Saturday, November 29, 2008

Volvo Ocean Race on TV Today

What a surprise. This week I was sleepily channel surfing and almost dropped the TV remote control. Suddenly waves were crashing over the bows of 70' racing machines and completely engulfing the cockpits, helmsmen and grinders disappearing behind seawater. The Volvo Ocean Race is on Game TV, and it will be broadcast again today at 4:00 pm and 4:30 pm. I don't know if it will be different episodes or not. If you subscribe to Videotron digital, it's channel 59. It comes as part of one of their channel packages. I didn't even know I got it. If you don't already have it, it takes 2 minutes to order over the phone, only costs a buck or two, and you can cancel it any time. The video footage of these racing machines is awesome. The canting keels, and dagger boards, or whatever they are called make interesting viewing for the techies. They have covered legs one and two. I'm not sure what leg is today, or when the next broadcast.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Oi! Montreal Sailing goes over 20,000 views!

I would never have thought it! So many people click in on Montreal Sailing. Yesterday, the 20,000th visitor visited the blog. Many people from all over the world regularly check in on the news and pictures. However, what is really stunning is the vast amount of local sailors who read Montreal Sailing. I never realized there were so many of us. A lot of local readers are on the island of Montreal of course. Montreal Sailing is also getting traffic right across the larger region with visits from off-island to the Ontario border, up to the Laurentians, the south shore and eastern townships, and all along the river up to Quebec City and St. Foy. Beyond an easier day's drive, we also have readers from all over Canada and the U.S. Off the continent, readers are sometimes locals checking in while on business or vacation. Other international readers find the blog through searches for a type of boat, regatta, or interesting image. Since Montreal Sailing exists because of a personal passion and the fun of blogging, there is no numbers game or goal here. Yet, it certainly is edifying to know many share our enthusiasm

The local sailing season is complete, but Montreal Sailing will continue to publish over the winter. We'll review the season, talk about classes, keep an eye on southern racing, and of course anticipate the season to come. Hey, it's only 5 months before we start prepping for splash-time.

Check in and drop me a line!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quebec Sailing Federation gives important recognition to our best

Voile Quebec has announced the winners of its annual awards. Many of the names will be familiar to readers of Montreal Sailing. Partly because they have appeared here before. Partly because they are the super heroes of our sailing programs. Either they organize the events we sail in, or they beat the rest of us in those events! How wonderful that Voiles Quebec has recognized the roles they play in making our sport so much more fun. Congratulations to you all from Montreal Sailing. And hey, great job FVQ! Here are the announcements from the FVQ website:


2008 Quebec Sailing Federation Awards Program
The Quebec Sailing Federation nominating committee is proud to present this year’s recipients:

André-Dionne Trophy (volunteer of the Year)
To recognize a member who has contributed to the betterment of sailing in Quebec.
Recipient: Paula Stone
Paula, a longtime volunteer member of the Association québécoise de voile adaptée (AQVA) since its early inception in 1996. In 2008, Paula was the Chairperson of the Mobility Cup, Canada’s premier international Martin 16 regatta. The week-long event drew over 40 athletes from across North America and as far away as New Zealand. Paula has been a role model and inspiration to countless sailors and volunteers who know and work with her.

Claudrey Trophy
This award is to recognize and encourage the sportmanship qualities of a a young Quebec sailor.
Recipients: Gabrielle Laforce, Martin Robitaille
Gabrielle had known all year round worked with doggedness during the races in which she participated for ever manage to finish her races. Gabrielle has learned a sad news on a personal matter at the time of CORK, but nevertheless, she knew how to return and win the regatta. Gabrielle has always set goals for success to improve throughout the year. She is becoming very popular among her teammates of the Quebec sailing team and her team of CVL.

Martin is one of the great who is always there to help others. His sporting spirit and mutual aid makes Martin a person appreciated and loved by all. He is the first on water, participates in all the camps and is among those of the team that trains the most. His greatness of soul is at the height of his 6 feet 4 inches. His participative spirit, sporting and mutual aid developed makes of Martin a person appreciated and loved by all.

Race Officer of the Year
To recognize a member who has been significantly involved in a race management activity which has provided recognition to Quebec sailing and the FVQ.
Recipient: Madeleine Palfreeman
Madeleine was the race official for Mobility Cup, Sail East, the Quebec Cup and the Canadian Championship F18 catamarans in 2008. She also officiated at CORK for the Off Shore Regatta.

Instructor/Coach of the Year
To recognize an instructor or a coach who has contributed exceptionally to a training or a racing program.
Recipient:Olivier Charbonneau
Olivier participated in all major events including the dinghy Championships Laser and Optimist. He has known to allow its 20 athletes to slide in the program of the Quebec sailing team by their performance. He is ending a career of nearly 10 years in sailing.

Club/Sailing School of the Year
This award is to recognize excellence in all programs organized by a club or a sailing school (training, racing, cruising or special event).
Recipient: Club de voile des Laurentides
During the last year, the Laurentian Yacht Club was a club that has been very involved in the province. Whether at the level of his team competition that has grow from year to year or of its sailing school, the CVL was one of the strongest clubs in Quebec. His involvement in the FVQ and dedication during the event organization allowed the club to demonstrate the richness of its members who do not hesitate to get involved to volunteer in sailing.

Event of the Year
This award was established to promote and encourage member clubs to host provincial, national or international regattas. Race management, public and media awareness, as well as innovations in regatta/event management are the principal selection criteria.
Recipient: Mobility Cup 08 PCYC/AQVA
The international regatta brought together 47 navigators divided into two Flotillas and the participation of four countries: Canada, the United States, England and New Zealand. All took part in the competition according to their skill in sailing and not according to their physical disability. The event was an organisational and financial success, which brought together no less than 100 voluntaries to guarantee success. It will have allowed inter alia improving the accessibility of places to the yacht club and preparing the revival of the program of adapted sailing in Quebec City.

“Optimist” Athlete
This award is given to a Quebec “Optimist” sailor who has demonstrated exceptional results and/or improvements within the last sailing season.
Recipient: :Frédérique Tougas
Frederique is an elite athlete in Optimist. She finished 3rd in TRY, 2nd SailEast, best performance from Quebec province at the U.S. National and the ACC's. Finished 14th girl on 92 with the ACC's.

Young Athlete of the Year
Must have a record of outstanding achievement in provincial and/or national competition in the previous twelve months.
Recipient : Olivier Corbeil
Olivier had very good performance in Quebec still finishing first in all events which he participated. In addition, he has achieved a very good performance in the Atlantic Championship in New Jersey (27e/3e Junior), Laser Canadian Championships (15th / 5th Junior) and 2nd at Youth Nationnal. Olivier is an exceptional athlete who has a great talent for sailing.

Special Mention of the nomination Committee:
Geneviève Beaudoin-Cloutier
Genevieve finished 7th at the Canadian Championships and has been ranked 8th in NQR's. She is distinguished by its overall improvement from double to single in less than a year. For the quality of her training program (who is the most committed to her training) and perseverance that won her a marked improvement in her performances in a year and the best quebecois results at NQR: -absolute dedication in her development; -she is ranked 1st girl in elite at NQRs for the 2009 season; -Travel in Europe for two races -excellent shape.

Must have a record of outstanding achievement in national and/or international competition in the previous twelve months.
Recipient : Stéphane Locas
For its Olympic participation in the Games 2008

Sailor of the Year
The Sailor of the Year trophy recognizes an exceptional achievement by a Quebec sailor. The Sailor of the Year trophy is the FVQ’s most prestigious award.
Recipients: Sailors – Retour aux Sources
Return of the Sources was the most important event cruising of pleasure that the Federation set up. As part of the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, it allowed a sixty marine Quebecois sailors to cross the Atlantic starting from Quebec City to La Rochelle in France. A total of 25 boats, including 14 with skippers and crews Quebecois took part in the event. Congratulations to the winners!

Congratulation to all the recipients!

Congradulation to all winners and nominees!

André-Dionne Trophy (volunteer of the Year)
Nominations :

  • André Robitaille
  • Paula Stone

    Trophy Claudrey (Sportmanship)
    Nominations :
  • Gabrielle Laforce
  • Martin Robitaille

    Race Officer of the Year
    Nominations :
  • David Covo
  • Madeleine Palfreeman
  • Patrick Patterson
  • David Pelling

    Instructor/Coach of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Olivier Charbonneau
  • Carmen Denis
  • Nicolas Kim
  • Catherine Lanoix
    Club/Sailing School of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Club de voile Laurentide
  • École de voile Trois-Saumons
  • Pointe-Claire Yacht Club

    Event of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Mobility Cup 08 AQVA YCPC
  • Return of Sources

    “Optimist” Athlete
    Nominations :
  • Evan Berard
  • Caroline De Alcala
  • Fannie De Alcala
  • Tristan King
  • Victor Sullivan
  • Frédérique Tougas
    Young Athlete of the Year
    Nominations :
  • Chanel Beaudoin-Cloutier
  • Geneviève Bougie-Bastien
  • Olivier Corbeil
  • Martin Robitaille

  • Stéphane Locas

    Sailor of the Year
    Nomination :
  • Sailors – Return of the Sources
  • Friday, November 14, 2008

    Annual Meeting of the FVQ Tomorrow

    From the FVQ website:

    Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the corporation The Quebec Sailing Federation Ltd will be held on Saturday, November 15th, 2008, at the:

    Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club Located at 1350 Lakeshore Dorval, Québec, H9S 2E3. (514) 631-2720

    The assembly be called at 16 h 30 Given in Montreal, this 22th day of August 2008. By decision o[the Board of Directors.

    Claude Vallières, President

    Agenda 2008 and minutes from 2007

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Race in an old class? No worries!

    Sometimes I wonder if a new fancy class will ever sail into Montreal and take over the racing scene by storm. Quite a few newer, more expensive classes could blow "Classic" but otherwise viable classes out of the water. Well, me and my old Shark will be around for a while. Yep, own a Laser, Shark, Etchells? Relax, there ain't no significant bunch of buyers out there buyin' freakin' fancy, fast, fresh one designs that will threaten to retire the oldsters. The Wall St Journal video below confirms it. Hold onto your old hull and check the stitching on your rags, the stormy weather is here for a while!

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    Winter racing makes local Laser fleet attractive

    One of the most exciting developments in Montreal sailing this year has to be the growth spurt of the Laser class. No, I'm not saying there is suddenly a huge fleet. But after years of limited or no Laser racing, this class shows real growth and viability. Readers of Montreal Sailing may know that this editor has yearned for the dawn of more single-handed dinghy racing here. Why?
    • We need inexpensive sailing in Montreal, where high club fees are an option, not a necessity. Venture SC is very, very cheap! Even storage in the backyard or garage is viable, though less convenient.
    • We need a class where you can go and race without always searching for crew first.
    • We need classes that practice the art, skill, and fairness of one design racing.
    • We need classes that can offer local, regular races and regattas,
    • and the chance to travel to away-regattas for more excitement and challenge.
    • Finally, we need classes where beginners and veterans, casual and highly-skilled can all find thrills.
    Well, the Laser class is making good progress in fulfilling that criteria. The catches to sailing a Laser is that physical fitness helps in becoming a lot more more competitive, and you have to accept that getting upended and wet will happen. Still, there are many older guys ably sailing Lasers sitting straight up!

    Now, the Laser class is facilitating yet another advantage over other classes, making the boat very attractive to racers. Winter racing down south! February can be a mighty tough month to take in Montreal. The temperatures can start to wear you down by that point. Well, the District 2 (Quebec) Laser blog is suggesting a trip to Florida in February for racing in up to three regattas, all between February 7-15. Wow! A week of warm weather and three regattas in February for the "Masters" class. The idea is that if four people go, then 2 can drive the boats down, two fly. Then they switch for the return trip. That way you only need to drive one way. Brilliant!

    As far as I know, there are only two other fleets in Montreal racing that are part of classes with winter sailing in Florida. There is the Star fleet out of CNDM. As regular readers of Montreal Sailing know from the reports of Alain Vranderick, they attend the venerable, prestigious Bacardi Cup. There is also the Fireball fleet of which some do a smaller regatta that by reports has also been a good party. These are great classes. However, if the above criteria is relevant to you, the Laser becomes the only choice I know of.

    The Laser regattas for which attendance is suggested are major events.
    1. Florida Master's Championship at the Palm Beach Sailing Club. The annual Florida Master's Championship racing for the Jack Swenson memorial 'Dirty Old Man of the Sea' trophy.
    2. Master's Midweek Madness, Jensen Beach at the US Sailing Center, Martin County. During the middle of the week
      between the Jack Swenson Memorial and the Master's Midwinters East.
    3. 2009 Master's Midwinters East at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. The end of the Master's week of winter sailing in Florida. This year returning to Sarasota which is a great fun town with beach sand like talcum powder. Better yet, the very nearby Sarasota airport has direct flights to Montreal.
    Incredibly, these are not the only Laser regatta possibilities in Florida during this time period, and over the winter. There is the Laser Radial championship for women, high performance regattas, youth sailing...

    Personally, I was shopping for both a Laser and a Shark last season, and found a Shark first which quickly consumed more spare bucks then I had. So, the Laser got deferred. However, since I have the wife's relations near these sailing venues it is even more tempting to shop again, if only for the combined family and winter sailing possibilities! One of my old crew buddies, Toby J, is at Venture with a Laser, and more great folks sail out of there too. Louis is working PCYC, and there is a group at HYC too. There is a good-sized Laser fleet at my club, BYC, though they aren't racing; a lot of clubs seem to have a bunch of Lasers on racks or on the hard.

    Yup, lots of possibilities in this class.

    Monday, November 03, 2008

    CYA Regatta of the Year awarded to PCYC for 2008 Mobility Cup

    From the CYA website:

    This award recognizes a regatta whereupon all aspects of race management have resulted in an overall organizational success.

    The 2008 recipient of the CYA City of Kingston Regatta of the Year is Mobility Cup hosted by Pointe Claire Yacht Club and the Association Québécoise de Voile Adaptée.

    The Mobility Cup has become a truly international event. Every summer competitors come from across Canada and the United States as well as Europe and as far away as New Zealand. Billed as a "regatta of possibilities" Mobility Cup´s inspiring format brings sailors that may have never sailed before to the start line with Mobility Cup champions that have gone on to represent Canada in the Paralympic Games. The Pointe Claire Yacht and AQVA aimed high in their planning and the event exceeded expectations.