Nov 22, 2018
The Etobicoke Yacht Club decided to re-introduce a once held regatta for it’s youth, in an effort to keep the kids for their Junior Sailing Programme involved in the club. The goal was to show that there is an availability of competent and qualified youth to crew on members’ boats.
On August 11 the club hosted and ran the Next Gen Regatta, an event for JSP alumni and club members under the age of 30. The plan was to use evenly matched boats; three of our members loaned their C&C 27 Mk V’s Jim Wente/Bob Gauthier, James Robb and Steve Reid with the stipulation that the owner could be aboard but not as an active member of the crew.
We ended up with 19 of our youth signing up to participate. We divided them up, pairing with some of the more experienced as skippers and lead crew, with the younger kids to fill out the crews. The skippers drew numbers to determine which crew got which boat. The crews were released to go to their respective boats and were given two hours to rig and prep the boats to go out on the water for some practice and team building, before the actual racing was to begin. A race course was set up with the help of some volunteers and at 2:00 pm racing began. Two one-hour races were completed then the gang came back to the club for a barbecue and awards.
As you can see from some of the pictures there were lots of smiles, plenty of action and there was some close competition. Those of us who were out there watching were treated to some very good boat handling and tactical moves. After two races there was a tie for 1st with Crew 1, Sean Wylie, Tim Morland, Alexander & Katrina Lyakisheva, Matthew Crespy, Timothy Panov, winning the tie breaker by winning the last race.
All in all the day was a resounding success and we should be able to look forward to a repeat next year, although we may have to look for more boats. Hopefully next year we will be able to get more of our members out to spectate and create some cheering sections to encourage the young racers on. One thing is for sure though there is no lack of talent among our JSP and the youth of our club. There is a growing pool of willing, eager and talented crew available. If you are looking to flesh out your crew or build a crew so you can get out and race there is no excuse.
– Steve Reid, EYC
Credit all photos Maggie Reid, poster credit Jean-Claude Lussier