2010 Lake Ontario 300 Challenge

The parade of thunderstorms (radar loop ) and the strong winds they produced wreaked havoc all along the race course. Approximately 61 of the 177 boats (34%) that started the race were unable to finish due to minor injuries sustained by crew members or damage produced by the storms. One observer estimated the damage to boats and sails at nearly $1 million, a large price tag for an amateur event.

The official Ontario 300 website contains a number of photo galleries posted by participants in the 2010 event documenting the storms from a wide variety of perspectives. A particularly interesting gallery of storm photographs can be found here.

The repeated encounters with the storms during the 2010 race may deter a few from participating in the future. However, the majority will be once again be willing to test their abilities against others and the forces of Mother Nature. As of April 2011, nearly 100 participants had already submitted their registration for the upcoming race scheduled for July. Regardless of their decision to participate in future races, the participants in the 2010 Ontario 300 learned or reinforced a valuable lesson regarding the damaging potential of thunderstorms.