Harsh winds and the threat of lightning did not prevent the 39th-Annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta from taking place Saturday on Lake Champlain, nor did it keep Plattsburgh’s Michael Parsons from capturing the coveted Mayor’s Cup trophy. Parsons and skipper Peter Hall of Montreal, Quebec, helped lead the crew of Obelix to a victory in the Racing division, finishing with a corrected time of two hours, eight minutes and 50 seconds.
Michael Parsons, holding the Mayor’s cup, poses for a photo with his Obelix crew, including skipper Peter Hall (center), at the Mayor’s Cup Regatta awards ceremony Saturday. (Photo credit, Joey LaFranca, P-R)

Parsons attributed Obelix’s win to the chemistry he has with Hall.

“We have been at this a long time,” Parsons said. “Peter and I have been partners for (12) years. We sail together, train together and practice together. We are not causal about this. We are pretty focused.”

Hall acknowledged how the focus the Obelix crew possessed was key during the race as it faced troubling conditions that kept almost 75 percent of the event’s 55 registered sailors off the water.

“These were horrible conditions,” Hall said. “The wind was blowing somewhere between 28 and 36 nautical miles, which is hugely forceful wind. The maximum for our boat is 25.”

Hall said the crew used a safe approach throughout the race because of the difficult conditions and noted that communication was essential.

“I did everything to make sure the boat went through the water reasonably well,” Hall said. “I lost my voice screaming, but in general, we didn’t have any problems. Everything was under control.”

Despite the poor weather, both Parsons and Hall said it was enjoyable to sail on Lake Champlain.

This year’s Mayor’s Cup win was Parsons’ sixth overall and Hall’s fifth.

Ed Trombley of Plattsburgh finished second in the Racing division, clocking in at 2:22:57, and John Touron of Waterbury, Vermont, placed third with a time of 2:25:04.

While the Mayor’s Cup trophy was handed out to the Racing division winner, the Cruising division champion, Dorval, Quebec’s, Richard LeBoef, collected the Rotary Cup, awarded by the Sunrise Rotary Club since 1997.

LeBoef and the crew of Anjin San tallied a time of 2:01:55, while Daniel Hancock (2:02:19) of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, and Miro Balcar (2:02:49) finished second and third, respectively.

Event organizer Dr. Kjell Dahlen said this year’s regatta presented the most challenging conditions the race has ever seen.

“It was so windy, and the threat of thunder and lightning was a problem, too,” Dahlen said. “You don’t want to be anywhere in the middle of the lake touching wire with lightning. That’s what I was most worried about.

“I thought that the danger of lightning had passed, though, once we had started the race.”

Dahlen also stressed how the event helped display Plattsburgh to all who participated and watched.

“I do think the race showcased our area nicely,” Dahlen said. “Of course, Plattsburgh is much nicer when it is sunny, but it still did. The Mayor’s Cup helps put Plattsburgh a little bit on the map.”


39th Annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta Results

Racing Division

1. Michael Parsons, Obelix, Plattsburgh, 2:08:50.

2. Ed Trombley, Odinn, Plattsburgh, 2:22:57.

3. John Touron, Dunder, Waterbury Ctr., 2:25:04.

4. Mike Parsons, Witchcraft, Plattsburgh, 2:29:13.

5. Jean Pierre Turgeon, Corbeau, St.-Bernard-de-Lacolle, 2:29:53.

6. Leslie Velte, Tailsman, Londonderry, 2:33:31.

7. Doug Friant, Muse, S. Londonderry, 2:35:04.

8. Gerry Couture, Thankful, Burlington, 2:47:35.

9. Don Duley, Polar Express, Plattsburgh, 2:47:47.

Cruising Division

1. Richard LeBoef, Anjin San, Dorval, 2:01:55.

2. Daniel Hancock, O’De Vent, St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, 2:02:19.

3. Miro Balcar, Endo-X, Montreal, 2:02:49.

4. Cinthia Audet, Etoile D’Argent, Laval, 2:05:02.

5. Stephan Bouchard, R New Gal, Granby, 2:39:31.