Aug 9, 2017

401 At Rush HourIn the late 50s there were no Zone, Provincial, or Canadian Youth Championships, so juniors in the Toronto Area quite often raced against adults in open dinghy events. In 1959 the junior instructors at Port Credit Yacht Club, under the direction of Fleet Captain Ron Searle, invited a few of the junior programs from neighbouring clubs to come to the mouth of the Credit River for a regatta. The event was such a success that it has been held every year since.

Optimists Everywhere
In 1968 a trophy was created from a wooden Nutshell rudder, hence the name Steerers', and presented to the best Junior Club in the regatta. The Trophy is awarded using a formula which takes into consideration not only the winners but also the participation in all classes. To compete, all youth competitors must be enrolled in a learn-to-sail program.The trophy has been won by Port Credit YC, Bronte Harbour YC, Oakville YS, Boulevard Club, Kingston YC, TS&CC, Royal Canadian YC, Island YC, RYC, Sturgeon Lake SC, and Royal Hamilton YC.

Steerers Launch

The regatta has grown from a local event to include junior sailors from all over Canada, and the south shore of Lakes Erie and Ontario. Although there is competition among the junior clubs, coaching is actively encouraged for the last 1/3 of the fleet. The regatta has also become a training event for Race Officers and Judges; having as many as 50 or more boats on a starting line is a challenge for wannabe ROs and experience for Club Judges wanting to hear protests. This year was exceptional, as Port Credit YC hosted youngsters from local clubs: PCYC, RHYC, RCYC, Bronte Harbour YC, EYC, Frenchmen’s Bay YC, NYC, ABYC, Oakville YS, TS&CC, RHYC, HMSC Ontario, NYC, BS&BC, QCYC, Boulevard Club, and Whitby YC . Also traveling from longer distances were: Stoney Lake YC, Barrie YC, Bay of Quinte YC, Royal British Islands YC, Santa Barbara Youth Sailing Foundation, Lake of Bays SC, Buffalo Canoe Club, Sail Parry Sound, Sarnia YC, Port Dover YC, and Sturgeon Lake YC.

Opti Starting Line
For the 2017, 59th running of the Steerers’ Regatta, there were a total of 272 entries covering the Standard Laser, Radial, 29er, 420 White Sail, 420 Spinnaker, Feva and Optimist dinghies. Yup, that’s 388 junior sailors that were actually all launched in 35 minutes on the second day of racing, were fed lunch on the water, popsicles after racing and then dinner before a good night’s sleep. That sure takes a lot of volunteers who came out, not only from PCYC, but also many of the local clubs. Many starting working on the regatta early in the year and many more (our fabulous scorers) who worked long hours trying to decipher the results of duplicate sail numbers from sailing school boats!
For Results go to: http://www.pcyc.net/index.cfm?ID=1074

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