About 130 boats took to the waters of Lake Ontario Saturday morning for the Lake Ontario 300, an annual sailboat race which begins at the Port Credit Yacht Club.

About 130 boats took to the waters of Lake Ontario Saturday morning for the Lake Ontario 300, an annual sailboat race which begins at the Port Credit Yacht Club.

It seems as though participants in the Lake Ontario 300 yacht race will have a hard time finding wind as they set sail from Port Credit Yacht Club this morning to begin a multi-day circumnavigation of Lake Ontario.

Guy Perrin of the race organizing committee said winds are expected to be lighter than most years, meaning sailing vessels will have a tough time finding winds to propel them through their journey.

"It's a different challenge this year," said Perrin, a participant in the 23rd annual race.

"It's a matter of finding the wind and paying attention to the weather forecasts as opposed to just getting in the boat and making it go fast. We'll have to use a little bit more strategy this year and it'll be interesting to see what different strategies will be used this year to win the race."

Perrin expects winds to pick up tomorrow as 128 vessels compete for the Sperry Cup, a trophy given to the overall champion.

The first fleet of boats are expected to arrive back in Port Credit on Monday. As always, there are two races to compete in, the 200-nautical mile Scotch Bonnet Island course and the 300-nautical mile Main Duck Island circuit.

Participants in the Scotch Bonnet event will travel east to Belleville, southwest to Niagara and then north back to Port Credit for the finish.

Main Duck races will set sail for Kingston, turn south to Ford Shoals near Oswego, New York, west to Niagara and back to Port Credit.

Perrin said there's always a lot of excitement leading up to the race.

"People come from different areas for different purposes," he said. "Some like to do it for the sense of achievement, others really want to win it while a lot of other people do it for the purpose of improving their sailing skills. It forces you to sail in all kinds of different conditions."

icolpitts@mississauga.net