Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Sailing Community Mourns the Loss of Brian Palfreeman

I just received some devastating news from Larry. This has been posted on the CYA news site. I am thinking of Brian, Madeleine and PCYC - Ralph, Mntreal Sailing.

The Flag Officers, Executive Committee and Members of the Pointe-Claire Yacht Club bid a sad farewell to Brian Palfreeman and extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Madeleine and the members of the family.

In a distinguished sailing career which began during his boyhood in Essex England and continued over the next sixty years in Canada, Brian’s achievements as a competitive sailor were numerous.  The most notable of these were in the Tornado Class, when as members of the National Team preparing for the 1976 Olympics, he and Madeleine represented Canada, with much success, at numerous events around the world.

An impressive array of trophies, accumulated in a wide range of sailboats, attest to his skill as a yachtsman but do not tell the story of what he gave back to sailing in general and to the Pointe- Claire Yacht Club in particular. Brian was a true sportsman and his love of sailing extended far beyond his personal record of success on the racing scene.

As a CYA National Level Judge, Brian was widely-known and well-respected in sailing circles. He served in various positions on the PCYC Executive, and was the Regatta Chairman for events held at PCYC ranging from World, International and National Championships. Together with Madeleine he was a strong supporter of the AQVA and the PCYC Squadron. He will be remembered for his contribution to the success of their racing programmes.

His pragmatic approach coupled with a sense of humour enabled Brian to get things done on many fronts ranging from, organizing and running regattas, measuring, competing, judging, establishing the Etchells Class at P.C.Y.C., sharing his knowledge and experience with fellow sailors, to fixing club boats in his garage during the winter and even beachcombing along the shores of Lake St. Louis to retrieve wayward racing buoys.

To dwell solely on his achievements on the water would not do justice to Brian’s participation in and enjoyment of the social activities of the club. The jostling and joshing over a pint at the bar after an evening race or a long day on the water, to say nothing of the serious partying at Club Dinners and memorable Hudson Labour Day Regattas, these activities will never be quite the same. However, with Madeleine as our Commodore we will work together to deal with our loss and strive to keep alive the spirit of comradeship which we will always associate with Brain.

We of the P.C.Y.C community thank you Brian for all you have done over the years to bring credit to the club and provide us with memories which we will always cherish.