2013 Spring Commodore’s Letter

Dear Sailors, Families of Sailors, and Friends of the Sturgeon Lake Sailing Club,

This summer marks the 57th year of activity at SLSC, and we are looking forward to a season no less sensational than any of the previous 56, replete with sailing, swimming, games, pizza lunches, dances and fun for all, including another gala-esque celebration!

Last summer we enjoyed record attendance at the club, the completion of the first phase of our new building (“the Boathouse”), and renewed enthusiasm in our racing program.  Every indication is that this summer will be equally exciting, and see us operating at peak levels of attendance again!

As you know (and are of course regularly reminded), we rely heavily on the financial support of our community to maintain and upgrade our facilities and sailing equipment.  We are ever grateful for the generosity and support of our local community.

With more sailors, and aging boats, we are mindful of the need to renew our fleet.  This year, as a beginning, we are adding six new boats (see below for details), and planning to buy a new coach boat. These are unavoidable big-ticket items that we must acquire to maintain the quality, and safety standards, of our program, but it leaves our capital reserve considerably diminished.

Not wishing to impose too soon on the generosity of all of you who contributed towards the new building, over the winter I launched a personal appeal to friends and colleagues outside of the SLSC community, to get a head start on raising funds for much-needed additions to our fleet.  Now, I appeal to you to join me in contributing to this initiative. You may donate online, and receive an immediate tax receipt, by following this link: Commodore’s Appeal.

With that behind us, here’s what is planned for the 2013 season!


This summer we are adding to our roster of instructors and will have a total of 7, with five returning from last summer, and two new instructors.  All of our instructors this year are products of the SLSC.  Keira Webster and Kate Thomas will serve as head instructors, Amy DesBrisay returns to lead our Race Team and the CanSail 5/6 sailors; Keira will teach the CanSail 4 sailors; Owen Thomas, CanSail 3; Claire Lourie, CanSail 2; and John Gilchrist and Erik Nyhuus will teach the CanSail 1 and WetFeet groups.  For more information on our instructors, please visit http://www.slsc.ca/instructors/.

Program Highlights

  • Wet Feet – following the success of last year’s Wet Feet program, designed to make our youngest sailors comfortable in and on the water in our Optimist dinghies, Erik will bring his experience with BC Sailing’s Mobile Optimist Sailing School to bear in creating a fun environment for these sailors to learn basic sailing skills.
  • Racing – CanSail 5/6 – There will be a number of regattas and other events in which our race team will have an opportunity to participate.  These include regattas in Port Credit, Lake Muskoka, possibly Kingston, as well as our own Mid-Ontario Championship Regatta, and Civic Holiday Regatta. Incidentally, I am told this summer’s will be the 175th anniversary of the first Sturgeon Point Civic Holiday Regatta!
  • Racing – Optis – Last year marked the inaugural year of our “Elite Opti Racing Squad”, created to give a group of our younger sailors an opportunity to get a taste of the regatta scene.  The “EORS” raced in two regattas at Port Credit Yacht Club under the tutelage of Owen Thomas.  Owen, along with Erik, will inspire aspiring CanSail 1 / 2 racers again this summer, and we would hope to attend PCYC’s “It’s Not Easy Being Green” Regatta again, August 8-9.
  • “Extracurricular Activities” Tuesday night activities (which have included games, bonfires and movies, in previous years), and Friday night dances will continue, led by the senior sailors. More information about these evenings, activities, dance themes, and special events, will be communicated, as the kids lay out their plans, on the club website, in regular instructor email newsletters, and via Twitter.
  • Wednesday Night Races are back! July 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st, and August 7th, and 14th. Race times and boats will be confirmed in the first week of club.
  • Ontario Sailing Team In Residence! Murray McCullough, Ontario Sailing Team’s High Performance Coach, and former coach at SLSC (for four years) will bring his provincial team of 12 Laser and Radial sailors (age 16 to 18) to SLSC between July 2nd and 5th.  They will participate in SLSC’s morning program, sailing with our own race team.  Murray will work with our race coach to put together a week of on-water activities and lessons and shared coaching of all the senior racers.  In the afternoons, during a training camp for the Provincial Team, our own coaches will participate and benefit from Murray’s mentoring.



We are strongly encouraging pre-registration, as it contributes to a far smoother process for the instructors and parents, and assists in managing lesson planning.  Please click this link for online registration. To avoid increasing our registration fees, and to reduce our administrative costs, we do not take payment online. Once you have received confirmation of the fees, we will still require delivery of payment by cash or cheque (made out to SLSC) on your child’s first day of club. Our Registrar, Leslie Thomas, will be at the club Monday mornings at 8:30 each week, or cheques may be mailed in advance to Leslie Thomas, 39 South Kingslea Drive, Toronto, ON M8Y 2A5.

Program Fees are unchanged from 2012. The weekly fee is $185 per week per sailor (other than the short four day week following Civic Holiday Monday (August 5th) which runs Tuesday to Friday, with registration being $150 that week).  In addition each student is required to pay a one-time fee of $15 to defray costs payable by the club to register each sailor with the Canadian Yachting Association’s CanSail registry. This fee will be added to the fee for the first week of each sailor’s participation in the program.

As always, no one will be turned away because of financial challenges.  If you require assistance with fees, please speak to Leslie Thomas at (416) 234-5506 (in Toronto) or at (705) 887-2821 (Sturgeon Point).  There are a limited number of bursaries available.  All conversations with Leslie in this regard will be confidential.

Reminder: All sailors are reminded to bring the following to the club each day: Life Jacket (PFD), water shoes (no open-toed shoes), bathing suit and towel, hat, change of clothes, waterproof sunscreen, and a reusable/refillable bottle of water and a light snack.

New Boats

Two years ago we added the first of our Laser Picos to the fleet, which have been very well received by the instructors and sailors.  They are extremely durable, making them well suited for the CanSail 1 and 2 programs, and being lighter, lower to the water, and easier to handle they have served us well.  In light of their success in replacing the older 420s, we are adding three new Picos to this fleet this summer to accommodate our growing enrolment.

To keep our racing program competitive we are also adding one new Club 420, for the Racing Team – CanSail 5/6 groups.

Finally, as our fleet of Bytes is nearing the end of its life, we are introducing two new boats for the CanSail 3 sailors.  Two new RS Feva XLs will arrive for this season.  While the Bytes are a single-handed boat, the Feva is a two-person boat (though it can be sailed single-handedly).  This will help us to accommodate our increased enrolment. If these boats are well received we expect to phase out the Bytes in favour of additional Fevas.  Click on this link for an exciting video of Fevas in action: RS Fevas in Action , or here for more technical details.


For the last few years we have run an outreach program in the afternoons to introduce sailing to community youth groups including The boys and Girls Clubs of Kawartha Lakes, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters.  This summer we have expanded these programs, and will offer four afternoon sessions, and a full week afternoon sail camp.  The coaches have found this a rewarding undertaking, and the kids are truly appreciative of the opportunity.  We are proud to be able to carry on with this initiative.

Club Racing

  • Sunday Afternoon Race Series: July 7th, July 28th, August 11th, and August 18th

We expect the same format as previous summers for the Sunday afternoon race series.  Show up at the club at 12:30, with or without a crew.  You will be assigned a boat.  Sailing will be without spinnaker or trapeze.  Individuals will carry their points from one Sunday to the next, regardless of who they sail with.  At the end of the season the individual with the most accumulated points under our scoring system will be crowned the Sunday Afternoon Races Champion, and be suitably recognized at Prizegiving!  Prizes will also be awarded for other categories, to be determined.


All sailors are encouraged to come and participate, regardless of experience.  We will match more experienced sailors with less experienced sailors to ensure everyone gets safely around the race course.  The emphasis in these races is on learning, and very friendly competition.  Adults and Juniors alike are welcome.  First race will start at 1:30 p.m.


  • Civic Regatta: Saturday August 3

Juniors and Adults are encouraged to participate in this annual SLSC regatta.  Priority for boat assignments goes to sailors in the junior club program.  Boats not being sailed by Juniors may be borrowed.  A $50 rental fee per boat will be charged for those who do not have an immediate family member in the Junior Club Program.

Summer Schedule

Some important summer dates:

July 1, 2013

First day of club

July 13-14, 2013

2013 Mid Ontario Championship Regatta, hosted by SLSC

July 27, 2013

Non-Gala Gala – a celebration of the completion of The Boathouse

August 3-4

Civic Holiday Regatta

August 23, 2013

Last Day of Club; Prize-giving, and AGM


Mid-Ontario Championship Regatta:  Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14

Our bi-annual Mid Ontario Championship Regatta is back for the summer of 2013.  It will take place over the weekend of July 13-14.  This year’s regatta will be the Laser and Radial District III Championships as well as a Laser District III Gold Cup Regatta and part of Ontario Sailing’s Grand Prix Series. We are expecting about 200 sailors to descend on Sturgeon Point and to fill the Lake with a sea of sails over two days of racing.  Richard Roberts will be our Principal Race Officer again this year and we will need a full on-water crew of volunteers to help out.  We will also be looking for volunteers to help Ken Nyhuus with boat launching and other harbour activities.  To accommodate visiting sailors, if you are able to offer beds (or your lawn for campers) we would really appreciate your contribution in that way also.   Please email [email protected] if you are able to help out in any of the following ways:

  • on the water as a safety boat or lunch distributor
  • in the harbour to help guide cars and boats to the right places at the beginning and end of each day
  • ashore in the harbour, on Saturday night dinner duty
  • organising (or contributing) beds, tents, campsites for sailors.

The Mid Ontario Regatta is known far and wide not only because SLSC provides sailors with a great racing experience, but also because of the hospitality provided by our community of volunteers. Come join in on a huge, fun, community event!


“Non-Gala Gala”

July 27, 2013 – an Evening to Celebrate the Completion of “The Boathouse”

Given the enthusiastic participation we had in last year’s fête to celebrate the first phase of our new building, we were encouraged to throw a similar event with kids and parents to revel in its completion!  Please mark the date in your calendars; Additional details will be made available on the club website as soon as possible.

Support for Race Team

Once again we are anticipating a busy summer for our Race Team, which will involve travel to a number of regattas in Ontario.  We need the support of race team parents to make this possible.  You are encouraged to get in touch with Amy (before she contacts you!) to co-ordinate how and when you are able to assist with transport of sailors and/or boats, accommodation, or general “chaperoning”, as necessary.

Events of Interest to the Race Team

Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club Icebreaker Olympic Classes Regatta

May 18-19

RHYC Lilac Festival Olympic & Developmental Classes Regatta

May 25-26

RHYC/OSA Race Clinic

June 1-2

Mid-Ontario Championship Regatta (SLSC)

July 13-14

Steerers’ Regatta (PCYC)

July 18-19

Four Sisters Regatta (PCYC)

July 20-21

Cottage Club Regatta (South Muskoka Sailing Club)

Aug 8-9

CORK (Kingston)

Aug 12-15


Sturgeon Point Golf Club Offer for Junior Sailing Club Participants

The Sturgeon Point Golf Club is looking to encourage more juniors to golf this summer and is making an offer to our junior sailors to hit the links.  For those registered at the SLSC, the Golf Club is offering a 20% discount for a junior membership, or a 20% discount on green fees.  This is a great opportunity for our sailors to enjoy a multi-sport summer!  Details of the offer are available at the Golf Club website.

We are working to ensure the website, www.slsc.ca  is kept up to date – please check back regularly for updates, and information about upcoming activities and events.

I am looking forward to seeing many new and familiar faces at morning flag-raising, on the water, and around the club, as a whole new summer of fantastic memories unfolds.

Yours very truly,
Will Ollerhead

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