Thursday, November 15, 2007

Montreal Sailing's Veteran Dawgs Get Some Respect!

I'm following the present discussion about "Montreal top sailors" on your Blog with interest. I was thinking about another good topic that could be discussed; racing stalwarts in Yacht Clubs. Veterans who don't get much recognition outside of their Club but who are there year after year, not always at the top of the fleet, and who bring good humour and sportsmanship to the racing, and after racing.

When you talk about the "Racing Tradition" of a Club, it is largely due to people like them. People who were there in the past and carried on into the present. They were, and still are great example for juniors, beginners or accomplished racers alike.

I know there are a thousand stories to be told about these "old salts" (altough some of them are not to be told...). At CVL, we are happy to have such a character and he just happens to be my father!! Now well into his 70's Roland is still an integral part of the "Coquine" crew. He has been sailing most of his life, racing at CORK Offshore many times, cruising the St-Lawrence gulf and the East coast down to the Bahamas. During the summer season, you can find him on the water at least 4 days a week! He's a past Commodore at CVL and he is still very much involved in the running of the Club.

I'm certain there are other good examples in other Clubs; Bud Cluett and the late Jack Howlett from HYC surely fit the definition. I'm sure some of the "Hot Tub" or "Satin Doll" crew have good stories to tell about these great sailors. For myself, I still remember the "submarine limbo session" I had underneath the traveler beam of Bud's J29 "Hot Tub" at CORK (when the cockpit was filled with water) or the "free leg shaving" offered by "Satin Doll" crew to female participants!

The photo above is my father with my son sailing his T26 in the Tadoussac waters a few years ago. Don't be fooled by the winter clothing, this photo was taken in early August (the very cold water makes the north side of the St-Lawrence gulf is a cold and humid place even in mid-summer!)

Pierre Marois