Rob Koci, winner of this year’s Radial Fleet (the new David Barr Cup), writes a sailing diary for District 3 of the International Laser Class Association. Here are some excerts from his report on the 2009 Mids event:
“I am a big fan of Sturgeon Lake. Two years ago, I came to the venue and got a 2nd at the Mid Ontarios and last year I won the Ontario Masters on the lake. This year the Mid Ontarios arrived again on the calendar, and I was there with bells on.
I did not see my dear Meg this time (see my report of the Masters last year), but I did see plenty of what I like about the lake, the club and the people who host the event (see footnote: excerpt from 2008 Masters Report).
First the lake: I have yet to have a bad day of sailing on Sturgeon Lake. Saturday, the first day on the water for Mids ‘09, there was a nice south easterly blowing for us as we sailed to the course, and it had the good grace to throw a lefty at me right after a nice start at the pin in the first race…
And now the club and the people. I can’t think of a smarter thing to do for a sailing club than to dedicate their energies to their kids sailing programs. The Royal Hamilton was close to folding a few years ago until they decided to reboot their culture to focus almost entirely on youth. The Royal Canadian is famous for funding their youth from diapers to Olympic berths. With the many distractions available now for young people, I wonder sometimes how any young people ever find time to sail, and yet, youth keep coming to the sport and it is places like Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club and their dedicated members that make it happen. Why is it important? Because I can’t think of a better reason to sail than that I can compete one-on-one with young people. And fathers can race with their sons and daughters can race with fathers, and moms can race, too!! (but it seems, not many want to). It is one of the few sports that can be family oriented on the course, not just because daddy has to drive.
Thanks again, Sturgeon Lake. Give me an excuse to race there again, please!!
Footnote: This from Rob’s 2008 Master’s Report:
Now it’s Saturday night, and I want to stop for a minute to tell the story of our arrival at our billet. My girlfriend and I were welcomed by Jeanne, Don and their lovely daughter Meg. After our hellos, shy Meg led us up to our room, which was an exquisitely appointed, large room with a bathroom. After showing us the room and pointing out its amenities, Meg, who might be eight years old, lightly pranced out the door, very happy that she had succeeded in using her exemplary manners. But, as I watched her leave, her faced turned unhappy and she stopped. She returned, having replaced her hopping with her more dignified former gait. She then came back into the room to grab the handle of the bedroom door. Carefully, she pulled the door to half closed, smiled again, and quickly left the room, proper manners restored.
I could tell you how fabulous the hospitality was at Sturgeon Point (and always is). I could tell you how wonderful it was to be greeted by happy young people instead of the sullen, morose black-garbed, tattooed kids of my Toronto streets. I could describe how welcome Alexis and I felt throughout the weekend, but I thought that story would do it for me.