Monday, June 18, 2007
Just got back from sailing with the Tanzer 22 fleet at the Nepean One Design Regatta in Ottawa. I did foredeck for Tom Shenstone on #363, Tantramar. The wind would not stick Saturday morning, so the fleets all went back to harbour. The 5O5 fleet did get one race in. A wind developed along the shore as the land heated up. Unfortunately, it did not fill in across the possible race courses. So, we had to settle for cool, frosty beers on the club deck. It was a little torturous for some watching the wind try to fill in from the clubhouse, but the Nepean Sailing Club's 2nd level deck is a nice place to be eating. drinking, and hanging out with sailing buddies. Sunday, the race committee managed to get a lot of racing in, with wind that was always there, though a few wild shifts were enough to challenge the racers and race committees alike. Tom, Claire, and myself managed a couple of third places in the Tanzer 22 fleet which we were happy with. Several Montreal Sharkies went up as well. Megalo Don, Blue Heron, and Ketchup, as well as some Fireballers. The NOD is like a ritual marking the beginning of the summer racing scene - always a good time.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Montreal Sailing is pleased to announce a training regatta for young sailors who want to become better racers. Pointe Claire Yacht Club, in association with the FVQ, is hosting the event June 28th to July 1st. The classes of boats to be raced are the
- Laser Radial
- Laser 4.7
- Optimist Green
Included in the event will be two days of clinics, and two days of racing. Lunch all 4 days, and dinner Saturday are included. Keeper prizes will be awarded. This sounds like it will be an absolute blast for kids enthusiastic about sailing.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The City Council of Beaconsfield holds sessions prior to its Council meetings called "Insights into Your City". This Monday, June 18th, the topic will be Yacht Clubs. Beaconsfield owns the properties on which two private yacht clubs lease and operate. Those are the Lord Reading Yacht club and the Beaconsfield Yacht Club. It begins at 7 pm at 303 Beaconsfield Blvd. There is no detailing of the topic beyond its title. However, Beaconsfield has been undergoing a debate with some of its citizens about the city's expenditures related to the clubs. It appears some would prefer not to spend money on property upkeep where the yacht clubs operate. This goes hand in hand with anger over the amount of taxation residents are paying since the agglomeration of cities with Montreal, and higher costs.
As a member of Beaconsfield Yacht Club, the criticism of some taxpayers in the city's investments there is of direct interest.
In an article published by the Chronicle, some of the expenses and criticisms were reported. "Repairs to the Lord Reading Yacht Club's aging seawall and building are listed in the city's 2007-'09 capital program. Beaconsfield could earmark $500,000 in 2007 and again in 2008 for the project. The city owns the yacht club's property, but non-members have limited access.
"Why are they spending all that money on that (land) if other people don't have direct access to it?" said Beaconsfield Citizens Association secretary Larry McKinnon. "(Beaconsfield) needs the money."
Also, the city has also spent $800,000 to maintain the heritage property it owns, where the Beaconsfield Yacht Club operates. That project was initiated after a long period of no investment at all.
There are some interesting issues for citizens and planners alike in Beaconsfield. The city has an enviable shoreline, yet almost all of it is private property, namely housing, obviously an injustice. The small proportion of this property on which the yacht clubs operate are thus extremely valuable, but the real problem is more that private development was allowed to remove such a large amount of waterfront from public use. Compare this laissez faire approach to nearby Lachine or Lasalle, where a large public shoreline is hugely popular. The current issue of whether to invest public money in the yacht club properties is insignificant compared to the lack of proper public planning. What Beaconsfield really needs is a long term strategy to re-claim some of the shoreline used to house the wealthy few, and instead allow everyone's enjoyment of it. The yacht clubs could become an integral partner in the overall plan. The idea of not supporting the maintenance of public properties because of the expense benefiting a private club is legitimate, but misses the longer term issue of public access to the water. The yacht clubs are private, but democratic, member-run, non-profit organizations dedicated to providing boating pleasures. Anyone can apply for membership. The idea of some critics to further privatize the waterfront by replacing yacht clubs with condos, and thereby collecting more taxes is remarkably short-sighted. Resolving financial issues by giving up your assets is a desperate measure of last resort, not reasonable, long term planning with the public interest in mind.
Indeed, the method of public ownership and private non-profit management of recreational facilities is very common. From Associations that run swimming pools, tennis clubs, parkland, soccer and other various sports or recreation, public oversight together with private, non-profit, democratic organizations produce much of what we depend on for quality of life. If the yacht clubs in Beaconsfield didn't exist, would their be any organized watersport in this riverfront community?
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Here is an announcement from Alain Vranderick about an important upcoming Montreal regatta. - Ralph
The Quebec Star fleet will be hosting it's annual invitational regatta on the weekend of June 16-17 at Club Nautique Deux-Montagnes, on what has proven to be over the last few years, a great venue for Star racing.
While the Bacardi Cup/mid fleet finishing team of Hendershot / Vranderick will reunite to defend their reputation as fleet champs on their home waters, they will be joined by the usual suspects from the Quebec Star fleet, teams from our adjoining province (including Canadian Olympic reps Brian Cramer and Tyler Bjorn), and teams from the Northeastern United States.
A post sailing BBQ dinner and beer is included with the entry fee. After dinner, for out of town sailors, I might be convinced in providing a tour of the best downtown Montreal hangouts. Please be advised that if you get in trouble, I will not provide legal assistance and remember that this is a BYOM (Bring your own bail money) event.
Anybody interested in watching the action from up close, we still have some spots open on mark boats to help in organizing the course. Contact me if you want to participate in the fun.
Alain Vranderick : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
World Environment Day is coming June 5th.
Sailors can mark the event by registering to better our local shores this fall. September 15th-23rd, all around the world, and including many spots around Montreal (such as Beaconsfield and Hudson to name only two), volunteers will be making our shorelines a cleaner, safer place. You can join one of the many groups already created, or put together your own.
Last year over 40,000 Canadians participated and cleaned up 966 different shorelines. Volunteers collect data in addition to trash, which helps determine the different causes of pollution. We can restore healthy shorelines for wildlife and humans alike. Trash in the water can harm the activities of fish and birds. Cigarette butts leach over 165 different chemicals into the water and take 5 years to biodegrade.
Register now to receive data collection forms, bags, t-shirts, gloves, event planning tips, pretty much everything you need to join up and make a difference. Clicking the title of this post brings you to the website where you can get all the info and register. You can join a current effort, or create your own. Any shore, lake, river, stream will do, it's up to you!