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Sunday, July 14, 2024
WORLD CHAMPIONS: NOTL crew races to glory in Shark regatta – winning by a foot
Members of NOTL's world champion Shark crew, sailors Alex Letchford, Josh Wiwcharyk and Chris Clarke aboard the Crunch, arrive back at the marina Friday. DAVE VAN DE LAAR

And thanks to Sailor for the Sea Clean Regatta protocols, the event generated just two bags of garbage after hundreds of meals over the week


After almost a week of racing on Lake Ontario, the Shark World Championship in Niagara-on-the-Lake was decided by the narrowest of margins.

Less than one foot. And a single point.

After 10 races over six days, the regatta came down to the finale on Friday.

In the last race, Crunch, with the NOTL Sailing Club’s Josh Wiwcharyk, Chris Clarke and Alex Letchford aboard, nosed out a Sarnia crew by barely a foot.

That gave the Wiwcharyk’s team fifth spot in the race and just enough points to edge fellow NOTLers Levi, Jacob and Malcolm Harper for the overall championship.

The Harpers’ boat, Rampant, ended the final race in second place and second overall in the regatta.

The top two crews were so evenly matched over the week that only a single point separated them in the end.

Points are awarded based on a boat’s finish in each race and the Crunch ended the regatta with 57 to Rampant’s 58, a razor-thin margin.

Third place overall, with 69 points, was Rocket Appliance and the team of Dave Castle, Dane Broe and Jessica Broe-Vayda from the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club.

And the Amicus, crewed by NOTL sailors Mark Schantz, Dave Schantz and Ken Greer won the regatta’s long-distance race and received the Bill Metzger Trophy.

The George Hinterhoeller Award, named for the man who invented the Shark in NOTL, was presented to Jinnie Gordon for her commitment to promoting women’s sailing and her dedication to the Shark class.

Crews from the host Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club performed well all week, regatta chair Rod Gardner said.

In all, 48 crews participated in the 56th world championships, coming from Austria, Germany, the United States and Canada.

Thirteen different Sharks were raced by 43 members of the NOTL Sailing Club, Gardner said.

As well, “there were over 50 volunteers needed to run the daily program,” he said.

The championship also generated almost no garbage thanks to organizers adopting the Sailor for the Sea Clean Regatta protocols.

“Over the seven days, only two bags of garbage were created. We served four meals for 200 people each day and everything was compostable and recycled,” Gardner said.

“There were no single-use items throughout this regatta. A lot of effort was put into this event to eliminate all garbage.”

Border City Paper of Niagara Falls supplied the items for the regatta. The cutlery was made from recycled coffee grounds and was fully compostable, he said.

Niagara Region provided extra green bins for composting along with its Water Wagon for refilling water bottles.

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