CYA Newsletter

December 2009

Message from Olympic Torch carrier – Evert Bastet:

Being a part of the torch relay is an honour and has provided me with my closest encounter with the Olympic flame, and the first time I have been able to share an Olympic event with, and in the presence of, my hometown friends.  It has been an exhilarating, emotional experience that will stay with me forever. The flame lives on.  As it makes its way to Whistler and Vancouver, along with the flame I send my best wishes to all the competitors, and in particular, our Canadian athletes. Go Canada Go!

Message from Olympic Torch carrier – Tim Irwin:  Bringing the Torch back to the Olympic site in Kingston is a great honour! Being a part of the Olympic movement as it travels from community to community and the opportunity to represent sailing is an amazing experience.

Message from the President

With the cover on the big boat and the Laser safely stowed in the garage for the winter, it’s a good time to reflect on the last year.  We hope that you’ve had a good season; enjoyed some racing or cruising, taken some lessons or just shared a few sunny sailing days on the water with friends or family over the summer.

It has been a busy season for sailing.  This year marked the 40th anniversary of the invention of the Laser and how appropriate that Canada was able to host the world for the World Laser and World Masters Championships at Saint Margarets Sailing Club in Nova Scotia.  The Silver Fox Curling and Sailing Club in PEI successfully hosted young sailors from across the country for the 2009 Canada Summer Games and on the other side of the country, Royal Victoria Yacht Club hosted the Youth National Championships.  Our thanks to all the clubs, volunteers, officials and sponsors who hosted events all across our great country this past season.

At the CYA, our staff have worked hard dealing with the downsizing and restructuring that began in 2008.  Our thanks to them for their hard work and patience through this difficult time.  As a result of these changes and careful diligence on their part, we have seen a turnaround in our financial results.  A small surplus was achieved, preventing financial disaster and giving us confidence that we can continue to rebuild our cash reserves to ensure our future solvency.

In September, we welcomed on board as our new Executive Director, Paddy Boyd, a sailor for life, who brings experience and passion to every aspect of our sport, from the dinghy park to the board room.  Special thanks to Peter Wood, who came out of retirement to assist us during the restructuring as Interim Executive Director.

Our AGM last month, hosted by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, was well attended and demonstrated that working together; we can all win for the sport of sailing.  The AGM included two days of Strategic Planning sessions.  These sessions resulted in a short term action plan and a commitment from all stakeholders to work together to develop a comprehensive plan for Sailing in Canada based on our Vision - “Sailing to Win, Sailing for Life”.  You can view articles on the AGM and our new Long Term Athlete Development Program on the CYA’s website.

Working together in partnership we can keep the boat pointed in the right direction and continue to develop and grow the sport of sailing in Canada.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish you and your families all the best for a happy holiday season and good sailing in the coming season.

Gerry Giffin


Canadian Yachting Association

AGM Conference Summary

Sailing To Win, Sailing for Life

The Canadian Yachting Association concluded its annual conference and AGM on November 21st with stakeholders present agreeing to work together to create a stronger, more vibrant sport in Canada. 

The four days of meetings focused on developing a clear strategy for the sport of sailing for the future and the CYA Board will now work to finalise the strategy and communicate it to all the stakeholders. 

The facilitator assisted agenda allowed for strong interaction and many good ideas were generated.   

The Delegates endorsed strongly the Long Term Sailing Development model and are aware of the challenge ahead in implementing the programme. 

The key priorities identified for sailing in Canada were:

  • New vision for Canadian sailing: sailing to win – sailing for life

  • Strategic plan – timeline - accountability

  • Leadership + action + effective implementation

  • Working together to develop, grow sport of sailing

  • Achieve success – winning culture

  • Clear roles and responsibilities – common programs, services, targets

  • Get the boat pointing in the same direction

  • Work together in partnership

The Conference agreed definite timelines for the next steps in the strategy and the CYA Board are charged with not only developing the strategy, but clearly communicating it frequently and regularly to the membership. 


Next Steps

The CYA Board will now agree process to complete and produce the draft strategic plan, and develop the stakeholder communication strategy with PSAs.

Over the next few months, but no later than April 2010, the CYA will : 

  • Finalise LTSD and implementation model

  • Review organisational capacity to deliver transformation and changes

  • Consult with key stakeholders

  • Produce strategic plan

  • Develop operational, business + communication plan

  • Agree implementation + alignment plan with PSAs

  • Commence implementation of strategic and operational plan

New Board Members elected

Also at the AGM, two new CYA board members, Christine Searle (ON) and John Kerr (ON) were elected to replace retiring members John Abel (BC) and Dave Thomas (BC)

Chair of the Nominating Committee and Chair of the Election of Directors, Jim Dike, declared President Gerry Giffin elected by acclamation as there were no other candidates.

In advance of the election of Directors, the CYA membership passed a proposed bylaw change increasing from one to two athlete directors on the Board of Directors.

In a process as outlined in the CYA By-Laws, Nikola Girke was elected by the currently carded Canadian sailing team members as the second Athlete Director to the Board of Directors.

The CYA Board of Directors for 2009/2010 are:

Position Current (year term expires)
President Gerry Giffin (‘11) – Nova Scotia
u>Directors at Large Alan Lombard(’11)- Quebec
Todd Irving(’10) - Ontario
Kevin Stewart(’10)- Manitoba
Gillian Thomson(’11) – British Columbia
Christine Searle (’12) – Ontario
John Kerr (’12) – Ontario
Athlete Directors Ben Remocker – British Columbia
Nikola Girke – British Columbia

Gender Representation Guaranteed

The AGM also passed a new by-law which introduces a required gender balance to the Board of Directors.  The effect of the by-law, when including the Athlete Directors, is to ensure that there are at least three directors of each gender on the Board.  Annette Wildgoose, who represented Sport Canada at the AGM said: “I am particularly pleased to note that after many years CYA now has 3 female representatives on the Board of Directors. As you may be aware this is part of the National Accountability Standards that drive the Canadian Sport Policy through the NSOs as it relates to governance and technical development”

2009 CYA Awards

The Canadian Yachting Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2009 CYA Awards. The Award winners were announced at the 22nd Annual Rolex Awards Banquet held at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on November 20, 2009.  

Rolex Sailor of the Year Award – Curtis Florence

CYA Female Athlete of the Year Award – Nikola Girke

CYA Male Athlete of the Year Award – David Wright

Marvin McDill Memorial Award – Lee Parkhill

Nathan R. Cowan Memorial Award: for developing sailors – Robert Davis

Bill Burk Memorial Youth Elite Award – Isabella Bertold and Alex Heinzemann

CYA Coach of the Year Award – Lennie Liscio

Chisholm Trophy for Excellence in Race Management - 2009 CYA Canadian Youth Championships hosted by Royal Victoria Yacht Club

CYA City of Kingston Regatta of the Year Award - 2009 Nautel Laser World Championships hosted by St. Margaret’s Bay Sailing Club.

William Abbott Senior Trophy - Ontario Sailing BOOM & Access Boom Program

CYA Recreation Event Award - La Course Jacques Cartier & Sail Parry Sound – the Big Sound Challenge.

CYA Volunteer of the Year – Hugh Drake

Message from CST Coach Brian Todd

To all the CST members and foreign sailors that trained and raced in Halifax this year – thanks for all your hard work and fun company!

To all the volunteers at the Laser Worlds – ditto!

To all the members of the CST Disabled – ditto!

To all the staff at CYA – Major ditto!

To all – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

High Performance Update:

It has been a busy year with a lot of highlights!

  • Athlete performances were strong with 3 laser sailors in the top 16 at World Championships, a top 17 for our women’s RSX, which translates to an international card as there were 4 French sailors in top 16. 2.4mR sailor, Bruce Millar earned an international card with a 9th place finish at IFDS Worlds.  Paul Tingley won a bronze medal at the Open 2.4mR Worlds. ~ There were many top 40% performances achieved at World’s this year and other personal best results. Too many to list! Congrats to all our CST athletes for a successful year.  

  • There were 4 athlete retirements this year; Eric Holden, Chris Cook, Danielle Dube, and Stacie Louttit.  

  • CYA’s National Team coach, Tommy Wharton moved on to new challenges at the Canadian Sport Centre Ontario as Talent Development Manager. 

  • Own the Podium provided funding support to many areas of IST and new sport centre/coaching partnerships were struck across the country. 

  • LTAD working groups have been reviewing all aspects of programming as it relates to athlete development. This effort will result in a renewal strategy for Canadian sailing.   

  • Some of the immediate challenges facing the HP team are: coaching support, solidifying coaching relationships with each training centre; strategic planning; and major games/events qualifications. 

It will be a busy time in the New Year! Happy Holidays!

Long Term Sailor Development Update

Sailing to Win – Sailing for Life

Long Term Sailor Development

As the powerful presentation on outlines, the Long Term Sailor Development (LTSD) sets the stage for part of Canadian Sailing’s renewal strategy. LTSD encompasses the following:

  • Sailor learning and training programs

  • Coaching

  • Competition structure

  • Officials development and stage appropriate roles in mentoring

  • Club and organizational business development

Now that the bottom –to- top / entry-to exit / cradle-to-grave details have been set for a progressive and systematic lifelong sailor development framework, it is time for next steps in the initiative! This includes program reviews where programming & / or practices in each of the 5 areas listed above will be set against the details in the stages of LTSD. (Competition review has already taken place). Outcomes from reviews will offer systematic and progressive programming and practices through each of the 9 stages of the framework.  Technical review teams are soon to be recruited, and in-depth reviews will take place early in the New Year.

Following reviews, plans to implement any new or revised programs will be made.  A full plan for LTSD implementation is set to be drafted by the end of February 2010.

Be sure to check out what it’s all about! The Long term Sailor Development initiative is highlighted in English and in French on CYA website. Feedback is welcome – .

National / Senior National Race Officer Seminar

The Canadian Yachting Association is pleased to announce the running of a CYA NRO / SNRO Race Management Seminar to be hosted by Ontario Sailing at the Port Credit Yacht Club in Mississauga, Ontario, March 5th through 7th, 2010. 

Any CYA certified Club Race Officers (CROs) or National Race Officers (NROs) considering or intending to apply for their NRO or Senior National Race Officer (SNRO) certification within the next three years should consider attending this seminar as it may not be offered again in the Golden Horseshoe area for a few years. Successful completion of the seminar is a prerequisite for first-time applicants for NRO or SNRO certification.

For further information see CYA news release.

NOTE for FRENCH – clip from French release and hyperlink is here: 

2010 Calendar

Next summer’s National events are lining up! Start your regatta scheduling now!

CYA Sail West – July 15-18 2010 - Wabamun, AB

2010 Laser and Radial Canadian Championships – July 15-18 2010 - Oka, QC

CYA Sail East – July 21-24 2010 – North Sydney, NS

CYA Youth National Championships – August 1-7 2010 – Ottawa, ON

2010 Canadian Optimist Dinghy Championships – August 22-28 2010 – Hamilton, ON

2010 Mobility Cup – September 13-17 2010 – Vancouver, BC

CYA Laser / Radial National Qualifier Regatta – September 23-26 2010 – Kingston, ON 

Stay tuned to CYA’s listings of 2010 regattas and championships. The listing is regularly being updated. 

Supporter Appreciation

The Canadian Yachting Association would like to thank the important partners of the Canadian Yachting Association and the Canadian Sailing Team, whose contributions throughout the year are greatly appreciated.

Sport Canada supports the achievement of high performance excellence and the development of the Canadian sport system. Without the support of Sport Canada, CYA would only be able to deliver a fraction of their mandate.  

The Canadian Olympic Committee & ‘Own the Podium’ supports the development of targeted podium potential athletes on their quest for 2012.  

Rolex has been a proud sponsor of sailing in Canada and the Canadian Yachting Association since 1986. Rolex supports CYA programs throughout the year and provides specific support each year for the Rolex Awards Banquet.  

PJ Phelan Foundation is a charitable foundation established to help Canadian sailors achieve excellence in their sport. P.J. Phelan has made an enormous difference to the CST and the sport of sailing in Canada, elevating potential medalists to podium finishers. The Phelan foundation has generously provided housing for our Canadian Sailing Team members in Weymouth leading up to the 2012 Games. This generous donation helps ease the financial burdens for both athletes and coaches as they continue their quest for gold.  

North National Outdoor Group, the North American distributor for Gul, Harken, and McLube, is a long-standing sponsor for the Canadian Sailing Team and Canadian Yachting Association. For the last several years, North National has donated and discounted high tech clothing and gear to the Canadian Sailing Team and provided support for our Olympic Sailing team in Beijing.  

Fogh Marine, “Canada’s Marine Store,” is a longtime supporter of sailing and sailboat racing across Canada. Fogh Marine annually awards the Fogh Marine Sportsmanship Award at the Canadian Youth Sailing Championships and takes special pride in supporting Canada’s sailing coaches.  

Other valuable sponsors include; Mercury Marine, Thomson Jemmett Vogelzang, Amp Marine, and Intact Insurance.

Many thanks to all the partners and supporters of the Canadian Yachting Association!






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