Oct 26, 2017

Displacement HullGeorge inspired me in 1966 at a conference on Lake Couchiching with his seminar on displacement hull design; in particular the new "Red Jacket" that he was designing to go faster than the CCA Rule of the day calculated, by about.15 (one and one half tenth) of a knot.

THAT prompted me to buy a displacement hull boat (an Olympic Star), another Star, a Hinterhoeller 30, and then a J-30.

George's boat succeeded, and was the foundation of C&C Yachts. George would tell you that Red Jacket was the most important achievement of his life.

In the early 80's Red Jacket was languishing and about to be de-commissioned when a young RCYC member, Derick Shipman, suggested to (then owner) Paul Phelan that he give me Red Jacket for one season to see what happened.

I bargained hard; I already owned a J-30. Phelan gave me Red Jacket for four years with a fully paid maintenance staff of three and unlimited expenses to "take the old girl out racing” and "bring aboard new sailors who might not otherwise get a chance to become involved in yacht racing".

He also commented that: "if you ever won a race with her it would be wonderful"

Over four years we embraced every beginner we could find, and knowing that the secret power of Red Jacket was her top speed. We sailed at full speed off to every possible "corner", estimated when to hit the lay line, and came in ahead of all those newer yachts grinding and tacking up the middle of the course.

We won 17 or 18 trophies each year, to the chagrin of many.

In the first Easter Seals Regatta, Honorary Chairman Paul J. Phelan's yacht Red Jacket was to lead the parade through the Reviewing Area. The (mostly) female crew, dressed in Swiss Chalet uniforms, discreetly prepared the new spinnaker purchased just for this race, and launched it as we lead the parade past the Official Ferry.

On one occasion George phoned me in late August of the fist summer, asking to come racing with us. To me it was like getting a phone call from GOD. The man who had inspired me to get into displacement hull sailboats, and who's Crown Jewel I was now sailing.Georges Red Jacket

George came down for the day and was stunned to find women, mostly beginners, as the crew for the day. We went out and beat, boat for boat, all ofhis new IOR 40 footers with their highly experienced crews.

A beauty shot of Red Jacket with George’s signature top right

George watched closely all day as I did what he had suggested in 1966. "Stay fully powered, bear off below others if necessary to keep full speed. Stay out of tacking duels; her real secret will be long miles at full speed."

I did not tell George, until a couple years ago, that I had been at that seminar in 1966. He remembered the seminar, and he remembered that day 20+ years later that he went racing with a full crew of "girls" for the first time in his life.

George and his Red Jacket made a HUGE impact upon my life.

Doug Mitchell, Toronto

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On Friday, 3rd November at 7pm, Broad Reach will host Countdown 2018 https://www.sailbroadreach.ca/countdown/ at the National Yacht Club, a 19th Anniversary fundraising dinner/dance to raise much needed program funding for disadvantaged youth. Keynote address by the Canadian Sailing Team’s young athletes: Sarah Douglas, Brenda Bowskill and Evert McLaughlin.

Since 1998, the Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders www.sailbroadreach.ca has enabled 4,000 youth to experience life-long benefits that come from the sport and science of sailing. Sailing is not generally accessible to most youth and especially not to those who experience a multitude of health, socio-economic and immigration difficulties.

In 2017, Broad Reach engaged 400 youth, 7 boats and 25 volunteers. The volunteers provided youth with new perspectives, helped identify new education and work choices, and served as role models. The youth experienced stronger social belonging and the adults contributed their knowledge and resources, while learning of the challenges the youth face today.

Broad Reach’s goal is to inspire the youth to be curious, courageous, focused and resilient. We teach them how to take leadership, communicate better, be a great team member, and be safe. Because the youth learn through hands-on experience, they learn faster and their new knowledge and skills are grounded in real life to serve them well in adulthood. Because the youth sail in ever changing conditions, they learn how to adjust to these conditions, how to be creative and how to reflect and learn from mistakes. There are no bad grades, there is fun and physical activity, better attitudes towards out-of-the-comfort zone experiences, a distinct awareness of life choices, opportunities, and new networks.

Marguerite Pyron, Executive Director

Broad Reach Foundation for Youth Leaders




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