Our Bronze level race team got their season off to a fabulous start off the rocky shores of Georgian Bay with a four day training clinic and regatta at Sail Parry Sound. Three teams: Keira Webster and Claire Lourie, Jacob Webster and Nick Agnew, and Megan Thomas and Thom Nyhuus left SLSC with their coach Evan Burtt on the first Monday of sailing club and headed north west to be the first of our sailors to compete in the famous winds of The Big Sound in the heart of the Canadian Shield.
The regatta was organized by both Sail Parry Sound and Lake Joseph Yacht Club with two days of training followed by two days of racing on the agenda. Six guest “elite” race coaches, including Canadian Olympic team coach Rob Fox, were in attendance to train the sailors while their home coaches were receiving their own race management and safety officer training.
It was a tremendous opportunity for everyone. The regatta organizers worked hard to ensure that the sailors were well fed and well entertained! The first night included dinner and a special screening of Disney’s new sailing movie “Morning Light”, the second evening saw everyone transported by boat to a cottage on an island about 9 miles up the bay for a wonderful BBQ dinner, and the finale was an evening bonfire on a beach with each team performing a cheer or skit while the sun set and sailors enjoyed pizza and smores. Attending parents and chaperones were also treated to attend a last day boat cruise for a lunch with Ontario Sailing at a famous local, water access only, fish restaurant called Henry’s which was wonderful. All and all it was an extremely well organized clinic and regatta that we would jump at the chance to attend again!
Having said all that, not only did we have a great time, we did well too! The first regatta was sponsored by Lake Joseph and saw Megan and Thom finish first, and Jacob and Nick third in their non-spinnaker division. Keira and Claire finished mid-fleet in the spinnaker division, which was a terrific achievement as they were sailing against many more experienced crews. Day two was sponsored by Sail Parry Sound and finished with Megan and Thom in second, and Jacob and Nick third in their group. Keira and Claire continued to be competative in their division, holding their mid-fleet standing…and Evan Burtt became the first SLSC coach to be qualified as a CYA Assistant Safety Officer, after a rigourous training program. We couldn’t be happier with their results; what a start to the season!
Leslie Thomas (Elite Level Chaperone)