At 300 nautical miles, the Lake Ontario 300 is a unique test of sailing skill. The longest annual fresh water race in the world, it is also the only circumnavigation of a Great Lake. The navigational requirements add to the challenge; which is why the Lake Ontario 300 has continuously attracted competitive racing yachts, cruiser/racers, as well as the cruiser looking for new challenges.
The Lake Ontario 300 was another huge success in 2008 with record participation, sponsorship, number of yachts finishing the race. The organizing committee has been hard at work looking for ways to improve this race for 2009 and have some exciting plans for all participants. We surveyed last year’s participants on a variety of items and received some excellent feedback which will play a role in planning the future of the LO300.
The Lake Ontario 300 is actually two distinct races in a single event; the original full circumnavigation of Lake Ontario, which will now be referred to as the Main Duck Island Course. It will follow the same general path along the southern shoreline as the 2008 course but, after listening to competitors, non-permanent race marks have been excluded from the course. The course now travels east from PCYC, to the Gilbraltar mark, and directly to the Main Duck Islands, then south to the Ford Shoal Buoy, along the South shore to the Niagara mark, then directly across the lake to the finish at PCYC.
The exciting short course, which was originally implemented to accommodate white sail only yachts, has been improved and will take you around Scotch Bonnet Island. The new Scotch Bonnet Island course will follow the Main Duck Fleet to the Gibraltar mark, then sail east to the Scotch Bonnet Island near Prince Edward County, then cross over the lake to the Niagara mark, before a finish at PCYC. The course is slightly longer than the previous short course and should offer new challenges and some exciting scenery. For the first time also, slower yachts will be racing this course under spinnaker.
Lake Ontario is rich in history; the Main Duck and Scotch Bonnet Islands are an interesting part of our marine heritage and will be important features of the event.
The LO300 is once again opened to monohull yachts racing under PHRF and IRC rating systems, as well as multihull yachts. It has fully crewed and double handed divisions. The organizing committee is accepting requests from various one-design fleets who are interested in including this challenging offshore event in their existing series. The LO300 has grown beyond its popularity in the early 90’s and has in excess of 120 yachts participating last year. It offers new and exciting challenges that cannot be matched in a regatta and that will undoubtedly be a valuable test of your crew’s skills.
In 2008, the LO300 introduced a new logo and revamped website. The organizers are currently seeking new sponsorship to maintain our transponder technology, support Broad Reach Charity, and provide the funds required to continue to expand and improve this great race.
The 2009 Lake Ontario 300 will start on Saturday, July 18th 2009 at the Port Credit Yacht Club. We look forward to having you join us for the Race! Check out our website www.lo300.org for updates, seminar dates and registration information; additional details about the event are also available by contacting Guy Perrin at 416-729-4897.
Visit us at the Boat Show
The Lake Ontario 300 will be present at the Toronto International Boat Show again this year. Drop by our booth located in the Sailfest area; you can share stories and chat about this year's event. You can also find out more about the Lake Ontario Short-Handed Racing Series, our partner at the booth. The Toronto International Boat Show is on from January 10 to the 18, at the Direct Energy Center, Exhibition Place.
LO300 Group on Facebook
You can now stay in touch with the Lake Ontario 300 community via the recently created Lake Ontario 300 Group on Facebook.