS, CAN – 8
2. DogParty, J 100 32, Terry McKenna , Charlottetown, PEI -17
3. HELOC, J 35, Andrew Childs , Halifax, NS, CAN – 21

Distance 3 (PHRF_ToT – 9 Boats)
1. Poohsticks, J 92 30, Colin Mann , Lunenburg, NS -8
2. Scotch Mist IV, J 29, Chris MacDonald , Halifax, NS, CAN -16
3. Paradigm Shift, J 29, Don Williams , Halifax, NS, CAN -17

Distance 4 (PHRF_ToT – 9 Boats)
1. Just Add Water, J 30, Jesleine Baker , Halifax, NS, CAN -15
2. Gersemi, Viking 33, Paul Bezanson , Halifax, NS, CAN – 20
3. Apres Ski, Laser 28, Tony Thompson , Bedford, NS, CAN – 20

Distance 5 (PHRF_ToT – 7 Boats)
1. Afterhours, custom 23’8, Charles Walker, Chester, NS -10
2. Foxy Lady, Chaser 29, Bob Cragg , Chester, NS, CAN – 11
3. Roguewave, Viking 28, Elizabeth Whyte , Halifax, NS -21

Distance 6 (PHRF_ToT – 4 Boats)
1. sea breaker, C&C 25, bruce nunn , dartmouth, nova scotia -9
2. To’Mater 3, C&C 25, Warren Webber , Rhodes Corner, NS -15
3. Nesbitt, Thunderbird 25′ 6, Tony Rosborough, Halifax,NS- 16

Inshore 1 – J105 (PHRF_ToT – 5 Boats)
1. McMac, J105, Sean/Rory McDermott/MacDonald, Dartmouth, NS – 6
2. MOJO, J 105, James Mosher , Lunenburg, NS – 15
3. Buzz, J 105, Barry Eisener, Lunenburg, NS-17

Inshore 2 – C&C 99 (PHRF_ToT – 5 Boats)
1. Agent 99, C&C 99, Rob Crutcher , Bedford, NS, CAN – 6
2. Equinox 99, C&C 99, Rod Stright , Halifax, NS, CAN -12
3. Showgirl2, C&C 99, Drew Bethune , Halifax, NS, CAN – 20

Inshore 3 (PHRF_ToT – 7 Boats)
1. Painkiller, J 29, Jane Filbee , Halifax, NS, CAN – 9
2. Head Games, J 29, Terry Schnare , Chester Basin, NS- 9
3. Unlimited Data, Etchells, Alan Chandler, Chester, NS-18

Inshore 4 (PHRF_ToT – 6 Boats)
1. Hoonigan, Soling 27, Ivan Fitch , Chester, NS, CAN – 6
2. Cheap Thrill, J 22, Karen Fowler , dartmouth, NS, CAN – 13
3. Hotspur, Santana 23, Tyson Hynes , Halifax, NS, CAN -18

Sonar (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Ping, Sonar 23, Andreas Josenhans , Lunenburg, Ns, Can – 20
2. Barbarian, Sonar 23, Rob Barbara , Halifax, NS, CAN -23
3. Echo, Sonar 23, John Franklin, Chico, CA, USA – 27

Farr 30 (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. One More Time, Farr 30, Rob Gale/Ed Steeves, Halifax, NS-19
2. Yardsail, Farr 30, Roby Douglas , Boutilier’s Point, NS – 22
3. Matador, Farr 30, Gregory Blunden , Halifax, NS- 24

International One Design (One Design – 9 Boats)
1. Bella, IOD 36, Evan Petley-Jones, Halifax, NS, CAN – 28
2. Enigma, IOD 33, Steve Bush , Los Ranchos, NM, USA – 32
3. Squall, IOD 33, Peter Wickwire , Halifax, NS -33

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