The Season Ahead: A Letter from the Commodore

 

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

As we embark on the 58th season of activity at SLSC, we look forward to another fun-filled summer.  Last year we enjoyed a season of excellent attendance, numerous successes on the regatta circuit, the full use of our new building (“the Boathouse”), and the introduction of our new fleet of wildly popular RS Fevas, thanks to your support.

In response to the enthusiasm we have noted from across all levels, and the positive response we had to this winter’s survey, we are launching a new Afternoon Racing Program this year.  Open to sailors registered in CANSail Level 2 or higher this program will run two afternoons a week for six weeks of the season, and include our Elite Opti Race Squad (EORS), and Feva sailors, along with our senior race team.  Junior sailors in the Afternoon Race Program will enhance their skills, learn essential racing rules, and be introduced to basic racing strategies and tactics.  It is our objective that these junior race team sailors will have the opportunity to race in interclub activities we are endeavouring to organize, and/or one or more of the recognized Ontario regattas.  We are excited to learn that the growing fleet of Fevas in Ontario has encouraged a number of regatta organizers to include Feva classes in their events, and we are keen to see how many we can attend with our junior racing program members.

As you know (and of which you are ceaselessly 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.

Last year to address the aging of our fleet, and the continued strong enrollment, we added eight new sailboats, and a new coach boat. These have allowed us to well maintain the quality, and safety standards, of our program, but it does leaves our capital reserve diminished.  Looking ahead, we will need to retire some of the aging coach boats over the next few years, and ensure we have reserves to address any infrastructure replacement or improvement that may become necessary.

As I did last year, I recently launched a personal appeal to friends and colleagues outside of the SLSC community, to get a head start on a 2014 capital campaign.  Now, I appeal to you to join me in contributing to this initiative. You may donate online, and receive an immediate tax receipt, by clicking the button at the end of this paragraph. (If you prefer, you may contribute by cheque, payable to SLSC, delivered to:  Marie Day, SLSC Treasurer, 196 Gloucester Avenue, Oakville, ON  L6J 3W6).

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Now, here’s what is planned for the 2014 season!

Staffing

This summer we are adding again to our roster of instructors, to support our new afternoon program, with five returning from last summer, and several new instructors.  All of our instructors this year are again products of the SLSC, with Keira Webster returning to manage the club as our head instructor. Other members of the coaching staff this year will be: John Gilchrist, Claire Lourie, Eric Nyhuus, Cameron Riegel, Michael Robson, Graeme Shea, Megan Thomas, Owen Thomas, and Jacob Webster.  More information on our instructors, is available on the website: here

Program Highlights

  • Wet Feet – Now in its third year, the Wet Feet program, designed to make our youngest sailors comfortable in and on the water in our Optimist dinghies, will continue under the guidance of Megan Thomas.

 

  • Racing – CanSail 5/6 – While we may see our senior race team’s numbers diminish this season, we nonetheless anticipate an enthusiastic participation in the regatta circuit, and mentoring of our younger aspiring racers.

 

  • Afternoon Race Program

o   Giving our senior race team members an opportunity to spend more time on the water, and opening up the world of racing to interested sailors in CANSail levels 2 to 4 as well, we are excited about offering the new Afternoon Race Program. Last year was the second 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 with success (and enthusiasm) at the Cottage Clubs’ regatta last year under the inspirational tutelage of Erik Nyhuus and Owen Thomas.  With the EORS participating in the new afternoon racing program we anticipate this group continuing to thrive! We will be adding at least one new Opti to the fleet this year, which will be well received by this group.

o   We anticipate an equally fervent uptake of this tradition with the group of sailors who will have the opportunity to engage the Fevas in some racing.  We will need to come up with a catchy acronym for this group too! (you may submit suggestions to: Commodor[email protected])

 

  • “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 plans are developed, on the club website, in regular instructor email newsletters, and via Twitter.

 

  • Wednesday Night Races are back! Please check the club web site for dates – we anticipate six nights of racing.  Race times and boats will be confirmed in the first week of club.

 

  • Pizza Lunch – Now included in Registration Fees!  To streamline registration, and eliminate a layer of administration, we have incorporated the Wednesday Pizza Lunch into the registration fees.

 

Registration

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.  Registration can be done on-line at the club’s website, here, or you may return the forms (available online) to Leslie Thomas by mail (details below), fax (416) 214-0876, or email. To avoid increasing our registration fees, and to reduce our administrative costs, we do not (yet) 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 (and registration forms) may be mailed in advance to Leslie Thomas, 39 South Kingslea Drive, Toronto, ON M8Y 2A5.

Program Fees are changed slightly from 2013, and now incorporate each Wednesday’s Pizza Lunch. The weekly fee is $195 per sailor (other than the short four day week following Civic Holiday Monday (commencing August 5th) which runs Tuesday to Friday, with registration being $160 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 Sail Canada’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 (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 strictly 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 snackParticipants in the Afternoon Race Program must bring lunch on those days.

Club Racing

  • Sunday Afternoon Race Series: Dates to be determined – please check club website

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.  We encourage parents to come out and join their children on the water!  First race will start at 1:30 p.m.

 

  • Civic Regatta: Saturday August 2

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.

 

Adult and Family Clinics

We are considering offering clinics which may include: trailering skills, VHF radio licensing, Pleasure Craft Operator Card certification, First Aid etc. if there is sufficient interest.  A survey may be circulated at a later date, but in the meantime, any feedback you might have would be welcomed by email.

Summer Schedule

Some important summer dates:

June 30, 2014 First day of club
August 2-3 Civic Holiday Regatta
August 9-10 Ontario Laser Masters Championship Regatta 
August 22, 2013 Last Day of Club; Prize-giving, and AGM

 

Ontario Laser Masters Championship Regatta:  Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 9th and 10th

Our bi-annual Laser Masters Championship Regatta is back for the summer of 2014.  It will take place over the weekend of August 9-10.  We will need a full on-water crew of volunteers to help out.  We will also be looking for volunteers to help with boat launching and other harbour activities.  To accommodate visiting sailors, if you are able to offer beds we would also really appreciate your contribution in that way.   Please email [email protected]  if you are able to help out in any of the following ways:

  • on the water as a safetyboat 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 for sailors.

The regattas hosted by SLSC are 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. Please join in sharing the warmth of our Sturgeon Point hospitality with our visiting Masters Sailors.

“Non-Gala Gala” Reprieve

After two consecutive years of the “Non-Gala” we have opted not to host one this year.  This will allow us to give our dedicated volunteers a break… or, perhaps more likely, enlist their assistance in all manner of other undertakings of the club!  We are considering an alternative smaller scale social event.  If/when it gets off the drawing board, you will hear from us!

Support for Race Team

We are anticipating another busy summer of Racing – for both our Senior Race Team, and the other participants in our Afternoon Race Program.  This will involve travel to a number of regattas in Ontario.  We will, as always, need the support of race team parents to make this possible.  You are encouraged to get in touch with Owen, and/or Keira (before they contact 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

Sailfest Sarnia July 5-6
Fogh Boorman (RHYC) July 12-13
Steerers’ Regatta (PCYC) July 17-18
Four Sisters Regatta (PCYC) July 19-20
Cottage Club Regatta (Lake of Bays) Aug 7-8
It’s Not Easy Being Green Aug 7-8
Ontario Summer Games Aug 7 – 10
Ontario Laser Masters Championship (SLSC) Aug 9-10
CORK (Kingston) Aug 10-14
EYC Youth Training Regatta (Etobicoke) Aug 14-15

 

More details are available on the Ontario Sailing Website

We are working to ensure that our website, www.SLSC.Ca, is kept up to date – please check regularly for updates, and information about upcoming activities and events.  I look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces on the water, and around the club, as the creation of the next set of indelible summer memories unfolds.

Yours very truly,

Will Ollerhead

[email protected]

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