On February 26, on the eve of the Oscars, a contingent of Sturgeon Lakers from across the generations walked the other red carpet in their finery to attend the Canadian Yachting Association gala awards dinner, held at the Carlu in Toronto.
SLSC was there in force to receive the CYA Regatta of the Year Award for its hosting of the Canadian Laser Masters Championship Regatta. Agatha Tawaststjerna, Flora Agnew, Jane Roberts, Penny Barr, Leslie Thomas, Cathy DesBrisay, Madge Barr, Dale Hodge, Mary Lynn Wroe, Anne DesBrisay and Biz Agnew were resplendent in their respective designers’ smocks. The men were acceptable accessories. Richard Roberts wore a suit. SLSC looked magnificent.
Gerry Giffin, CYA President and formerly an SLSC head instructor, made the presentation to Hugh DesBrisay and, in accepting the award on behalf of SLSC, Hugh snuck in these words to the assembled luminaries of the Canadian sailing world before the music started up and he was ceremonially escorted from the podium with Award in hand:
” Thank you CYA for this honour…
A little background first: Sturgeon Lake is one of the Kawartha Lakes in Ontario cottage country. The Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club has run junior sailing programs for kids from the lake and neighbouring lakes for over 50 years.
In 1972, the Club hosted its first Mid Ontrio Laser Regatta – a Regatta that has expanded and, over the years since 1972, has become an institution on the Ontario dinghy regatta schedule.
The 2010 Canadian Laser Masters Championships drew from that Mid Ontario legacy – many of those descending on Surgeon Point – the smallest incorporated village in the province – were masters sailors who had sailed the Mids Regatta for many years – some as long ago as those regattas in the early 70’s. Others were attending a Sturgeon Lake regatta for the first time. All told, there were sailors from coast to coast in Canada, from the U.S. and one from Ireland. They were aged 35 to 77.
The Regatta was a spectacle. For three days, the masters raced hard in good winds during the day and told stories and relived memories over beer and wine and fine food at night. It was a wonderful celebration of the CYA notion of sailing and racing as a lifelong passion.
This Award honours the legacy of the lake regatta – a legacy that started on Sturgeon Lake in 1972 when David and Penny Barr organized the first Mid Ontario Regatta.
This award also honours the enthusiastic volunteers of Sturgeon Lake who love to host regattas and do it so well.
But above all, the award honours those indominable masters sailors, whose regattas are marked by such phenomenal good sportsmanship and camaraderie…were it so that all regattas would be such. These masters and grand masters and great grand masters made our regatta the truly memorable event that it was.
I hope to see many of them and many of you back at the Mids regatta in August. Thanks.”
Pictures of the event to follow.