Sunday, January 31, 2010
Peter and Alex Rahn left early this morning, boat in tow, for that annual ritual of the winter regatta. It was -14c when this was taken. Their racing is expected to take place in about +20c. The cyclical migration is for the Annual Midwinter International Wayfarer Championship Regatta. They will be racing at the Lake Eustis Sailing Club which is a pretty busy club with a lot of dinghy fleets and regattas. It is situated a little north of Orlando, Florida. The Rahn family race their Shark here in the summer months, and are one of the winning teams the rest of us judge are progress by. Likewise, they are podium people in the Wayfarer class too.
Meanwhile, it is expected to reach a nice and mild -6c locally today with a nice light wind and snowfall. It's a good day to check the boat tarp!
Keep us posted guys!
Friday, January 29, 2010
It is blowing a fierce wintry wind out there today, so I'm taking a day off my Running to be Fit for Sailing Program. Instead, I'm perusing some photos for those warm and fuzzy feelings that make me wistful for the racing to come. This is a wonderful pic by Luka. Going forward is Tavish. David is on the low side making sure we don't tag the mark. That's me steering.
Ralph, Montreal Sailing
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Recently, I wrote that I am beginning a running "program" to try and improve both physical and mental fitness for sailing. I want to be healthier of course. In particular though, I am interested in increasing my ability to focus and stay sharp. So, I'm interested in the intellectual aspect. Since that post, I have noticed conditioning programs out there. Here is an excerpt from Annapolis Sailing Fitness which I think applies to all sailors and classes alike.
"Think to win
Recruitment of muscle fiber and the ability to function at a higher level separates you physically from your sailing competition. One major consideration is the effectiveness of clear thinking. Advanced exercise helps this process by stimulating blood flow, production of adrenaline and endorphins and most importantly: help in regulating stress and anxiety. Positive attitude, the mark of a true sailing champion, must be practiced as diligently as all the physical exercise combined. A healthy dose of choice reading material and good music can be key in assisting to nourish a good positive attitude. At Annapolis Sailing Fitness we seek to combine the best of both mental and physical conditioning."
Monday, January 25, 2010
- John Russell, Oliver Bone, CAN 55, 470-Men, Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Matthieu Dubreucq, Trevor Parekh, CAN 123, 49er, Montreal, Quebec
- Laurence Bonneau-Charland, 195935, Laser Radial, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec
- Martin Lefebre, CAN 39, RS-X Men, Montréal, Québec
- Dominique Vallee, CAN 5, RS-X Women, Trois-Rivières, Quebec
- Jessica Cano Escamilla, COL 5, RS-X Women, Montreal, Quebec
- Richard Clarke, Tyler Bjorn, 8401 Star, Salt Spring Island, BC
- Christine Lavallée, CAN 12, 2.4mR, Gatineau, Québec
Friday, January 22, 2010
As many of you know by now, our friend and fellow Etchells racer Brian passed away last Sunday. Louis B. asked me to write a few words about Brian as I knew him very well throughout the years of racing both with and against him and I am honored to do so.
It is always difficult to write about some one in situations like these and I wonder if I am up to the task of writing about a great man, but here goes anyway...
I have known Brian since joining PCYC around 30 years ago. I was a Fireball racer back then, and Brian was already a well known champion around the club. It was about 1988 that I bought my first keelboat, a Kirby 25 that I finally got acquainted more personnally with Brian, mainly through the Hudson annual dock parties on his Mega 30 and because of Mark, his son, who became a good friend of mine (and excellent party animal!). The years went by, and so did Brian's victories in PHRF and all that time Brian would always volunteer some wise advice after the race with his tongue in cheek style.
In 1995, I sold my Kirby to start my brewpub in Tremblant. Sylvie and I soon became Brian's crew and we sailed through to 2003 with him. About 5 years on the Mega, and then two more on the Etchells. There was never a single moment of yelling or panic aboard Brian's boats and always a good lunch provided by Mado. Sailing with Brian was always a relaxing experience and I had the chance to observe this master up close. What I learnt from him was to stay focused on basics, nothing fancy. Keep the boat moving with proper sail trim, make quick decisions on the game plan and stick to it, and in close encounters with doubtfull results, be a gentleman and let the other boat through (we'll get them later...).
The rest is history, a bunch of us bought a number of Etchells in 2003 and 2004 to build the actual PCYC fleet, and to this date Brian and crew were always a force to be dealt with. This fleet would never of happened without him.
Of course there is so much more to Brian than what I just wrote. I recall many long warm conversations with Brian and Mado during those endless hours of waiting for wind that us racers are so familiar with. My own dad passed away in 2000, and I felt a special bond with Brian building since then. He always had kind words for me and always took the time to stop by and say hello and chat about all and nothing. He was a genuine kind soul, the type of guy I would like to be.
I am not afraid to admit I loved him very much, and I feel as if my own dad has just passed away again. Brian has helped me become a better sailor, and more importantly, a better person.
I am sure you all join me in saying: "Good bye Brian, farewell my friend."
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I think I can transfer the increased endurance, the physical ability, that heightened sense of awareness, and that ultimately, better mental focus to my helming. If it sounds like a stretch, think of those long tacks where everything is set just right, you are helming right in a perfect groove, and the boat's movement feels fast but effortless. The boat is quiet and quick. You're hand on the tiller feels perfect control. Everything is right in the world right? When you experience those times sailing, do you feel healthy and free? See the similarity, the connection?
Of course, there is more to physical fitness, the right state of mind, and sailboat racing. There is also short, intense training, and quick tactical action. There are other correlations to physical and mental training. Right now though, for me, it is time to build a base of physical and mental conditioning. The rest must follow. For me, I need to begin at the beginning. Long, slow distance. More capacity or endurance, focus and being content. Then, I will get faster, and faster. It is winter now, the right time. Spring is coming.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) is seeking an enthusiastic individual to fill the full time position of Training and Competitions Administrator. The position will have the individual working at the CYA office in Kingston, Ontario. The Assistant reports to the Training and Competitions Manager.
The key areas of responsibility for this position include, but are not limited to:
Assisting day to day activities of the Training and Competitions Manager, who oversees initiatives of -
- Long Term Sailor Development - Review and Implementation
- Coach Education
- National training standards for sailors, coaches and officials
- National competitions – hosting and sailor tracking
- Sport Development and Participation
- Coach registrations and communications
- Official certifications and communications
- National and International event hosting programs
- Resource updating and development
- Meetings of committees and volunteer groups
- Participation initiatives
- Website and database
Friday, January 15, 2010
The West Island Power and Sail Squadron is offering the basic Boating Course offered by the CPS. It will be starting on Monday, Jan 18th at 7pm at and will be held in the Beaconsfield Yacht Club clubhouse. This is a first course covering the fundamentals of safe boating and basic navigation, given once per week for 13 weeks. Registration can be done on the spot. Bring your friends. The course will be taught in English. If you would like to take the course in French, please communicate with us at Westislandsquadron.email@example.com and we would be delighted to help you.
Pour plus d’information de les cours offert en français, S.V.P communiquer avec Westislandsquadron.firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Demographics of a Sailor
* 94% of sailors are male
* The average age of a sailor is 55 and married.
* 78% are college graduates
* 48% have post grads or degrees
* Average household income is $239,500
* Average household net worth is $1,360,000
* 94% of sailors own their own home.
* 91% of sailors fall into the managerial, professional or technical fields
Sources: SAIL Magazine Subscriber Study 2003 MR! 2008, MMR 2008
Sailors hike, backpack, swim, cycle, ski, jog, or play tennis.
Okay, so listen up District 2 Laser class. You have no right successfully drumming up another one design fleet. Don't you know sailboat racing decreased in popularity in Montreal last season? Supposedly, we're all too old! We make way too much money to sail wee little boats. And, I repeat, it's winter, so we really aren't supposed to be tempted into thinking about a much more exciting boat. Please go skiing.
It's almost unscrupulous to tempt us now. I just received a new fitted winter cover for my old Shark (keelboat) to replace the torn, heavily snow-laden plastic tarp. That is all I am supposed to be thinking about right now. I just finished paying big yacht club bills last month. I'm trying to figure out how to buy new a new windward sheeting car and a big genoa. How did you know I don't fit the wealthy old man demographic? Now, you go and get me thinking about the same thing as last year: inexpensive sailing. C'mon, what an oxymoron! Don't you know I'm way too rich, and way too old for a Laser? I should be buying a brand new Etchells and paying some rock star to guide me around the course in Florida, or at least go up against the very friendly Etchells gang competing here. Oh no, you go and post notices of 2nd hand lasers that cost less than I paid for sails, and freakin' boat and trailer maintenance last season. Just stop it you guys. And, if I hear there might be a few good lookin' women in your fleet, well that would be the last straw.
Ralph, Montreal Sailing
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I thought I'd put up this video since Louis has posted the following notice on the District 2 website - Ralph, Montreal Sailing
The D2 Laser Training camp is tentatively scheduled for May 29-30 at PCYC. This year the camp will be more affordable and the format made even better. More info to come!
Monday, January 11, 2010
I had a good time meeting the Etchells sailors at their recent AGM. I must say that beer and wings help a lot. The Etchells sailors are a great Montreal fleet, and in the midst of winter, even hangin' is a good time. I really did enjoy their company. These gatherings are important events for the quality of our sailing. If your one design class, or sailing buddies are having a meeting, share the news. It will raise your profile, but hey we all just like to know with who, and where we can sail! Thanks Scott Lawrence for the news! I have some great photography of the local Etchells racing scene by Luka, and I'll post them periodically to keep us anticipating the upcoming season. - Ralph, Montreal Sailing
On Tuesday January 5, Montreal’s Fleet #3 Etchells sailors gathered at Clyde’s in Pointe Claire to usher in the New Year, furtively watch two hockey games, and conduct their Annual General Meeting. Attendance was at an all-time high, due either to the free beer and wings, or to the presence of special guest and Montreal Sailing blogger extraordinaire Ralph Stocek, or to the fact that the Montreal Etchells fleet enjoyed perhaps the most successful year in its history.
Highlights of 2009 included:
- The Etchells Canadians, which were hosted at Hudson Yacht Club as part of HYC’s 100th anniversary celebrations and drew boats from Montreal, Toronto and Lake Champlain,
- The Quebec Championships, which were held at Pointe Claire Yacht Club in mid-June and won by Pierre Jasmin and crew on Vivace,
- And HYC’s Labour Day regatta, in which 11 Etchells competed, with CAN 1089’s Scott Lawrence and crew taking both line honours and first place on corrected time at Saturday’s Long Distance race.
At the AGM, Fleet Captain Allan Gray outlined some of the local Etchells regattas for 2010, which will include the Quebec Championships, to be held in Hudson at the beginning of June, and the Lac St. Louis Challenge Cup, which will be held later in the summer at PCYC. A special effort will be made this year to get some of the sailors from the Lake Champlain fleet up for these events.
Other regattas in the planning stages include a Ryder/Americas’ Cup challenge involving the Montreal and Toronto fleets—a new event that will combine two days of team golf and two days of match racing—and a CanAm challenge between Montreal and Burlington fleets.
Fleet 3 also officially welcomed its newest member, Stephane Arsenault, who is sailing out of Pointe-Claire, and tried to confirm rumours that there would soon be another boat appearing at the start Mark in Hudson….
The Fleet is also planning another get-together this winter at David Lowther’s country place in the Laurentians—a day of skiing followed by a pot-luck dinner and a racing rules quiz. Hopefully we can get this organized for the end of February.
For more fleet info, we encourage you to contact either Fleet Captain Allan Gray at email@example.com, Fleet Secretary Scott Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply to sign up to receive email alerts at our website, www.etchells-montreal.org.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Picture from the event on Matthieu's blog. Tuesday's racing saw average winds of 18 knots with gusts into the high 20's. They're having fun, right? - Ralph, Montreal Sailing
Matthieu Dubreucq and Trevor Parekh are part of the Canadian contingent attending the World Championships being held in the Bahamas for the 49er and 29er classes. They are campaigning the Olympic class 49er.
First, they brought the skiff to Miami to have work done including aligning the foils. They got in a practice race in very light winds. Racing began in winds of 6-12 knots with large shifts that made conservative strategy paramount. The second day of racing had the fleet racing in 25-30 knots of wind, but with the big shifts in direction still fluctuating by 25 degrees and more. After 5 races they were sitting in 43rd position overall out of a fleet of 62.
Wednesday's racing was very tricky right at the windward mark where big shifts would suddenly screw up teams preparing to round. Unfortunately, the third day's results were killers for Dubreucq and Parekh with two OCS' recorded. The qualifying rounds saw them finish in 50th overall, and poised for more sailing in the Silver fleet. They have scored 23rd out of 37 in that fleet. Thursday, the wind died before the Silver fleet could start a race.
Friday's winds were 10-14 knots. Only 7 minutes separated front and back of the fleet at the finish.
This regatta, although a World championship is a shakedown for their next outing, which will be the selection for Canada's national team. Here is an excerpt from an article written in French for Sportcom:
Dubreucq et son partenaire en sont à leurs deuxièmes championnats du monde ensemble, le résultat n’est pas ce qui importe le plus. Le duo veut surtout se préparer pour les épreuves de sélection nationale qui auront lieu dans deux semaines. « Notre but c’est vraiment de prendre de l’expérience ensemble et on prend vraiment cette régate-là pour bien régler le bateau et s’assurer qu’on navigue correctement en vue des qualifications nationales, parce que c’est pour nous la compétition la plus importante, cette année. En plus, c’est la première étape de la Coupe du monde, donc on ne se laisse pas abattre avec les résultats », a-t-il poursuivi.
Il reste trois jours de compétitions pendant lesquels les bateaux devraient participer à un total de huit courses, si naturellement la température le permet. C’est donc le samedi 9 janvier que l’on connaîtra le résultat final de cette compétition.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Above is a nice, descriptive little video on the Etchells class.
Montreal Sailing extends best wishes for the new year and the upcoming season to Montreal's Etchells racers. The Etchells Fleet 3 has its annual general meeting this Tuesday. One of the most successful of one design racing fleets in Montreal, they will be discussing the 2010 schedule, fleet building, and possible winter activities. More info on the meeting and the class can be found on their website which is in our link collection.
Ralph, Montreal Sailing