Lake Ontario 300 Recap

Brian and his son take on the Lake Ontario 300 in their 36.7 Neptunes Car
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The Lake Ontario 300 is an annual 300 nautical mile race covering the full length and breadth of Lake Ontario. This year fifty nine boats set off to conquer the lake with seven of them so enamored with the loop they registered to do a second lap competing in the Lake Ontario 600. This would be our third Lake Ontario 300 as a double handed father and son team.and as usual it was an amazing journey. As always the LO300 delivered an exciting race full of many ups and downs bringing with it some great competition.


The race started out in very wet and light conditions, but soon built into some higher winds as a series of storm fronts passed by on the US side of the lake.  During the night, we were treated to a spectacular lightning show and with it some extremely heavy rain which lasted for hours and visibility was near zero. The cloud covered skies and rain made it difficult to keep track of the competition. When morning light arrived, we were elated to see that we had made good time against our closest competitors which was a great boost of energy after that tiring night.


On the second day the winds were light and shifty with big gains and losses. Unfortunately for us, we were the latter.  We rounded Main Duck into a brisk breeze, forcing a head sail change down to the 3 which only lasted a short while before changing back to the genoa for sunset as we approached Ford shoal.  The wind was again shifty, but this time allowed us to make some gains and get back in the mix. 


We were back in the lead pack of our closest competitors by nightfall as we all headed for Toronto in the dark with building winds and waves.  With the pressure back on and the challenging driving conditions, we opted to shorten our sleep shifts to try and maximize our attention to the constant trimming and trying to prevent the boat from slamming hard and stopping in her tracks. All night and into the next morning boats were trading places back and forth with some finding more optimal lines.


As we approached Toronto the winds died down again, coming to a complete calm within miles of the finish.  With some luck we caught a few puffs heading through the bay and made a critical decision to stay further offshore until the last minute tack back towards shore passing 4 boats in the process.


We are very happy with our 2nd place finish in the double handed division, behind a well sailed Archambault 40. Our time of  2 days, 11 hours and 59 minutes was our fastest time yet!  Our closest competitor, another 36.7, finished 40 seconds behind us after two and a half days of racing! It doesn’t get any closer than that!


Brian Rutter

Neptune's Car