Thursday, May 08, 2014

Etienne Portelance, a new collaborator on Montreal Sailing Blog

We are just about to enter into the season and I want to thank Ralph for the opportunity to write here. I hope you will appreciate my writing as much as I have appreciated Ralph's.

Please let me present myself. This is me in the '80s

I learned to sail on Lake Saint-Louis, and I can say most of my sailing has been on this lake.  I have sailed Flying Juniors, Laser, Laser II, and Fireball dinghies and sailed on my dad's boats. I spent 9 years in France where I sailed on Fireballs, 505 and various keel boats. I was also a sailing instructor in Lachine for 5 summers from 1989 to 1993.

 I also sailed out of Québec city for a few seasons on 40 footers. While in France, I owned a 6.5 m transat boat, a "Mini". 

During my stay in France, I sailed on anything I could.  The easiest boats to get on are racing boats because skippers are always looking for crew.  It's not as easy to get on a cruising boat. As a crew, I find I get a good deal. Sometimes, I pay for the gas to get to the regatta, sometimes I have to pay for my own lunch, but it's often possible to carpool, and the sailing can be fantastic. I enjoyed middle distance races best (under 500 miles). It's usually a crew requirement to be able to helm.

Below is a boat racing in the Giraglia race from Saint-Tropez to Genoa, Italy (passing between the Giraglia rock and Corsica)

Back in Canada, I owned a Lightning for a few years and crew on a Shark. I enjoy sailing with my two boys and my wife.

I participated in 3 world championships. In the first in 1996, I was helm for half of the races and crew for the other half, in 1999 I was helm all the time, and in 2012 I was crew all the time.

I'll be talking about the joys of sailing both crewing, and cruising. Hope you enjoy my contribution, see you on the water.

Etienne Portelance