Friday, April 21, 2006

The next Spirit of Canada

Derek Hatfield and team have made a lot of progress on the building of his next Spirit of Canada. Recently, Derek was in the Montreal area talking up the campaign to race around the world alone. Under construction it is the first Open 60 to ever be built in Canada. Here is a graphic representation of what it will look like.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Spirit of Canada

Derek Hatfield recently spoke to Montreal area sailors about his single-handed race around the world, and his upcoming campaign. More soon.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Results in for Locas and Bone at Princess Sophia

The racing has been completed for the 37th Trofeo SAR Princess Sophia. Stephane Locas and Oliver Bone, in the 470 Class, placed 55th overall out of 76 international competitors. Locas and Bone are training and racing with eyes focused on making the Bejing Olympic games. The last three races saw a dramatic improvement in their game, bagging them a 3rd, 12th, and 16th.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

2 Montreal-area Sailors in the Princess Sofia

Montreal Sailing is cheering for two locals racing in one of the international “big show” regattas right now.

Stéphane Locas and Oliver Bone are competing in the XXXVII HRH Princess Sofia Trophy – XXXI Palma International Week being held in Bay of Palma, Spain. Sailing in the 470 class, they have been training and competing actively in an effort to make the Beijing Olympic games in 2008. After 10 races, they have fought to come up through mid-fleet, but did pick up a third placing in the 8th race. An ISAF Class II event, this is one of the stiffest competitions in the world. Top sailors from many different countries are competing there as they work towards Olympic goals. Following the new ISAF rules for Olympic scoring, the top 10 finalists will square off for a final race to decide the winners.

Helmsman Locas a St-Eustache resident, first started racing at age 15 in the Laser II. He has been associated with the Baie D’Urfe and Beaconsfield YCs. His best result was C.O.R.K. in 2001, when he bagged 2nd overall.

Most recently, this year the duo took 12th at the Rolex Miami OCR. At the U.S. 470 Nationals in Santa Cruz they took an impressive 7th overall, against class champions and olympic medalists, and did so despite equipment problems.

Both Bone and Locas have been based in Nova Scotia, for a number of years now, part of their A Team. They have also trained out of San Franciso where they were able to enjoy some of the ‘Surfer-dude” type of culture.

Rob Fox, a top CSA National Coach has been their mentor. Recently, they were also able to hone their skills for 6 days under the tutelage of American Morgan Reeser, an Olympic silver medalist in the ’92 Games who coached the Greek women’s 470 team to gold at the ’04 Games. Bone says “The Reeser effect improved our heavy air sailing. Also our speed.” To which Locas added, “Also our speed.”

Two Quebecers, but clearly Bone and Locas are plying the international stages now to improve their game. Our wishes of best luck guys!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Séminaire d'accréditation d'officiel de course

Séminaire d’accréditation d’officiel de course niveau 1 (CYA Officiel de course assistant) et niveau 2 (CYA Officiel de course de club)

Quand : 22 et 23 avril 2006
Où: Hudson Yacht Club
Coûts: 65$ (taxes incluses) comprenant 1 livre de règles de courses 2005-2008
Inscription : à la Fédération de voile du Québec (514) 252-3097

Veuillez noter que ce cours comprend la théorie des deux premiers niveaux de certification mais que pour obtenir la certification niveau 2, les candidats doivent démontrer que leur expérience pratique rencontre les critères d’accréditation de l’ACY.

Le séminaire sera offert en région sous résèrve d’un nombre minimum de 10 inscriptions. SVP nous contacter.

Pour plus de détails sur les niveaux, voir les sites de la FVQ et de l’ACY : (français seulement) (anglais seulement) (français)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Endangered Species of Whale Killed by Freighter.

A Fin whale, or Finback as commonly called, was found dead, caught on the propellers of a Danish cargo ship, according to a report by the CBC (click title for link). It was discovered by crew members as they tried to anchor near Pointe Aux Trembles, the eastern edge of Montreal island. 20 metres long and 45 tonnes, this endangered species is a magnificent whale, often known as the "greyhound of the sea" for it's ability to suddenly accelerate up to 25 knots. The Fin is the second largest creature on the planet. As many as 30,000 a year were slaughtered by the whaling industry after first wiping out most Blue whales. About 40,000 are thought to remain in the northern hemisphere, a small fraction of their normal numbers. Finbacks are normally found in the Gulf of St Lawrence, as part of their northern migration.

Groups ranging in numbers from 12-20 are popular viewing on the St. Lawrence River, off of Tadoussac, an easy drive from Montreal. Several dozen of these whales have been identified and named by scientists studying them from Tadoussac. This Fin has not as yet been examined, so it is not known if it is a previously known member of the species. Using molecular biology, it is possible to examine any possible relationship.

There are 13 species of whales that inhabit the St. Lawrence estuary. There is much concern over Hydro-Quebec's plans to drill for oil and gas in the area. The government of Quebec refuses to hold public hearings on anything but the seismic portion of the drilling.

Montreal Sailing recommends "Whales-online" as an excellent resource for further reading about whales, the St. Lawrence estuary, environmental concerns, and how the public can be supportive.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Race Management Seminar

The Quebec Sailing Federation is offering its Race Management Seminar with CYA certification for Level 1 (CYA Assistant Race Officer) and Level 2 (CYA Club Race Officer) to be held in the Montreal Area. This is such an important resource being offered, as we all depend on volunteers who have some knowledge of what makes our regattas successful. The course will include the theoretical parts of both Level 1 and 2 certifications, though candidates must then obtain the practical experience to meet the CYA certification criteria. I suspect anyone taking this seminar could become quite popular, and if you wish, getting the practical experience could come quickly! Personally, I think we should get our fleet committees to cover the cost, since they will benefit immensely.

When: April 22, 23, 2006
Where: Hudson Yacht Club
Cost: $65 (tax included) including 2005-2008 Racing Rules Book
Registration: FVQ (514) 252-3097

Saturday, April 01, 2006

AQVA has a website up.

The Association québécoise de voile adaptée has a new website to visit. In my opinion, the AQVA is the most important sailing development in the Montreal area since I took up the sport. Just look at the lines of that boat! It's the Martin 16, so graceful and modern, a combination not always apparent in contempoary boats. Not only is the boat pretty, but it is a beauty to sail. I loved it. For some years now, AQVA has been running their program out of P.C.Y.C., where they have a fleet. They can have pretty much anyone out sailing regardless of physical disability. If I am enamoured by the boat without any mobility impairment, it must be pretty special if quadriplegic for example. No cracks about my racing impairment please. The way the controls are set up, when needed a "sip and puff" system can control the boat completely. Otherwise, a joy stick controls the rudder, and the jib is self-tacking. The sailor operates the boat independantly, but there is also a comfortable place for a crew member or instructor to sit directly behind. It is a great program for sailors to get involved in, either sailing or volunteering. AQVA oversees both day sailing and regattas, and its members have travelled to major competitions. Click on the title to see the website. Thank you Paula Stone for the heads up!