SILVER SAIL TEAM TRAVELS TO STEERER’S REGATTA JULY 14-15, 2011


SILVER SAIL TEAM TRAVELS TO STEERERS REGATTA  AT PORT CREDIT YACHT CLUB JULY 14-15, 2011

The Conestoga Sailing Club Silver Sail Team travelled to Port Credit Yacht Club to compete in the Steerers Regatta for youth sailors. Participants must be members of a sailing school and coaches are expected to be on the water on coach boats. However, no coaching is allowed during the race and sailors are disqualified if that should occur.
The members of the Silver Sail Team are Chris Hajduk and Rajan Anderson, Alexandra McLaughlin and MacKenzie Stumpf, Jack Jones and Sam Parker.
The Silver Sail Team began packing up on Wednesday, July 13, in preparation for the journey to Port Credit coordinated by Rodney Bakelaar, the Silver Sail Coach.  Preparations began after lunch to pack up three 420s and an instructor boat. This proved to be the most challenging part of the trip as it was difficult to match up trailors, hitches and vehicles as well as remembering all the gear including masts, booms, spinnaker poles, mainsails, spinnakers, all lines, plugs, life jackets and much more. Rodney kept his cool as plan A had to be discarded, then plan B and so on. He used his problem solving skills to work through the options one by one. The highest priority was safety. With some effort, he found three good trailers, vehicle hitches to match and the team loaded the boats onto the trailors.  Great care was taken to make sure the boats were tied down securely. By 5:30, a hot, but positive group was on its way with Rodney towing a trailer with one boat, Bill pulling a double trailer with two boats and Carla pulling a trailer with the coach boat. The group made a much needed food break at the highway stop on the 401 and then it was onto Port Credit.
Port Credit Yacht Club is on the shore of Lake Ontario and is a large and well-equipped club. They offered some tent space so the team was able to stay on site. The team arrived about 8:30 to a packed boatyard. It took some time, but eventually the boats were unloaded, the coach boat was launched and everyone had checked in. There were over 400 sailors competing in this regatta. There were hundreds of boats! As a first regatta, this was a huge undertaking. This is the second biggest youth regatta in Canada.
Launching the boats in the morning became a race and a competition in itself. Using three ramps, it took an hour and a half to launch all the boats. Due to very light winds, it took some time to get to the course. There were 57 420s at the start line. Only one race was sailed the first day due to the light air.
The second day was a very hot and light wind day. Three races were sailed in variable conditions from very light to somewhat light – very Conestoga. By the time it was all done, all three teams were tired and sunburnt.
The Conestoga Sailing Team finished with very impressive results for a team that had been together for 8 days and were competing in their first major regatta. Sam Parker and Jack Jones  had a best race of 26th out of 57 and an overall finish of 29/57. Alexandra McLaughlin and MacKenzie Stumpf had a best race of 28th out of 57 and had an overall finish with 36/57. Rajan Anderson and Chris Hajduk had a best race of 30 out of 57.
Rodney did a great job of preparing the team, organizing the venture, keeping the boats and trailors from damage and, most importantly, bringing the sailors back home safely. Congratulations team!