The legendary Bill Callahan once sang, “In conclusion, leaving is easy when you’ve got someplace you need to be. I’m giving up this gig for another season.” The heartbreak in these lyrics seems to strike hard this time of year. A Sturgeon Lake sailor tends to wonder how they manage to live ten months of the year anyplace else. As the August sun sets on us, what do we really have to look forward to? Classrooms and Cubicles? Traffic jams and deadlines? Socks. I’ve completely forgotten about wearing socks in the real world. And I pity the Leafs fan who has yet another breakdown to look forward to. But that is all soon, and this is now, and we must live in the now, because all that is soon will surely suck.
Welcome to the annual Race Week, the epic finale of the summer! The Pico, Optimist, Feva, and 420 fleets are facing off for their own rightful trophies, while demonstrating the sailing skills they’ve gained throughout the summer. At the end of the week, there will be a Prizegiving ceremony to award all the victors of each fleet – but more on that later.
Tuesday Night Tie-Dye
According to Wikipedia, the earliest surviving examples of the tie-dye design have been found in Peru, and dated back to around 500 AD. The practice has gone through several evolutions in its meaning and representation, from statements of one’s religious ideals, to the United States’ hippie counterculture. The SLSC is embracing its own psychedelic side this Tuesday, and all are invited to the club at 6:30PM for a tie-dye-fest! You’re welcome to bring your own white t-shirt, in which case the event costs $5, or, purchase one of the sailing club’s t-shirts for an additional $10.
Thursday (Weather Permitting) Bonfire / Talent Show
One of the many staple features of our final week’s celebrations includes a Bonfire / Talent Show event, a historic occasion dating back to 500 AD as well. This Thursday at 7PM and with $5 in hand, swing by the island for a showcasing of fire and talent. The night will conclude at 9:30, following the extensive consumption of hotdogs and smores (of course), a brief or sometimes overly lengthy talent show, and the infamous ghost story exchange. Come equipped with a song, dance, card trick, etc.!
***The Silvers are keeping their eyes on the weather forecast, and the event may be pushed forward or back a day to assure the fire remains dry.
The summer officially begins to wrap up with our annual Prizegiving this Friday at 6PM, hosted by the Sturgeon Point Union Church on the corner of 6th Street and Irene. We will be awarding both the Civic 2.0 and Race Week competitors and the sailors who are receiving certification for their levels, as well as looking back on this past year of tomfoolery through the magic of PowerPoint. After the final slide and our final goodbyes, race as fast you can to the final…
Friday Night Dance
…of the year, and this one always brings a tear to my eyes. The Sweetheart Dance has us all dressed in our finest and caressed in the arms of the ones we love (to the discretion of the Silvers who run the show). The last official night of the sailing season concludes with this epic party, the only time in which we’ll be dreading the sweet sounds of “Home For A Rest”.
While this monumental festivity is occurring at the clubhouse, any parents are welcome to stay post-slideshow for the Annual General Meeting. Here is where any members of the sailing club community are welcome to voice any concerns, comments, or questions regarding this past summer or the summer ahead.
Saturday Clean Up (10AM)
After all the celebrating, dancing, and weeping, there are some final closing concerns to attend to. If anyone’s feeling energized and benevolent, they’re encouraged to come join the instructors and directors as we pack up the boats, lock up the doors, clean up the floors, and bid the sailing club grounds a final farewell. The Big Clean-up begins at 10AM.
The SLSC season ends this week; some of us are kicking and screaming, and some of us have already faced the inevitable mortality of the summer. “I’m giving up this gig for another season,” sings old Bill, and the beautiful truth remains; there will always be another season at Sturgeon. Another season of sailing, dances, movie nights, flag-raisings, morning games, and regattas is a short ten months away.
As a young boy attending Sturgeon, I always remembered returning home to Ottawa a drastically older boy than I was in June. The SLSC teaches the wonderful sport of sailing, but I believe that the true appeal of the club is in its ability to push its sailors out of their comfort zones, to teach about respecting one another, and to weave friendships that last lifetimes.
You grow doubly fast in this mighty community, and you might even learn how to sail.