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SUP Mammoth Blog

Sep. 19, 2015 Mammoth SUP and Surfski Race
 
Larry in very big bumps
Overall Men's winner, Larry Cain, in some big bumps on the south side of the Island.  (Video still credit: Peter Penev)
 

Featured Video: Club member, Peter Penev, has created an amazing video of the day: https://vimeo.com/140008071 

 

Great Photo Albums: 

1. Renata Dajczer did a fantastic job of capturing the spirit of the day on both land and water - including nice of shots of racers in the waves. There are 97 photos in this album. 
 
 
 
2 Warren Won used his killer zoom lens to capture great closeups of the Long Course racers as they approached the beach. Find your photo! There are 45 photos in this album. 
 
 
 
3 Peter Penev's video was so good that I grabbed some frames from it and created a photo album. There are 12 images in this album.

 

 

4. And don't forget Nadia Rahman's photos on Facebook:
 
 

Recap:

Mother Nature has struck two years in a row. We were fortunate(?) enough to get some interesting wind and water conditions at the Toronto Windsurfing Club's Mammoth race once again this year. Environment Canada was forecasting SW winds of 25-37mph during the race. It was already 18mph at 8am when the course buoys were being set. We decided to run the same modified course as last year - not going all the way around the Island, but portaging near the water treatment plant and Gibraltar Point. That allowed us to avoid the more difficult conditions outside the Western Gap. We had 5 safety boats to cover the race, but I didn't want to take excessive risks by going around the Island in case the forecast was accurate. Our safety boats got enough of a good workout last year. 

 Boards on grass
(Video still credit; Peter Penev)
 
 
 
Pre race meeting
(Video still credit: Peter Penev )
 
 
As it turned out, the wind dropped to 13mph when the horn went off and rose a bit to 15mph at the finish. Not quite as windy as last year, but the wind was coming from the SSW, which creates tricky conditions on the south side of the Island. 
 
Racers in Eastern Gap 
(Photo credit: Renata Dajczer) 
 
 
This year, we set a buoy a few hundred metres straight out from the beach to allow the racers to get a fair start regardless of their spot on the beach and also spread out a bit before turning towards the Eastern Gap. Once through the Gap, there were southerly side winds from the left, but the water was not too bumpy because of the limited fetch as as result of the Island. A lot of right side paddling through the 3km Inner Harbour leg. 
 
Racing near CN Tower
Jack Chubaty and Ian Howard  (Video still credit: Peter Penev)
 
 
 
Once we turned left just before the Island airport, we entered the Island canals and flat water. However, the SSW winds were lined up with Blockhouse Bay so there were some stiff headwinds to paddle into. After almost 2km in the Island canals, we portaged at the water treatment plant for about 250m to Gibraltar Beach on the south side of the Island. 
 
 
In a SSW wind, the waves break directly onto the shallow waters just off the beach. We were faced with multiple rows of breakers. That's the main reason we gave racers an option to avoid this section and return to the start using the same route they used on the way here. We called this the Island Flat Water course. For the female racers, there was a buoy set in Blockhouse Bay so they turned around a bit earlier than the men. Several men and women took advantage of this flat water option. We wanted to give our racers the choice to do a longer race and experience the downtown skyline view in the Inner Harbour and the scenic paddle through the Island canals, but skip the waves on the outside. The Island Flat Water course for the women was 10.5km. The Island Flat Water course for the men was 12.8km. 
 
Tracey in bumps
Overall Women's winner Tracey Finlay, riding bumps south of the Island (Video still credit: Peter Penev)
 
 
 
 
I found out the hard way, that if you don't time your paddle out through the breakers, you can easily catch a bigger set, get knocked over and washed back to the beach (3 times!). Once out, it was still very tricky since we had to negotiate bumps coming at us from 2 different directions due to reflected waves - challenging but fun. There were lots of waves that were  3+ feet from trough to crest.
 
Michael Shin in the breaking waves near the beach launch on the south side of the Island. (Photo credit:  Renata Dajczer)
 
 
This downwind/sidewind section lasted for over 3km before reaching the Eastern Gap. At that point, the waves lined up much more consistently since the reflected waves were now gone. This made it easier to catch the bumps the rest of the 1.5km to the finish at Cherry Beach. Total distance of the Island Open Water course was 11.5km. 
 
 
Personally, I almost always prefer paddling in rough water than flat water - makes things more interesting. We're lucky to have multiple course options with Toronto Island. It allows for a reasonable upwind leg since it's partially sheltered and then a fun downwind leg in the rougher exposed waters south of the Island. 
 
 
Andy in bumps 
Andy Skeoch, Men's Overall 2nd place.  (Video still credit: Peter Penev)
 
 
 
This year, leashes were mandatory and it resulted in no SUP racers requiring a rescue. One surfski racer required a lift to the nearest beach after capsizing since he found it too tricky to remount the ski in the bumpy waters. After getting back on, he paddled successfully to the finish. 
 
 
The Short Course route went 2 laps around a triangle course in the Outer Harbour off Cherry Beach. We tried to set the course so that there was more upwind or downwind paddling than sidewind. In a SSW wind, the bumps come right into the beach, so the Short Course racers also had interesting conditions to deal with - plus the challenge of making buoy turns in the bumpy waters, which the Island Course racers didn't really have to deal with.  The Short Course was set at about 2.5km - shorter than the planned 4km due to the difficult conditions. 
 
 
The surfskis were intrepid enough to tackle the normal Mammoth route of paddling around Toronto Island (approx. 14km). 
 
 
Jeff racing
Our Club President, Jeff Martin, completed the Island Open Water course (Video still credit: Peter Penev)
 
 
 
 
Congratulations to the race winners:
- Larry Cain, Men's Overall Open Water Course
- Larry Cain, Men's 50+ Open Water Course
- Tracey Finlay, Women's Overall Open Water Course
- Tracey Finlay, Women's 50+ Open Water Course
(Go 50+ year olds!)
 
 
- Julie Skeoch, Women's Short Course
-  Ulrick Bedos, Men's Short Course
 
 
- Shawn Dinn, Surfski Around Island
- Mike Fekete, Surfski Around Island 50+
 
 
Island Open Water Course - Overall Top 3 Men L-R: Larry Cain 1st, Andy Skeoch 2nd, Antonio Bruzzese 3rd  (Photo credit: Renata Dajczer)
 
 
Island Open Water Course - Overall Top 3 Women L-R: Julie Postill-Connolly 3rd, Tracey Finlay 1st, Rachelle Price 2nd (Photo credit: Renata Dajczer)
 
 
 
 
Volunteers:
Of course, we couldn't have had this event without the great help of our volunteers. We have no paid staff working this event, so we're dependent on our volunteers for this to happen:
- Hugh Wilson, for providing his usual informative and entertaining play-by-play for the races and activities
- Nadia Rahman and Karen Wilson, for doing their always fantastic job of handling the registration desk and recording results. And also for thoughtfully organizing the prizes and top 3 results in order to ensure the awards ceremony went off smoothly
- Henric Weigenbroker, for securing and lining up the 5 safety boats and Mike Tindall for coordinating the safety boat teams on race day
- Chris Hope for helping me set the course buoys very early in the morning
- The skippers and crew of our safety boat fleet: Alan Levy, Behanam Parsa, Davor Popovic, Joe Albert (with particular thanks for helping to coordinate the boats while on the water via VHF radio), Paul Waterhouse and his son, Peter Penev, Stan Zieba, and Wade Graham
- Renata Dajczer, our photographer. Her great photos are online at: https://goo.gl/photos/SLRgQ9cuPW67VNV47
- Peter Penev, our on-water videographer. His amazing video: https://goo.gl/photos/NWzGyjBRfQRCrQiP8
- Debbie Dewar and Karen Langford, for helping to lay out all the food we had for lunch and helping to organize the lunch room. Karen and Nadia once again, for helping control the busy flow of traffic into the lunch room. 
- Gander Tawastjerna, Ivan Dimin, and Jeff Martin for helping to clean the clubhouse on Friday night before the event. And once again Gander, for helping pick up the safety boats we rented from other organizations
- Mike Fekete for getting the medals and trophies made
- Dav Fekete for handling registration and recording the surfski results. Dav, also for helping coordinate the safety boats from land via VHF. 
- Silent Sports for generously donating the event shirts
- Kayaksport and Silent Sports for contributing the prizes for the draw
- And all the others that haven't been mentioned here who helped our event run smoothly
 
 (Photo credit: Renata Dajczer)
 
 
This year, part of the lunch was catered by Raging Spoon - the 3 types of lasagna - butter chicken, beef, veggie, and the 3 types of salads - Baja, Greek, Caesar. Raging Spoon is a successful enterprise providing employment for members of our community with mental health/survivor issues. Their web site: www.ragingspoon.ca
 
 (Photo credit: Renata Dajczer)
 
 
We managed to get everything done before the threatening storm front hit. It eventually did reach us at 2:30pm with winds of 33mph gusting to 41mph at about 3:30pm! As a result, Larry Cain's SUP clinic was moved into the clubhouse for the dry land portion. After the storm passed, Larry and the participants were able to get out on the lake for some on-water instruction. Larry will be following up with interested participants with video analysis of their stroke technique. 

- Michael Shin, SUP Director

Maps of the 2015 Mammoth courses
Island Open Water Course  11.5km:
2015 Mammoth Island Open Water course
Island Flat Water course - Men  12.8km:
2015 Mammoth Island Flat Water course Men
Island Flat Water Course - Women  10.5km:
2015 Mammoth Island Flat Water course Women
Short Course (2 laps) 2.5km:
2015 Mammoth Short Course GPS
Surfski course 14km:
2015 Mammoth Surfski course
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