LYRA Annual Regatta

LYRA 2015

LYRA 2015 was held at Sodus Bay Yacht Club. Here is a report on the course racing from Tim Sladden:

A fleet of 73 boats competed in the 2015 LYRA course races at SBYC. SBYC did a fantastic job of giving each fleet just what they wanted in terms of number of days, number of races and length of races. The weather was great and so were the parties.

The C course hosted the four one-design classes competing at LYRA. Nine J/80’s, five Olson 30’s, five R boats and five C&C29’s battled it out in close racing. The B course gathered the PHRF fleets with a total of 33 boats racing in five divisions. The A course was the venue for the IRC classes and the 8-Metre fleet. Racing was close in the two IRC classes, while a venerable fleet of 8-Metres had their largest fleet in several years including a mixture of classic and modern boats.

The overall PHRF champion was the J/22 Mo Money steered by Kevin Doyle from YYC. Mo dominated the series with a perfect score of seven 1st places. The overall IRC champion was Silver Bullet, a Beneteau 40.7 from RYC sailed by Travis Odenbach and Terry Shannon.

There was great racing on Course A where I was on the water.

Friday dawned bright and sunny with a good breeze out of the northwest. As the fleet motored out, competitors were delighted to hear the resonant voice of Wayne Bretsch – PRO Extraordinaire – on the radio. When Wayne is in charge, you know you are in for a great day.

The good breeze started to mellow even before racing got underway, and all but shut off on the last leg of race 1, enabling several tail-enders to catch up – including IRC 2 competitor Silver Bullet who went from last to first in a close finish with Amorita. Race 2 started in a light and very shifty breeze. Jim McGuiness’ IMX-38 Five Fifteen, also racing in IRC 2, outsmarted the fleet by starting on Port tack at the pin before tacking to starboard and leading everyone left on the first beat. They hung on to their lead and won the race. In IRC 1, Rampage dominated race 1 from wire to wire, while Sandy McDonald’s Gaucho was 2nd. Race 2 was won by Scott McCloud’s J/133 Hot Water. Wayne called it a day after two races as the breeze had pretty much quit.

Saturday proved to be a classic Sodus day with 20-25 knots out of the northwest. With fluctuations of just 2-3 degrees either way, the day was all about getting a good start and not making any big mistakes. For the smaller boats, it was generally a long tough day, but for those who love heavy air, it was magic. There was some carnage on the A course, with Five Fifteen and Gaucho both dropping out for the day, and Rampage missing race 2 due to a hydraulic line break that caused a crew member to slip overboard. Luckily they never lost their grip and were hauled back aboard quickly.
Silver Bullet and Rampage and Gefion were the winners in Race 3, all leading wire to wire. Race 4 saw Silver Bullet give up a huge lead with a snarl at the leeward mark that allowed Amorita to pass and go on to win, while Hot Water took advantage of the conditions to win IRC 1. Gefion dominated the 8-Metre class winning Race 4 to close the day with a perfect score. Race 5 was shortened to once around, no doubt to give the race committee some much needed rest after a long day working in big seas. Silver Bullet took another 1st in IRC 2, while Rampage made their comeback count with a 1st in IRC 2. Vivid memories of that great day are keeping lots of sailors going through this long winter.

Sunday started light and got lighter as summer weather returned. Race 1 was a game of “connect the dots” as patches of wind enabled lucky boats to leap forward while others were stopped. In IRC 2, the venerable Red Jacket sailed smart to win Race 6 with Five Fifteen making a great comeback to earn 2nd. In IRC 1, Hot Water and Rampage started Race 6 tied on points, with Hot Water coming first and Rampage 2nd setting up a big last race. Gefion won Race 6 for the 8-Metres with Iskareen 2nd. Race 7 started with very light air and was shortened to one lap with Silver Bullet finding enough wind to win IRC 2, with Red Jacket 2nd. Rampage found top gear winning the race in IRC 1, tying Hot Water on points and winning the series on the tie-breaker. Bangalore, the oldest 8-Metre in the fleet, cruised to 1st in the final race, with Gefion a distant 5th, but that was more than enough for them to win the class.

At the awards, skipper Travis Odenbach savored the overall IRC win as the 3rd generation Odenbach to win the City of Hamilton Mayor’s Trophy.

LYRA 2014

The 2014 Annual Regatta was held at Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club in Toronto. Reports on the event including results are at

LYRA 2013

Boats from 26 different yacht clubs gathered at NYC for the 2013 annual regatta July 29 to August 4. Major trophy winners represented six different U.S. clubs and six different Canadian clubs.

The LYRA Regatta Championships are awarded for overall performance in the Freeman Race, the short course racing, and either the Centennial Race or Founders Race. The Bamaan Trophy for the Regatta Championship in IRC went to Andrew Sharp from Olcott Yacht Club, skipper of the J/92 SWITCH. Switch had three firsts and three seconds in IRC 3 in the course racing. Switch also won its division in the Centennial, and won the Charles Freeman Cup for the best IRC corrected time overall in the Freeman.

The Lake Ontario PHRF Bowl for the Regatta Championship in PHRF was won by Cameron Smith from Whitby Yacht Club in the Tripp 33 ROAD TRIP. Road Trip had seven firsts and one second in PHRF 1 in the course racing, won PHRF overall in the Founders Race, and posted the best elapsed time for a PHRF boat in the Freeman Race.

The IRC Great Lakes Championship Trophy went to the overall IRC winner in the short course racing, the Farr 30 PRESS GANG skippered by Roland Van Hazel from National Yacht Club. PRESS GANG took first place in a very competitive IRC 2 division, and beat out the other IRC division winners for the overall title by posting the best ratio of total corrected time to total course length sailed.

Other course racing division winners were: the Farr 47 RAMPAGE, skippered by John Odenbach of Rochester Yacht Club in IRC 1; the Tripp 26 REDLINE, skippered by Mike Stasko from Oak Orchard Yacht Club in PHRF 2; the J/30 CRUSADER, skippered by Dan Mather from Oswego Yacht Club in PHRF 3; and the Redwing 30 BATTLESTAR PEGASUS, skippered by Andrews Hooker from Youngstown Yacht Club in PHRF 4 (NFS). The one design course racing winners were: the Eight Metre ISKAREEN, skippered by Ralph Reimann from Etobicoke Yacht Club; the Beneteau First 36.7 ZINGARA, skippered by Richard Reid from National Yacht Club; the Melges 24 SURPRISE, skippered by Dan Berezin from National Yacht Club; the R boat NAYADA, skippered by Scott Vandewalle from Sodus Bay Yacht Club; and the J/105 MANDATE, skippered by Terry McLaughlin and Rod Wilmer from Royal Canadian Yacht Club. MANDATE also won the Bud Doyle Trophy for first place in the largest one design class in the regatta.

Twenty-one boats started the Centennial Race from Youngstown YC to National YC on Monday July 29. The winner in IRC 1 was the IMX-38 FIVE-FIFTEEN, skippered by Jim McGuinness from Highland Yacht Club. In IRC 2, the winner was the J/92 SWITCH, skippered by Andrew Sharp from Olcott Yacht Club. The Centennial Cup was presented to Andrew Sharp who notched the best overall corrected time for the IRC fleet. The PHRF 1 winner was Richard Reid from National Yacht Club in the Beneteau First 36.7 ZINGARA. PHRF 2 wan by Kathleen Timmis of Royal Canadian Yacht Club in the Dufour 34 KATBIRD. Kathleen Timmis also won the RYC Centennial Trophy for the best overall corrected time in PHRF. In the Founders Race, also on July 29, from Whitby YC to National YC, the winner of the Oswego YC Founders Cup was Cameron Smith from Whitby Yacht Club in the Tripp 33 ROAD TRIP.

Twenty-two boats turned out for the overnight Freeman Cup long distance race which started on Wednesday evening July 31 at 1900 hrs. The start went off in very light air but all boats managed to cross the start line by the ten-minute deadline. Fortunately the wind arrived not long after (and unfortunately, so did the rain). Line honors and the Yacht Racing Union Trophy went to the Farr 47 RAMPAGE skippered by Travis Odenbach from Rochester Yacht Club, which finished the 80 mile course at 6:36 AM in 11 hours 16 minutes. The rest of the fleet finished by noon and headed in to dry out.

The Charles Freeman Cup for the best overall corrected time in IRC was presented to the J/92 SWITCH, skippered by Andrew Sharp from Olcott Yacht Club. SWITCH also won the Simplicity Cup for first place in IRC 2. RAMPAGE won the National Yacht Club trophy for first place in IRC 0, and the Golden Eagle Trophy for first place in IRC 1 went to the J/35 CRIME SCENE, skippered by Stephen Trevitt from Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club. The PHRF boats raced the Freeman in a single 8-boat division. Cameron Smith from Whitby Yacht Club, driving the Tripp 33 ROAD TRIP, won the Ashbridges Bay YC Trophy for the best elapsed time in PHRF. The Louise Freeman Cup for the best corrected time in PHRF was presented to Chris Chapman from National Yacht Club, skipper of the Tartan 30 HARRIER.

Complete scoring data for the 2013 Annual Regatta can be found at


A Great 2012 Regatta in Oswego

The Oswego Yacht Club hosted the 128th annual LYRA regatta the first week of August. The last time Oswego hosted the entire event was in 1928.

Sail Oswego 2009

 This year’s regatta was a tourism draw for the city of Oswego and also a way to show sailors on the lake what Oswego has to offer as a city and sailing destination. The regatta drew over 66 boats from 23 member yacht clubs. Over 20 Canadian boats came from (among others) Bay of Quinte YC, Port Credit YC, Kingston YC, Collins Bay YC, and National YC (host of the 2013 regatta). US participation was from Youngstown, Wilson, Rochester, Sodus Bay, Selkirk, Henderson Harbor, and Chaumont.

The regatta could not have taken place without the financial and in-kind services of the following individuals and businesses: Diane and Ron Palm, Eagle Beverage and Labatt USA, City of Oswego, Port of Oswego Authority, Dufore’s for Diamond’s, Mount Gay Rum, SUNY Oswego, Steele Law Firm, Fitzgibbons Agency, Broadwell Companies, Raby’s Ace Homecenter, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Haarstick Sailmakers, West Marine, Pathfinder Bank, Burritt Motors, County of Oswego Tourism, Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Shore Associates, Wayne Drugs, and Wear it Oswego.

The first races of the event were the Centennial Cup, starting from the Rochester YC and sponsored by SUNY Oswego; and the Founders Cup from Henderson Harbor, sponsored by the Fitzgibbons Agency. With westerly winds of 15-20 knots the Centennial Race was sailed downwind, while the Founders was an upwind battle. Centennial Cup winners were Bryan Sims on “Panther” from BHYC in the IRC Division, and Jon Reinhold sailing “Futures” from Rochester YC in the PHRF division. Winner of the Founders Cup Race was Brendan Benson’s “Blaze” from Oswego Yacht Club in an all-PHRF fleet.

About 6:00 PM on Tuesday evening, Oswego was hit with a severe thunderstorm that generated 60-70 mph winds and driving rains. There wasn’t much competitors could do as they watched two big tents (80’x 40′ and 40’x 20′), several hundred chairs, and tables get leveled and blown into the harbor basin. Fortunately there were no personal injuries or property damage. Members of the yacht club and other LYRA competitors pitched in to help clean up the mess. Tired and wet participants moved inside the yacht club for live music, food and drink, and talk of the passing storm.

Wednesday brought clear skies and a day of rest and preparation for the Freeman Cup race that night. The 73 mile overnight Freeman Cup race, sponsored by the Steele Law Firm, started at 5:00 PM with sunny skies, warm temperatures, and 10 knots of southerly wind, and took the fleet west to the Ford Shoal buoy. After rounding the buoy the fleet headed on a spinnaker reach northeast to the Galloo Island Buoy. As the sun set the sailors were treated to a crystal clear night and a full moon for an amazing night of sailing. The wind increased slightly as the fleet rounded the buoy and headed west to the Prince Edward Weather Buoy. From there it was a quick reach back to Oswego with the first boats finishing around 4:30 AM. Adam Farkas, sailing “Xoomer Express” from National YC in Toronto, was first in the IRC division. In the PHRF division, Fran Enwright sailing Sail a Vie from Oswego YC finished first, claiming the Louise Freeman Cup.

Thursday was a day of rest after a long night of racing. The opening ceremonies were held that evening, then participants headed into the City of Oswego for a night on the town.

The next three days (Friday-Sunday) competitors raced on two courses set up outside of the Oswego Harbor. The results of the course racing events were as follows:

PHRF A First – “Seaweed”, Don Finkle, Youngstown YC,

PHRF B First – “Blaze”, Brendan Benson, Oswego YC

Second – “Crusader”, Dan Mather, Oswego YC

PHRF C First – “The Beaver”, Rob Butler

Second – “Shockwave”, John Heretyk, Oswego YC ,

Third- “Seaweed”, Charlie Krylo, Oswego YC

PHRF NFS First – “Colorme”, Mike Sorrell, OswegoYC

IRC First – “Mullett”, Kirsten Werner, Rochester YC

8 Metre First – “Gefion”, Mark DeCelles, Royal Canadian YC

Second -“Mystery”, Ron Palm, Oswego YC

Olson 30 NA’s First – “Old School”, Scott Mundle, Collins Bay YC

R-Class First – “Vitesse”, Marshall VanDeWalle, Sodus Bay YC

The Regatta Champion in PHRF, winning the Commodore World Cup Trophy, was Oswego’s “Blaze”.

More detailed regatta results can be found on

 Port Credit YC

 LYRA 2011

IRC 1 on startline at LYRA 2011

LYRA 2011 Regatta Champions

To win a LYRA regatta championship, a boat must out-perform its competitors based on a weighted average of one feeder race, the Freeman race, and the course racing. The 2011 LYRA Regatta champions were:PHRF – Sail a Vie, Francis Enwright
IRC – Cesan, Paul Delacourt
One Design – Seaweed, Don Finkle
The course racing overall winners were:
PHRF – Futures, John Reinhold
IRC – Hot Water, John McLeodFull results are on the our Race Results page..
LYRA 2011 from a competitor’s standpoint: One of the aspects of the LYRA Annual regatta that I look forward to is the moving venue each year.  The opportunity to sample the sailing conditions, local attractions and hospitality of a different club adds spice to the program and avoids the “same old, same old” syndrome.  Add in the fact that the fleet make-up changes as the regatta moves and you have an event unlike any other on Lake Ontario.  Going into LYRA 2011 we had high expectations for PCYC and the job they would do in hosting this prestigious regatta with a history that spans over one and a quarter centuries.  From our perspective they did not disappoint.  If you have not been to PCYC recently you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the facilities, with a modern dock system, ample parking, a swimming pool and of course bar and restaurant, etc.  Whatever we needed was there.  When it came to after racing food and beverage the club did an excellent job, the food was plentiful and in our opinion very well priced.  PCYC clearly made a significant effort to provide for our needs.  Toronto and all that it offers is not far away and that was also convenient, especially as we had one crew member flying in.There were three race course areas, and the distance to each course was not far.  On the Friday two courses were in use, one for the IRC Canadian Championship, the other for the 3 day course racing one design fleets.  On Saturday and Sunday a third course was employed for PHRF and to accommodate 2 day one design.  Race committees did the best they could to get in races in conditions that were not always favorable.  Scoring was posted promptly.  Awards presentations were very well done with photos and even a podium.I can’t think of anything that PCYC could have done to make us feel welcome and provide for a first-rate event that they did not do.  Considering that they had already run the PCYC Open, LO 300, Steerer’s and Four Sisters regattas in the month prior, plus providing race committee support for the Youngstown Levels, the job they did was superb.  Congratulations to Don French and the rest of the PCYC team for all of their efforts.Next year the regatta moves all the way east to Oswego YC, and I for one am very much looking forward to it.  The Oswego gang brought several boats to LYRA 2011 to get a flavor for what was needed when they host and they took home a pile of silver to go along with their experiences.I hope you’ll be there too. Don Finkle, LYRA VP and skipper Beneteau 36.7 Seaweed
LYRA 2011 from the PRO’s perspective: From the Principal Race Officer’s perspective it was a great regatta. As with any event like this we all wish that the attendance had been a little higher especially in the PHRF and one design classes. That being said, the organizers did a phenomenal job in supporting the Race Committees. The meals were excellent, the shirts were great and the party was superb (at least I am told it was) and, most importantly, it came very close to their attendance goals.I want to thank all of the attendees for coming to help us celebrate PCYC’s 75th Anniversary. Without you none of these things can happen and we want to do everything we reasonably can to make you welcome. If there were things that you would like to see changed please do not hesitate to let me know. Having said that… there were issues in that the wind was a constantly moving target and it was difficult to keep the racing fair but I was more than pleased with the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the committees on all the courses for the way they handled their respective issues. The Course Race Officers and their support personnel were awesome throughout the whole event. There were issues ashore as that sometimes come with hosting a larger event and it is unfortunate when the party interferes with the rights of the host clubs members. I heard of several minor things that staff members were called on to handle and there were two major issues, one of which resulted in the police being called and a sailor being charged with an offence. It has a negative impact on our sport whenever things like this occur but it is, to some extent, part of the “party atmosphere” that engulfs the attendees and like a hangover, it persists after the party ends. I am sure PCYC will recover but it is worth mentioning that common sense when you are visiting another Club is a good thing to keep handy especially during the party.On the whole, I would rank this as a very successful event and a meaningful way to help celebrate 75 years of excellence at PCYC. We are anxious to improve upon this event and our Race Management practices. It is a goal that cannot be accomplished without your continued support and attendance.I heard it said during the lead up to the event that LYRA is an “Elite” event. It is to some extent but truly, it is an opportunity to get to know and compete against new people. All of which can only make us better.Next year the event will be in Oswego which is a gateway to one of the most beautiful cruising grounds anywhere. I encourage everyone from the west end of the Lake to consider attending this wonderful event. I know that they will put on a tremendous show and it will be a fantastic way to get to have a good holiday. See you in 2012. Pat Lymburner