We had glorious weather on Wednesday afternoon for the poker race - an OMDA event that appeals to members of all ages!
There was some concern that the wind might be a bit too strong for some of the less experienced sailors. So, a sacrificial lamb volunteer was nominated to see if they would survive test the wind conditions beyond the shelter of Harold Point. Stephen and Katrina survived, but we decided to use a shorter course than originally planned.
The poker race begins with at running start: one crew member holds the boat ready in the water, while the faster crew members line up on shore. No flags and five minute warning signal: just a simple "ready, set, go". The crew run for their boat, and as soon as both crew members are in the boat, they're off.
Jim Clubine volunteered his small inflatable for a checkpoint by The Sisters,
but the start was further delayed when he had engine trouble and had to be towed back by a helpful passing boat.
Jim abandoned his motor and Charger ferried him over to the The Sisters where he anchored himself in position.
Finally, after all the delays, the race begins. Janet Steel managed to get pictures of almost all the boats as they started.
The more eagle eyed observers amongst you will have noticed that that last boat wasn't actually a Mirror dinghy. Since we had an odd number of Mirrors sailing, we had to find a ringer to round out the last team. Since a team isn't considered finished until both boats in the team are finished, the superior speed of the 29er didn't help that much when paired with a Mirror.
The order in which the checkpoints are visited is at the discretion of the individual skippers. Half the fleet headed for the beach at Granite Saddle.
While the other half elected to head across to the Sisters first.
Theres always a crowd on the beach to watch the finish, as each team has to complete a silly task to earn their final poker cards. The last duty is to shuck your share of corn for the corn roast later that evening!
After a busy day, with the final junior race in the morning and the Poker Race in the afternoon, we celebrated with a corn roast. A great chance to eat, drink, chat, and of course announce then winners!
The poker race winners get first crack at choosing something from the prize table. Don't worry, there is lots to go round!
Special thanks to Graham and Mary Jane Pilling for letting us use their campsite, and to Randy Beaumont and Derek Pugh for fetching the corn.
Thanks to Hanzo VanBeusekom, Heather Pugh, Martin Walker and Janet Steel for the photos.
© 2007 Ontario Mirror Dinghy Association