2009 Lake Ontario 300

Posted by on Jul 22, 2009 in Ship's Log | 2 Comments

Lake Ontario 300
Up until this week, Hacienda II has been a cruising boat.  It’s been outfit with some of the latest high tech gear  – chartplotter, AIS, solar panel, computer, great stereo, dinghy/davits, etc., slowly getting ready for the dream cruise south.  However, those plans are still a ways away — kids to grow, work to do and money to save.
main duck to oswego 3
So, in the mean time, we took to the lake for the 20th annual Lake Ontario 300.  It’s the longest annual fresh water sailing race in the world.  This year there were 170 boats competing on 2 courses.We prepared Hacienda II for the race over the last couple of months. There’s an extensive safety requirement list for the race for which we needed many items. We really wanted to race in the spinnaker division so, we found a used spinnaker online, built a pole,  got the rest of the rigging together and had 1 training day to learn how to fly it!
hacienda spnnaker 2
All things considered, we did really well with it.We were passing many boats on the first leg and were 3rd in our group heading into our first nightfall. Then, we blew the downhaul off the spinnaker pole and it was flailing around on deck.  We managed to jerry rig it and get it back flying again.  Then at about 3AM, we decided to take it down — just weren’t confident enough to keep it running through the night with half the crew sleeping below.The fleet ended up way ahead and we ended up in a giant hole with no wind…for 10 hours!  We sat on the glassy smooth lake, went for a swim and ate like kings.
main duck to oswego 1
Eventually, the wind came back and we slowly sailed toward the Niagara mark followed by the finish line at PCYC. We ended up at the back of the fleet with only a handful of boats still on the lake as we crossed the line.
first sunset 5
All in all though, it was an experience of a lifetime.  It’s the kind of time spent that you devote a few solid pages of life’s photo album to.  It’s a trip that none of us will ever forget and as a friend predicted, we came back better friends with many a story to tell.

Hacienda II Lake Ontario 300 crew:  Glen Eddie, Bruce Bateman, Tony Labatt.


  1. Mike Newbury
    July 24, 2009

    Congratulations on completing the race. I know about those holes I’ve sailed into a few myself. I do a lot of short handed sailing and I would suggest on the spinnaker side that you look at getting a 0.75 oz and a 1.5 oz assymetrical sail. Get rid of the pole it can only cause problems and break something. If you have a snuffer on the spinnakers they are easy to put up and down. I know a really good sailmaker who has made good sails for me if you are interested. Hope to see you on the water. Great race Great job. Mike

  2. richard
    July 24, 2009

    Thanks Mike. I have an asymmetrical for Hacienda II but I feel that it’s way too small for the boat. (it came with it) I had one on my S28 that seemed bigger! For this year’s race, I think it was the sail to have. We never seemed to need the dead down wind performance of the symmetrical most of the time on a broad to beam reach.

    The run past Gibraltar was awesome! For several hours we seemed to be on the edge of control (as it was for most others around us). A few good spinouts, a broken downhaul fitting, etc. It was quite exhilarating.

    Who makes your sails? I’ve used Quantum in the past. Where do you keep your Sabre? Hopefully we’ll hook up on the lake sometime!



Leave a Reply