Nov 23, 2017

Award WinnersOn Friday November 17th Sail Nova Scotia celebrated the successes of 2017. The location was the spectacular Halifax Central Library. Master of Ceremonies for the event was Barbara Pike who pointed out some of the highlights from this past year. 








Here’s a list:

Nova Scotia Clubs hosted 3 National Championships and 1 World Championship

7 of 10 sailors selected to represent Canada at the Youth Worlds Championships in Sanya, China next month are from the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

Nova Scotians took home 6 medals at the Canadian Youth Sailing Championships in 2017.

The Opti Nationals held here in Nova Scotia attracted more than 100 Optis, the most ever at the regatta.

Nova Scotia keelboat sailors competed at events in the UK, Australia, the United States and Hong Kong.

With Sail Nova Scotia’s help 3 Cape Breton clubs launched a dinghy circuit which drew very good participation and will help develop the next generation of sailors in that area.

Judy Lugar sailing with a team of Americans was a member of the World Championship winning Sonar team!

Here are the winners of this year’s awards:
Legacy Fund Winner Gordon Stevens












Legacy Fund Award

Finn sailor Goron Stevens who is very close to earning a spot on the Canadian Sailing Team at the Senior card level.

Kathryn Josenhans WOW Winner

WOW Award winner
WOW! Women On Water was established in 2007 in memory of Pamela Lerch who passed away from breast cancer that year. In addition to the cup award, it has established three permanent bursaries, which encourage women’s health and well being while increasing their expertise and knowledge of sailing.

This award is presented to a female sailing leader who demonstrates outstanding achievement in sailing education, leadership, mentorship and health promotion.
Sail Nova Scotia and the award selection committee are pleased to announce that Kathryn Josenhans from Lunenburg Yacht Club is this year’s recipient of the WOW! Women On Water Pamela Lerch Memorial Cup.

Kathryn has been a lifelong sailor and held a number of leadership positions at her club. In 2016 and 2017 she worked tirelessly to ensure both the Sonar World Championships and the Women’s Keelboat Nationals, held 4 days apart in Lunenburg this September were a success. Her leadership finding volunteers and filling out funding forms ensured not only that they were two outstanding events, but that there would be a great legacy following the events.

Daniel Conrad Official Of The Year


Sail Nova Scotia Official of the Year – presented by Mike Klassen of the Sail NS Board of Directors

This year’s winner of the Race Official of the Year award is Daniel Conrod.

Dan devotes much of his free time to running races around the province and across the country including Youth Nationals and Chester Race Week. He also runs Race Management Courses in the winter months.

Pat Nelder Volunteer of the Year

Sail Nova Scotia Volunteer of the Year – Presented by Erin Norwood--- from the Sail Nova Scotia Board of Directors.

“Not much sailing or racing would take place in this province without the dedicated support of the more than 500 volunteers who lead our sport.It is only fitting that we recognize a very special one here tonight. This year’s winner is Pat Nelder.”

2017 was a busy year for Pat as she co-chaired a very successful Chester Race Week. She also lead the Indian Point Yacht Club who hosted a number of regattas in Mahone Bay. After only a few years in existence the Club has grown to 38 members!

“Pat is a very dedicated volunteer who puts her best effort out each and every time” says Brian Todd a Race Officer with Chester Race Week. “Everyone enjoys working with her and she has a great knowledge of all aspects of boating in the Maritimes”.

Pat is the Executive Director of the Atlantic Marine Trades Association which owns the Halifax Boat Show. The Boat Show is the annual launch of the new boating season in Atlantic Canada and because of her efforts it has become a premier show in Canada.

Instructor of the Year Award – presented by Jeff Nelson Vice-President of Sail Nova Scotia, awarded to Adrienne O’Connor from the Lunenburg Yacht Club.

Rob Barbara, Learn to Sail Director at Lunenburg Yacht Club said “Adrienne O’Connor has spent most of her life sailing at the Lunenburg Yacht Club. She was a junior sailor for many years and the coached for the past 7 years. For the past two years she was the head instructor.

Adrienne took pride in the work she did at LYC. She constantly sought to do a great job and often in a way that differed how others might have approached it. She was an innovator. For example, she built her own Wetfeet curriculum which employed educational tools that both helped young sailors learn better and have lots of fun. As head instructor, she led by example and was successful in driving her staff to take similar pride in their work and to truly care about their athletes. They wanted their athletes to develop a true lifelong love of sailing by improving their skills while have fun and building strong lifelong relationships…the LYC way!”

Coach of the Year

Coach of the Year presented by Sail Nova Scotia Provincial Coach Lisa Ross

This year the recipient is Florencia Siccard who is the Opti Race Team coach at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

This year Flor’s athletes had an outstanding year. They captured 4 of the top 6 Canadian positions at the Opti Canadians including a first-place finish overall. Her team also captured the National Opti Team Racing championships.

Brian Todd Youth Sailors of the Year – Presented by former National Team Coach Brian Todd

These annual awards, to the best youth sailor or sailors in the province, were re-named by the Sail Nova Scotia Board of Directors to honour a great builder of the sport particularly at the Youth level in Nova Scotia, Brian Todd.

This year we recognize 3 of the best young sailors in Canada; Jack Gogan, Georgia Lewin-LaFrance and Madeline Gillis.

Jack Gogan who sails out of the Northern Yacht Club in Cape Breton and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron finished first overall and therefore top Canadian at the 2017 Opti Nationals in Halifax this summer. Jack beat more than 100 sailors to do so. It was the first place overall Opti Canadians title for a Nova Scotia sailor in a very long time. For winning the national championship Jack was invited to attend the Junior Bermuda Gold Cup which brings together the best Opti sailor from more than 40 countries.

Jack’s coach Flor Siccardi says Jack is a very dedicated sailor who raises his game at the most opportune times. He has a strong work ethic and is one of the most popular athletes on the team thanks to his Cape Breton friendliness!

Georgia & Madeline are repeat winners of this award having won in 2016 for their performance in the 420 class (both the I420 and Club 420) In December last year the duo posted the best ever finish for Canada of 12th place at the Youth World Sailing Championships in New Zealand. They followed that up this summer by capturing the 420 National championships once again and next month are off to China to compete in the World Youth Sailing Championships next month
Best of luck to each of these three outstanding sailors as they take on the world in the next few months.

Lesley Taylor Female Sailor of the Year

Female Sailor of the Year – awarded to Lesley Taylor Presented by Henry Pedro, Sail NS Board member.

Is there a sailing event in 2017 that Lesley Taylor was NOT involved in? This is the third Sail Nova Scotia award for Lesley as she has previously captured the WOW! Award and the Instructor of the Year award. In her nomination of Lesley for Female Sailor of the Year, Leanne Gillis said “I have encountered Lesley through my role as a volunteer, sailing parent, and fellow racer. I have been impressed by Lesley's contribution to sailing as a volunteer (at LYC and regattas at other clubs), a mentor to other sailors (particularly women), and a very skilled racer. As a racer, Lesley has had an especially busy and successful season.”

Cameron Shaw Justin Timmins Male Sailors of the Year

Male Sailor of the Year – presented by Andre Corkum, Sail Nova Scotia Board Member and awarded to Cameron Shaw and Justin Timmins.

In August this year Cameron and Justin carried on the great tradition in Nova Scotia of winning a gold medal at the Canada Summer Games, held this time in Gimli, Manitoba.

At the end of 2016 season, Cameron and Justin set their sights on winning the men’s 29er fleet at the 2017 Canada Summer Games. They trained hard throughout the season, always keeping their end goal in focus. The Games in Winnipeg challenged all the sailors giving a range of conditions from 20 knots to drifting races during a hot, gruelling 6 days of competition. After ups and downs, gear failures and protests, it came down to the end and Cameron and Justin persevered, coming home with the Gold Medal.

Offshore Sailors of the Year

Hal Davies Offshore Sailor of the Year award

The award presented by Steve Davies, son of Hal Davies.

Hal Davies was a long-time supporter of sailing in Nova Scotia particularly of offshore racing. He was a founding father of the Route Halifax St. Pierre race and participated in several Marblehead races on his beloved Third Wave.

This year’s winners of the Hal Davies Offshore Sailor of the Year are the 5 Nova Scotia members of Team Triple Lindy; Sean McDermott, Patrick LaRoche, Rob Trainor, John MacKay and Rory MacDonald.



2017 was an outstanding and very busy year for these 5 offshore sailors.

Triple Lindy is a Swan 44 that is sailed out of New York City and is owned and campaigned by Joe Mele. They have been racing with the program since 2008, and have competed in the Fastnet, Sydney to Hobart, multiple Newport to Bermuda races, Marblehead to Halifax, Caribbean 600, St. Bart's cup, BVI Swan cup, Key West race week, and Charleston race week. The team also chartered a Swan 60 at the Swan Cup in Sardinia.

Between November 2016 and October 2017, they have competed in:

2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race
2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race where they won their PHRF division.

Team member Rory MacDonald says this about the condition of the Middle Sea Race “It was a brute of a race with winds mostly in excess of 20 knots throughout, long periods of 30 knots steady, plenty of squalls including a 46-knot session with heavy rain and hail, and the accompanying big seas and washing machine chop. Only 39 of the 105 boats that started managed to finish the race.”

They will be returning to compete in the 2017 Sydney to Hobart race in December, this time aboard the next boat to carry the 'Triple Lindy' name, being a Cookson 50. Future scheduled events aboard the Cookson include the 2018 Newport to Bermuda and 2019 Transpac races.

This team is being recognized for their commitment and achievement in offshore sailing for the past 12 months and competing in 3 of the world's most iconic offshore races, all of which are well known to be challenging and potentially dangerous events.

Regatta of the Year – Presented by Andre Corkum,

The 2017 Regatta of the Year is Opti Canadians hosted by the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron.

With more than 150 sailors competing this was a record year for the Opti Canadians. When the organizing Committee let by Katrin Heidenrich started putting the event together they were expecting about 100 competitors, but there is something about sailing in Nova Scotia that draws record numbers from across Canada.

The regatta was designated a Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta which is not an easy designation to receive. This means the regatta’s impact on the environment was minimal.

And to top it all off a local sailor Jack Gogan from North Sydney won the event!

Accepting the award was Katrin Heidenrich from RNSYS.

Rob Gale Sailor of the Year


Sail Nova Scotia Sailor of the Year – presented by Sail Nova Scotia Board Member Dana Archibald to Rob Gale.

This award is housed permanently at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and is the only Provincial Sport Organization annual award to be on display there.

Rob had an outstanding 2017. Some of his results included:

Only Nova Scotia crew member on board Prospector which set a Marblehead to Halifax record this year

Crew member on IL Mostro a Volvo 70 which set a record in the Bayview – Mackinac Race. The team covered the 254-nautical mile race in 21 hours 45 minutes on Lake Michigan.

While Rob is certainly an accomplished sailor he is in constant demand to crew on boats and regularly gives back to the sport.

Ron Whynacht Presidents Award

President’s Award – Presented by Sean Kelly Sail NS President

For the third year Sail Nova Scotia recognized a contributor to the sport for his dedication in all aspects over many years. The Sail Nova Scotia President’s award was established in 2015. The winner this year is Ron Whynacht from the Lunenburg Yacht Club.

Ron has been an active member at LYC for more than 20 years and his good friend Jim Mosher says this about Ron: “Ron has had a keen interest in sailing and racing for most of his life. He started sailing in Prince’s Inlet with George Rhuland, a teenage buddy, son of Fred of Smith &Rhuland Shipyard, in a boat named Gem, as well as many Smith &Rhuland built sloops.

He moved through lots of boats, Kirby 25, settling in on the Sonar, the first one at LYC and his last sailing boat. When he retired from HighLiner Foods, his parting gift was a new of sails for his Sonar! He continues to be very active and race with others and enjoys moving around from boat to boat.

Ron has been LYC Commodore several terms and lead and participated in many regattas and events. Along with a strong team he was Chair of the 2002 Volvo Worlds Championship at LYC where over 35 countries were represented. This event was three years in the planning and execution.

Most notably he has championed the Sail Able program at LYC, which has grown to having two Martin 16’s, a host of gear, with dedicated instructors. He personally cares for the Martins and keeps a very close eye on how the program progresses. And of course, although he no longer is on the LYC BOD he watches the activity carefully and advises from the sidelines.

This is well-deserved recognition for Ron.

All Photos credited to Frank Denis.


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