News and Events for 2010

Spinnaker Series and Annual Dinner
December 11, 2010


Start of last race that was a tie-breaker (photo: Andrew McBride)

The last big event of the year for the Cal 20 fleet is our annual Spinnaker Series on Dec 11th. This was first held in 1971 and only once was it not held because of the weather and that was in 1995. Next year will be the fortieth anniversary of the event. In spite of the adverse conditions six boats ventured out in rainy, cold and windy conditions. The committee boat under the guidance of Andrew McBride recorded gusts from the south east up to 20knts during the seventh and last race. Andrew was trying something new for us, that is indicating the course using a letter pennant. This was easier to see than the number board which we have been used to. There was some close racing and for the fourth time David Bleakney prevailed. He and Tom Lowdon were involved in a tie breaker. Each had three firsts and three seconds but in the remaining race David had a second place finish where as Tom had third place. David was ably assisted by his crew Randy Diamond and Jeff Able.

Later in the evening, when all of the racers had recovered we had a great dinner with delicious roast lamb, for a change. This was followed by some superb entertainment. A men’s choir of eight singers sang for an hour a program of sea shanties interspersed with anecdotes about each. This choir, called Hector’s Friends, earlier in the year sang for the Canadian Navy at the unveiling if the new 100th anniversary stained glass window, with no less than 14 Admirals attending. Just recently they had an engagement for the Maritime Museum to kick off its 2010 holiday programs. At the same time the Choir is promoting The Maritime Museum’s fund raising. We feel that this is a worthy enterprise and during our dinner we had a raffle to raise some additional funds to donate to the Maritime Museum. The Raffle prize was a $100 gift certificate from Trotac Marine. We suggest that people might consider sending a personal donation directly to Martyn Clark who is the Executive Director. The address is 28 Bastion Square. Victoria, B.C. V8W 1H9. It would helpful if at the same time you mention the Choir and their concert. Fleet 13 wishes you all a very enjoyable 2011.

Reflections on Fleet 13 in 2010

We are now into a new year of sailing. It would be difficult to for us to match what Cal 20 Fleet 13 skippers have achieved in 2009-2010. The Lipton Cup, Thermopylae Trophy and the Canadian Championship Hazelton trophy. Fresh Cal 20‘s continue to appear on the scene. Jim Allen and Franca Pastro with their good as new, even better than new in some peoples eyes, boat from California. This is part of the plan to participate in the 50th Anniversary Regatta in California, celebrating the 50 years that people have experienced fun, excitement, thrills, challenges and friendships associated with this wonderful little boat which continues to surprise people.

The other fresh boat which we will soon see challenging us on the race course is Steve Lowdon‘s boat Polaris. He has spent the summer working on it in his dad‘s back yard. This was for many years Dr. Don North‘s boat. When he could no longer keep his grandchildren entertained messing about on it he gave it to RVYC. It became surplus to requirements and Steve took over the challenge of getting it race worthy. It is going to give David Bell some encouragement to get his Cal 20 Calpurnia race ready sooner that later.

It is very educational to go through the detailed Race results archived on the RVYC website. An example is that, although we know that Tom Lowdon wins races more often than not, when he doesn‘t, for example when he is on Race Committee, quite a lot of different names appear in the win column. Scott Roberts, Trevor Hayward, Margaret Long, Gerry Porter, Peter Vivian and David Bleakney for example. If seeing some of all of this in more detail especially lots of pictures, is of interest to you, consider looking at our Cal 20 Fleet 13 website reached through the RVYC website.

Sunday ATB racing is in full swing through the winter. In addition we have our annual Cal 20 Spinnaker series on Saturday Dec 11th. This is great fun to watch from the shore as well to participate.

Winter RTB Race October 17, 2010

A perfect sunny autumn day with a 5-10 knot northerly brought out 6 Cal’s for the kick-off of the 2010 RTB Winter Series on October 17th. It was great to see Alga-Y back out after an extended absence.  Clearly Peter Vivian hasn’t forgotten how to sail as he had two firsts in three races.  A shifty northerly wind required everyone to be on their toes to catch the lifts upwind.  That combined with several tacking duels made it a memorable day.

Long Foggy Distance Race

 The day started with rain, fog and no wind, and still 5 Cal’s showed up for our long distance race on Sunday September 26th.  Waiting around on the dock with some enjoyable conversation brought an improving wind and better visibility. In the light air we decided that a race around Trial Island and back to the RVYC dock was enough of a challenge. We headed out for our start. The wind was a light south-easterly and as we tacked out of Cadboro Bay. Kelsib and Final Merry headed East out for the current while Bluebird, La Galatea, and Artemis headed more on a rhumb line for Gonzales Point.  Then the fog hit.  Visibility dropped to 30 meters as we on Artemis probed our way through Emily I. to starboard, then Robson Rf., then once we saw Harris I. to port we realized we could sail a fair distance on our southerly course before we encountered any more crunchy bits.  After some time the fog eased and Gonzales point showed up comfortably to starboard.  We were scanning the horizon for other Cal’s and eventually Final Merry appeared out of the thinning fog to the east of us.  No other Cal’s were visible, and we realized that we were in first place! As Final Merry popped their shute on a nice reach towards the south of Trial Island we started having regrets that Artemis wasn’t rigged for a spinnaker. We managed to round Trial ahead and kept our position until we reached Enterprise Channel.  By this time there was a strong flood running and we were flushed through the channel trading the lead back and forth.  Artemis rounded the south cardinal buoy first and led in a broad reach until around the can buoy in Mouat Channel and towards Fiddle Rf.  Final Merry finally passed us around Fiddle Rf.  We tried all we could but there was no chance of us passing again and Trevor and his crew won the day.  On arriving back at the dock we learned that Kelsib had decided to head in after the fog filled in.  Bluebird had been pushed in towards Willows Beach and retired, but waited around for us on the return leg.  La Galatea had also retired and were sailing in search of wayward Cal’s to ensure that everyone got safely out of the fog.  All in all an enjoyable and unusual sailing race.  The GPS track of Artemis (sans fog) is shown below.

Artemis' track for the Cal 20 Long Distance Race


Kittiwake Lives!

From Peter Coy: Here are some  photos of a restored Kittiwake which I bought from Mike Smith in 1976 a year after he won the Fleet13 championship. Gabriel Perche, the new owner, was out sailing for the first time on Harrison Lake yesterday. Gabriel made contact with me after reading about Kittiwake on the website.

You can read more about Kittiwake in the Fleet History write up (button to left).  More photos are on our Flickr site

Thermopylae Trophy Race

This year’s Thermoplyae Trophy race day started unimpressively with steady rain and no wind. However, after mulling the poor conditions, the crews of Bluebird and Artemis decided to motor out to the start line off of Clover Point to see if some wind might come up.  Seventeen boats started the race with a very light easterly and an ebb tide pushing us across the line. On Artemis we decided to try to get out into the stronger ebb as soon as possible, and went on a reach to the south-west.  As the ebb strengthened we were pushed out towards the Fairway Buoy.  Around the time we rounded Fairway the wind changed to a north-easterly and we sailed close hauled in the direction of Albert Head in an advantageous current.  As the wind filled in more from the North we tacked up to round the degaussing buoys.  At this point we weren’t too far behind the division two boats, so we thought we might have a chance of placing.  Coming back towards Clover Point we had the advantage of viewing the fleet in a lull off of Victoria harbour.  We managed to find some wind and perhaps more advantageous current in-shore and kept ghosting along until the wind filled in again from the East around the position of Brotchie Ledge.  By this point we had passed much of the fleet and were in the middle of the action.  We tacked up to the shortened finish off of Clover Point amongst the division two boats. We were 3rd over the finish line in Division 2, but our rating brought our corrected time to first overall to take the Trophy.  What started as a unpromising day certainly turned out to be a very memorable occasion for Glenn Waddingham and me!  Our GPS track and a Tideview current map are shown below.

Artemis' GPS track for the Thermopylae Trophy Race

Current over the race course at noon on September 12


A Rosy Cal 20 Future

Some skallywags having fun in Cadboro Bay. Looks like a good summer!


Cal 20 Fleet 13 Picnic

A report from picnic organizer Mike Kittel..

This year we decided to hold the Fleet 13 Picnic on Father's Day and rather than join the Club Picnic we went off and did our own thing. There were fifteen of us in total. After meeting at the appointed time a quick decision was made to go to Mary Todd, so we loaded up our gear and off we went. Gerry Porter brought his powerboat Unique and ferried his wife Janice, Trevor and Jean Hayward, Christina Schallenberg and myself. Tom, Fran and Steve Lowdon sailed Kelsib, Margaret Long, Mike Byrnes, her daughter and daughters partner sailed Long Shot and Ross and Karen Benton sailed Windless.   The weather was medium overcast and a little blustery when we set off but an improvement was promised by Environment Canada. We anchored off the north tip and Long Shot rafted up to Unique. We were joined by Kelsib and Windless who anchored a short distance away. Several trips got all of us and our gear over to the west side of Mary Todd where we set up camp. As with many gatherings the bbq was fired up, food came out and the picnic was on. Luckily the weather forecast was correct and as the day wore on it turned very pleasant.   After sampling many a dish and trading a few tales a group of us set off to explore. If I remember correctly no-one in our party had been to Mary Todd before. The island is quite small yet big enough to support several picnics without treading on anyone else's space. After enjoying about four hours of a wonderful fathers day we loaded up and returned home. Many thanks to all who attended and helped out and a special note of thanks to Gerry for coming through in my pinch.

RTB July 14, 2010

Racing in close at Cattle Point

Images courtesy of Andrew Madding, Bowshow Productions. Additional images can be found here.


RTB July 7, 2010

Nicely trimmed headsails


Downwind towards the Olympics

Images courtesy of Andrew Madding, Bowshow Productions. Additional images can be found here.


Cal 20 Canadian National Championships

Congratulations to Fleet 13 member Trevor Hayward, with crew Steve Lowdon and Michael Kittel for winning the Cal 20 Canadian Championships in Vancouver.

From Trevor Hayward:

Pleased to report that 'Final Merry' at the Royal Van Yacht Club Easter Seals Regatta, which included the Cal 20 nationals, has brought home the very lovely Cal 20 trophy.

We were very fortunate in having a fresh south easterly wind on both days - unusual at this time of year and not expected. With 3 up and with Steve Lowdon - son of local champion Tom Lowdon - acting as tactician and sail trimmer we had a definite advantage, particularly day one when the wind was a little brisker. Mike Kittel was foredeck and was a very quick and able learner. Day 2 saw some keener competition due perhaps to the lighter winds and loss of some concentration by the 80 year old helmsmen!!!

Royal Vic was also well represented on the management side by Jennifer Guest, John Able and our own Paul Ulibarri as Principle Race Officer.

A very satisfactory event.


The following article is copied from the Fleet 38 Web Site

Congratulations to our new Cal 20 Canadian Champions for 2010. 

Onboard Final Merry, Captain Trevor Hayward and Crew - Steve Lowdon and Mike Kittel (Representing Fleet 13) sailed their way to Victory in English Bay. The conditions on Saturday were unusually blustery to say the least for this time of year. With the shifty south easterly winds being redirected through the city and at times out of no where there would be puffs that would render your mast in the horizontal ...  it was a challenge. A challenge that the team from Victoria handled quite readily. Day 1 -  finished with Final Merry pulling off 3 bullets and in the lead over Magical by 2 points followed  closely by Classical. The weather for the day and evening was just what we had ordered. Plenty of wind and sunshine. We partied,  enjoyed the music, buffet dinner and recounted the days events ... We did however sense that some were carefull not to enjoy themselves too much. Perhaps there was a lesson there for those of us that did. Day 2 - Plenty of wind with an overcast sky turning to sunshine in the  afternoon. Whimsical was dialed in and pulled off 3 bullets and seemed to rule the day but in the end it was Final Merry 1st with 17 points, Magical 2nd with 23 points and Whimsical 3rd with 29 points overall. Overall it was a great Regatta and our thanks to all those that participated in making it an enjoyable and successful event.

The following E-mail was received from Helga Sheppard, Fleet Captain, Cal 20 Fleet 38, Vancouver:

As Fleet Captain of Fleet 38 I would like to once again extend our congratulations to Fleet 13 member Trevor Hayward and his crew on Final Merry for winning the 2010 Cal 20 Canadian National Championships. With the participation of our entire Fleet and Final Merry representing Fleet 13 we had 8 Cal 20s on the start line for the Nationals.  While we share Trevor's disappointment that there were not more Cal20's on the start line for a National Championships we all enjoyed hosting Trevor and his crew and were happy that we were able to provide some close racing for them.  I do not have the email addresses of all members of Fleet 13 so I apologize in advance for any of your members that I may have missed with this email. 
Well done Trevor and crew!

Helga Sheppard

Round the Buoys Race, June 9, 2010

Some nice pictures courtesy of Andrew Madding, Bowshot Productions.  Additional shots are on our Flickr page link here.

Final Merry with T-birds in background

Kelsib approaches the mark

Rock n' Roll at the mark

Bluebird in a nice breeze

Long Shot upwind


Pacific Rim Regatta

The following reports and pictures by Andrew Madding summarize a fantastic week of Cal 20 racing at the Pacific Rim Regatta.  Addiitional pictures can be found here link.


Report from Margaret Long...

The Pacific Rim Yacht Challenge was the most fun regatta I have ever raced in! The competition was stiff and the camaraderie was second to none! The first day out I sailed with Peter Vivian as skipper, Gerry Porter trimming and myself on the bow (for the first time I might add!). With winds between 25 and 30 Knots it was a whisker pole only day. It was very exciting with our Canadian team coming 2nd in every race on La Galatea and the Americans clearly ahead in every race and achieving 3 bullets onboard Blue Bird. Tuesday was not my race day but as the results indicate Canada achieved a 2, 1, 1, 2 and 2. The Japanese ended the day on a thrilling note with 2 bullets onboard Long Shot. They came off the water very happy and treated my royally for the rest of the week! Thursday was another fantastic day racing with Ken Kelly as skipper, Ken Pohl trimming and myself back on the bow and spinnaker trim. Fortunately we were able to fly the spinnaker today which added a new challenge for me. We acheived good success with a bullet in the first two races, a 3rd on the third race and a bullet in the fourth and final race of the day. Friday we left the dock knowing that we only had 3 races left and the regatta was over. The pressure was on with Peter Vivian skipper, Roger Aubin trimming and myself on the bow and spinnaker. New Zealand in Long Shot had the clear lead in the first two races with good starts, clear air, first to the mark and first to finish. They were beaming with pride and joy as they acheived their first two bullets of the regatta! Canada was close behind finishing 2nd with the Americans in hot pursuit acheiving the 3rd place in the first two races. The final race of the day and the regatta will certainly stand out in Peter, Roger and my eyes as the most exciting and challenging races of the week. With Canada racing on Rock N Roll, Japan on Alga Y (Peter's boat) and New Zealand racing on Long Shot (my boat) we had a hard time deciding who to root for! The course was 3 times around and the three boats were very close the entire time. I will let Peter Vivian fill in the intricate details of the mark roundings which were very exciting, as I was focused on looking up at the kite and jibing the pole. I dared not look around on the final leg and concentrated completely on the trim and as we crossed the finished line after a quick gybe, I heard a beep, beep, pause beep and prayed we were the first beep! The cheers quickly confirmed our bullet with Japan a very close 2nd and New Zealand a second behind them in 3rd. The entire event was so much fun it is hard to put into words!


Report from Peter Vivian...

We have just completed a very fun and interesting week of Cal 20 sailing in the Pac Rim challenge.  Gerry Porter, Margaret Long, Ken Kelly, Ken Pohl, Roger Aubin and I all participated in the Cal 20 racing for the Canadian team. There were 5 teams coming from clubs in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and USA. The Cal 20 fleet consisted of Alga-Y, Bluebird, Galatea, Final Merry, Long Shot and Rock 'N Roll. During strong winds on Monday with recorded gusts to 29 knots we had some brisk action to start the week. The Japanese team were sailing Final Merry when the Port spreader failed.  Fortunately the quick thinking Japanese team were able to get the boat on the other tack and get the sails down before loosing the mast. They went back to the dock and were able to get Rock N Roll out in time for the next race. Myself, Gerry Porter and Margaret Long were sailing Galatea on Monday (as decided in a draw)  and enjoyed some of the best sailing action one can have with brisk winds and good competition.  Bluebird, sailed by a very capable American team, was dominant for the day with 3 wins.  We were close behind with 3 second place finishes but just could not keep the pace of the wily skipper who grew up sailing Cal 20s on San Francisco Bay. Tuesday saw us enjoying a day of tactical racing in a shifty Northeasterly breeze where we tacked up the bay and ran back down under Spinnakers. Ken Kelly, Roger Aubin and myself sailed that day on Long Shot and Alga-Y. We did 5 races and finished the day in an overall point tie with the American team although we saw Japan enjoy a couple of wins with Longshot.  This was followed by a dock party extraordinaire where Fred Poustie organised a Hula Hoop contest, some Japanese Karaoke and various other capers to liven up the waterfront. Ken Kelly also skippered on Thursday with Margaret Long and Ken Pohl as crew and again kept up the high standards to give Canada a lead in the standings. Friday it was myself on helm with Roger Aubin and Margaret Long sailing on Rock N Roll.  We had Southwest and southerly breezes at 7 to 10 knots and good tactical racing. Team New Zealand was giving us a particularly hard time with that slippery boat, Long Shot but in the last race we were able to pass them early on the last downwind leg after a close mark rounding followed by some excellent spinnaker work.  We had a few tense duals with N.Z. team as we headed for the finish but held the left side of the course giving us starboard tack advantage at the finish and managed to build a lead.  We also had the Japanese team on Bluebird close behind giving us some concerns but savoured the best for last with a bullet. The Australian team were on Galatea and gave us a tough time at the starts on Friday but did not keep the pace there after. In all it was a fun week of sailing with some very pleasant moments of reflection on the club lawn in the late afternoons and much joviality as we compared our various tactical maneuvers and adventures of the day. It was a great event and a special thanks to all the Fleet 13 members who donated boats and time to help make this a first class event.


Cal 20 Turning Made Easy

A photo sequence showing how Steve Lowdon's project Cal 20 was turned over for work on the bottom.


New Fleet Member

We welcome Foxtrot, owned by Peter Eckard to Fleet 13.  The photo below is from the May 12 Wednesday night RTB race.  More photos can be found here.

Foxglove (Photo Credit: Andrew Madding, Bowshot Productions)


Lipton Cup Update

This year’s Lipton Cup race was won by Trevor Hayward and crew on Final Merry. Trevor and the cup have a significant history together; in fact this is his fourth time winning it. However, he previously won when sailing his Olsen 30 and this is the first win on a Cal 20. The Lipton Cup was donated by Sir Thomas Lipton after he had visited Victoria in 1912. At the time he had declared Victoria to be "the paradise of our Empire." Few would disagree with his assessment. Cal 20’s have only competed in this event in the last couple of years, but given this result we can expect more involvement of the Cal 20 Fleet future in trophy races and other PHRF events.

Trevor Hayward and crew receiving the Lipton Cup (Photo: Peter Coy)


THRASH Regatta , April 17-18, 2010

Seven Cal 20s competed in THRASH.  We had light winds and strong currents both days which made for tricky racing conditions.  However, the racing was close and all boats in the fleet were sailing in fine form. As an illustration of how close the competition was, the top five boat’s total scores were separated by only four points, and the top four boats each had one first place finish.  In the end it was Tom and Steve Lowdon in Kelsib in first, followed by Final Merry and Artemis. A full set of 60+ photos from the regatta can be found here.

Fleet 13 at the windward mark with Kelsib already rounded. 

Photo courtesy of Andrew Madding, Bowshot Productions.

Lipton Cup , April 11 , 2010

Final Merry, Bluebird, Alga-Y and Long Shot did us proud in the Lipton Cup race, again showing that the Cal 20 can perform extremely well in PHRF competition.  By all accounts the conditions were perfect for Cal 20 performance, flat seas with 15 knots of wind from a nice north-easterly. Repeating last year’s stellar performance Trevor Hayward came second overall and in Division 2 Final Merry, Bluebird, and Alga-Y placed 1st, 3rd and 5th.  Long Shot sailed the full course but unfortunately was late to the starting line and therefore didn’t get scored.

David Bleakney gave the following report:

Bluebird left the dock in plenty of time to motor over but instead we opted to fly the chute to get a bit of practice. Big mistake! We were about a minute late at the start. We sailed the rumb line almost all the way around the course. Trevor, finishing about three minutes ahead of us won a well deserved second overall. Congrats to Trevor and his crew. The day provided champagne conditions. Ten to fifteen in a warm northeaster. All in all a great day to sail a Cal 20.

Trevor Hayward gave the following report:

For only the second time in living memory the Cal 20 Fleet (Fleet 13) participated in the Lipton Cup.  Last year, three boats entered and all ended up in the top 10 overall.  This year, four entered with three in the first 10 overall – the fourth was 15 minutes late at the start – even for Cal 20s that is a bit much!

Coincidence?  Maybe, but unlikely.  Brilliant sailing?  No!   Competent, maybe, but certainly not brilliant.  Handicap?  It certainly plays a part.  The conditions were very similar to last year and ideal for Cal 20s as indeed for most other boats.  If the wind had been 5 knots rather than 15, then in all probability they would have been in the bottom 10, rather than the top.  Lady luck? Always a factor.  Overall – probably a combination of all of the above.  One thing is certain and that is that under ideal conditions, any PHRF boat can win, which is what it is designed to do.

Winter One Design Regatta, March 20, 2010

Five Cal 20s headed out for the Winter One Design Regatta on March 20th under near perfect racing conditions of 15 knot northerly winds. Unfortunately Margaret and Mike on Long Shot lost their jib halyard just before the first race and had to head in to retreive it. Showing great spirit they returned in time to cheer us on to the end of the last race. Steve Lowdon skippered Kelsib with Tom as crew to take the Captain Holmes Winter One Design Award. Photos for the event are on our Flickr Page here.

Steve and Tom Lowdon on Kelsib, winners of the 2010 Captain Holmes Winter One Design Award.
(Photo Credit Andrew Madding, Bowshot Productions)


Spring Around the Buoys Race #3, March 14 , 2010

On March 14th we were very pleased to have our past Fleet Captian Mike Sharp out racing on Bluebird.

Mike Sharp crewing for David Bleakney on Bluebird (Photo Credit Andrew Madding, Bowshot Productions)


Spring Around the Buoys Race #2, February 28, 2010

On Sunday February 28th we got in two nice races before heading in to watch the Canada win the men's Gold Medal in hockey. We had seven Cal 20's out, plus Ken Trudgeon and crew on the committee boat. It was nice to see Alga-Y join in the fun after missing the last few races.

More photos from the day can be seen here.


















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