Montreal Sailing is honoured to publish the sage knowledge of a contributor who knows the local scene better than most and the history of a generation who currently rule the water.
The crew’s union is willing to weigh in on this heady subject!
The fact of the matter is that the man (or woman) with the stick in their hand, is merely a fraction of the equation of racing success. At best 50% and more often, 33% or less!! Therefore, from the Crews’ Union perspective, it is merely a matter of which tiller jockey is the least incompetent!!
Monsieur Marois has very adequately addressed Lac des Deux Montagnes. The Crew’s Union agrees with his analysis and his pick for the best of LdDM. Ron is a great choice.
So… on Lake St.Louis , we have a few fleets that could put forward candidates for consideration… starting at the bottom of the lake, we have the Laser 28 fleet out of R.St.L.Y.C.
Denise Bienvenue has been a fixture at the front of that fleet, but it is a small and incestuous lot. Denise did sail a Fireball for a short period of time, allowing for some head to head comparisons with other Lake Saint Louis sailors. Denise is the candidate from the L28 fleet.
PCYC and BYC have 4 significant fleets – Etchells, Fireballs, Tanzer 22’s and Sharks.
The local Etchells fleet boasts many of the best helmsmen of the last 35 years!! Dick Steffen, Brian Palfreeman, David Covo and Pierre Jasmin have all had success in a variety of watercraft. The Crews’ Union would give the nod for historical reasons (and in no small measure because of the Steffen sisters – crew extraordinaire) to Dick Steffen as the Etchells candidate.
The Fireball has a proud history and locally has produced Provincial, Canadian and North American Champions – both in Fireballs as well as J24’s, T22’s and Sharks to name but a few. Covo, Blanc, Nicoll-Griffith, Stedman and Osborne are names of the past and Levy and Jospe would be names for current consideration. Levy is the Crews’ Union’s choice, with note that without the likes of Marshall , Kelly, Egli and Waldie – none of these guys would have ever seen a gun!!
The T22 fleet has had it’s share of great skippers – but the nod will go to the Fitchen squad for longevity and great local results. Linton and King Ralph close out the local best of breed for T22’s. The Crew’s Union recognizes that there is a white sail fleet, but from the CU perspective, white sail is the 3 legged race of sailing, only slightly higher than PHRF.
The Shark fleet is like the graduating class of the Fireball fleet. Nicoll-Griffith, Stedman and Osborne are the cream of the local fleet, with Frati hot on their heels. The nod goes to Nicoll Griffith, who has done well locally, and has won at the highest level when competing in National and North American Championships.
So, in the final analysis, there are probably half a dozen sailors that could beat each other on any given day, but would consistently be in that top 6!! At the risk of inflating the huge ego that most helmsmen have, the Crew’s Union votes for Tof Nicoll-Griffith.