2021 Toronto Windsurfing Club Mammoth Marathon Recap by John Darling (Official club archivist)
2021 TORONTO WINDSURFING CLUB MAMMOTH MARATHON SKIRTS LIGHT GUSTY SOUTH-EAST WINDS (and COVID) as 84 boards with fins and foils battle to win the season's biggest prizes.
Under sunshine and with light East winds puffing up for a good start just in time for the 11 AM gun, the thundering herd charged across Cherry Beach and pumped hard to get through the East wind shadow, racing across the Outer Harbour to round two buoys, on their way up to the T4 mark just before cruising Northwest on a reach through the Eastern Gap.
That little 7-knot SE puff initially favored the Raceboards, but as soon as two or three foils caught the pressure they glided effortlessly past everyone to the front of the pack. However, the Inner Harbour proved to be a tricky trap, with foils facing hard choices on vital planing routes downwind to the Western Gap, while the trusty old raceboards simply nosed down a direct course, many of them overtaking first place.
That difficult and treacherous Western Gap was not too bad this year, as the leaders sailed through to Ontario Place no problem, while stragglers had to deal with worsening mean cross-chop, gusty winds, and Island Ferries. Result: the fleet spread out! Four TWC rescue boats followed the 42 racers on the 14.4 km Long Course through this challenge, to the West end of the Toronto Island Airport's forbidden "danger" buoys, onto the long arduous sail back upwind around Gibraltar Point, along the south shore of Toronto Island and past Ward's Island to the comfort and welcome of home beach at the club.
Some brave racers did not make it back under their own steam, but hey, they were watched and in one or two cases given a lift back upwind in the mean 3-foot East offshore swell, before making it back to the calm waters of Cherry Beach, to the cheers of the crowd, with fruit and juices. Dried out and warmed in the Fall sun, they were joined by the 20 racers on the 4 km Short Course within the Outer Harbour, and the 8 on the LTW Course across the Harbour -- novice racers trained by Head Instructor Simon Rickard and crew over the summer.
A little over 3 hours later, with the final racers safely checked in, event organizers Ian Matthews and Ivan Dimic handed out the trophies, followed by a distribution of draw prizes from supporters including Tricktionary, Marker, Windforce Sports, and Silent Sports who sponsored two big winnings: a slalom boom and a slalom sail.
THE WINNERS! 2021 marks the first year a standard fin board did NOT win the Mammoth classic! It was WON by one of the FIVE youth Olympic-IQ-foil riders -- young Alex Lee, coached by Max Robinson) -- riding an IQ (formula-type) board with a 9.5m2 sail. SECOND was raceboarder Keith Whiston, with THIRD finisher hot on his heels Paul Matthews.
Fourth was second IQ Foil rig sailor Paul Wortmann -- then Fifth, Owen and Tyler on the club Tandem. In 6th, the 3rd youth IQ foil skippered by Anton Dmitrik (and NOTE, these IQ rigs arrived at the club only 5 days before! Max had them up and running same day). We've got to mention Mammoth organizer and club raceboard expert Ian Matthews in 7th place (he also raced the SUP around-the-Island event the day before). The 4th IQ Foil with young Anton Nemchinskik aboard came in 24th as he struggled to stay on a planing foil in gusty lulls through the treacherous Western Gap.
This Mammoth was unique in many ways -- adapting to a pandemic, and with youth on new sailing technology making a spectacular entry. Special thanks go out to the volunteer organizing crew, especially the five safety boat drivers and crew, organized by Mike Tindall and registration/ID bibs/scoring/snacks organized by Betty Caplan. Members will be happy to know their club Directors -- 5 of them in their first year – performed well.
Jennifer Penney and veteran Artem Lavrynenko both completed two days of racing; Jennifer placed 2nd in the Medium SUP course, 15th in the Short on a Windsurfer, Artem was 25th in the Long SUP, 13th on a raceboard in the Long Course the following day. Julia McNally finished 1st in the Short Marathon ,James Wallace 28th in his first Long Course, and finally President Carrie Jackson displaying great stamina in a 3-hour plus Long Course battle to finish, cruising in standing, and finally carrying her board up the beach to the finish solo! To say "well done" is an understatement.
by John Darling, boat crew with Jay coaching the LONG! course final five in from Gibraltar Point