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June 13, 2019

Ian Gow SailingSailing Days at ABYC

Ian started his sailing life around 1972 when, as a young police officer, he was assigned to 55 Division and Patrick Lymburner was his training officer. Pat had just purchased a Thunderbird and wanted to get the mast up ASAP. They were working night shift and Ian offered to help. Then, of course, they had to take her for a sail.

Ian was a natural. He raced with Pat on Who Knows until Pat bought an Alberg 30 (MYNX) in 1983 and Ian took over the TBird.

Ian Gow SailingIan and his brother Rob sailed Who Knows and faced the maintenance challenges of a wooden Tbird for many years. Then he went boatless for a while before buying and renaming Who Knew (he would buy a powerboat.)

Ian Gow SailingIan got involved in race management in the mid-70s and became one of the first certified race officers in Canada. He was active in officiating at many events including CORK, LYRA, LORC, and many one-design class events, both as a race officer and as a judge. He was certified as a Canadian Yachting Association Senior National Race Officer and a National Judge (the highest certification levels offered by CYA, now Sail Canada). He worked at many high level events and for several years was on the Laser team at the World Cup in Miami. His commitment to our sport is legendary and even as late as last year he worked on the race committee for the J/24 Worlds at PCYC even though his health was compromised. Ian epitomized the spirit of volunteerism and his dedication to Race Management is second to none. When ABYC needed help he was always there.

Ian Gow SailingIan was active on committees at Ashbridges Bay YC and was well known socially at the club. Many evenings found him at his favourite spot next to the post in Duffy's bar. He loved gambling and made regular trips to casinos as well as taking part in countless friendly card games.

He will be missed.

Pat Lymburner’s tribute to Ian

On May 1, 2019 we lost a great volunteer, race officer, judge, mark setter and friend. We celebrated his life on his birthday, May 20th at Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club. There were over 250 people in attendance and many stories were shared. He would have had a Pair of Sixes on that day but instead, he had a Full House.
His friend Roger Van Vlack wrote a poem which another friend, Bob Wilson, posted on Facebook:

“At the end of Len’s bar sits an empty chair
Gone is the man that always sat there
Twenty-eight years service on Toronto’s Force
30 more at ABy’s staying the course

He had advice for us all that he gave on request
With his book of Roberts Rules so he could be at his best
He took pride that his advice was usually correct
He did his best to keep everyone he knew in check.

If you wanted your boat delivered to an event
He was quick to volunteer he just got up and went
Texas holdem or dealer’s choice he didn’t care
As long as he had a chip and a chair

“WHO KNOWS” what made him care so much?
He even offered his home to keep everyone in touch
“WHO KNEW” he would fight so long and so brave?
He had courage beyond where most people cave

Sail on with strong winds and seas so fast
Give our love to our fellow sailors that have gone in the past
Have a drink on us and say hi to them all
Someday we will join you but not till last call”

Ian Gow SailingIan was a great Friend, Crewmate, Race Official, Companion and Volunteer. He understood that volunteering was what made the Modern World affordable. His life was devoted to the service of his fellow man. I will miss him. His Club will miss him and his Sport will miss him.