Thursday, January 31, 2008

Queen's University

Queen's University is one of the most prestigious universities in Canada (and I'm not just saying that because I went to school there). The campus is old and a lovely place to explore in your downtime. Queen's also rents out rooms in the summer, although it is further away from Portsmouth Harbour (but an easy drive or bike ride). Queen's is also situated right in between Portsmouth and Kingston's downtown, so if you are bringing a family, they might be happier with the location as they can walk to the stores and restaurants. (See the MAP for more exact locations.)

Rates for rooms are: CDN $45.00 for a single per night, and $60.00 for a double. The washrooms are shared, parking can be a bit of a hassle, there is no air-conditioning, and there is no breakfast included.

The full address of the Queen's residence is: Victoria Hall, 75 Bader Lane, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N8. You can book online HERE or contact Queen's HERE for further information or to book via phone.

Once again, if you need any further information, feel free to contact me.

St. Lawrence College Residence

We know a lot of you are spending a lot of money to get to the Worlds, so we want to help keep your costs as low as possible. As we mentioned before, Kingston is a huge university town, so one benefit is the availability of cheap rooms at the local residences.

Probably your best bet for where to stay is St. Lawrence College, as it is a five-minute walk to Portsmouth Harbour. You can book a single room for CDN $54.50 per night, or a double room for $68.00. It has:

- Lots of free parking
- A kitchenette (small fridge/stove)
- Private bathroom
- A cafeteria nearby

This makes it great for families or individuals.

Because it's so popular with CORK competitors, the St. Lawrence Residence will book up fast (they start to get inquiries in March). If you are interested, BOOK AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. You can book via email (write to Lana Campbell: lcampbell (remove the space in front of the @)), or give them a call: 613-544-6600 x4999. You will need a credit card.

The address of the residence is: 23 Country Club Drive, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7M 9A4. The St. Lawrence Residence has been added to the customized map, HERE. If you click HERE you can find a virtual tour of the rooms.

Contact me if you need further help.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Portsmouth Olympic Harbour

Aerial view of Portsmouth Olympic Harbour
When Canada hosted the 1976 Olympic games, the sailing events were held at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, and it is now one of the most renowned sailing venues in North America. With the reliable thermal (15 - 20 knots every afternoon), and the large and accesible marina and clubhouse, it became the venue for the Canadian Olympic Training Regatta ("CORK"). Every year, CORK attracts hundreds of sailors in dozens of different one-design classes, and since we're using the same organizers, you can be assured that the Worlds will run smoothly and professionally.

Map of POH - Click HERE for a larger view

3...2...1...BLAST OFF!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Algonquin Park

Nature porn!

As well as having some great cities, the province of Ontario is also famous for its fantastic parks, one of the most famous being Algonquin Park. If you love the outdoors, you have to make time to go see it. Algonquin is about four hours drive Northwest of Kingston, and is a lovely spot to camp, canoe, hike, pick berries, bicycle, swim in clean lakes, and see all sorts of wild animals, like moose, beavers, foxes, fish, and the wildest animals of all - other Canadians.

Unlike the typical Australian animal, this moose doesn't want to kill you.

If you aren't travelling with your camping gear, you can also rent some. Wikipedia has a great entry about Algonquin with more pictures.

You should also be aware that Algonquin books up pretty fast in the summer, so if you're interested, reserve something as soon as possible!

It's Mr. Canoehead!

Other useful links:

Algonquin Park Eco-Lodge (a great place to stay in the park)

Voyageur Quest (they'll arrange canoe trips and other excursions in the park for you)

Bartlett Lodge (an upscale place ($$$) to stay in the park)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dave Kleinman (USA 185)

Name: Dave Kleinman
Nickname: DaveK
Sail No: 185 is my best sail. The rest have different numbers.
Boat name: Crash Monkey
Country: Texas (We have that option to succeed)
Sailing Club: Who's Ever YC. I'm not picky.
Weight: 175
Height: 6'2"
Age: 45

Number of years sailing (and on what)? From the age of 7 but, on lead mines. The bigger the better is what I thought until 4 years ago. My son turned 7 and he needed to learn sailing so I bought a performance dinghy (US1) and realized I was the person learning how to sail.... That boat is like a Finn.. I have literally hiked my shorts off it. Plumbers butt is not pretty.

Number of years sailing the contender? Zero.

Why did you get on the Contender? Cause I'm suicidal. Seriously.... the Garda Vid, I hate hiking and I want to race single handed with 1 sail.

Number of Worlds? Nada.

Favourite Worlds Moment? I got nothing.

Favourite Food? Falafel.

How do you keep in shape? I'm working on that part. St. Pete said hello to my body and if your gonna sail this boat, get in shape now!

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? Take a Contender sailing for the first time in 30+ winds. Ended up with 11 holes in the bottom and stuck on a lee shore in freezing cold weather for 2 hours.

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Be there!

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? Have a great time!

Dear Germany

Ich habe gehört, dass etliche deutsche Contendersegler sich schon entschieden haben, zu unserer Weltmeisterschaft 2008 in Kingston zu kommen. Ich finde das klasse und freue mich darauf, Euch alle kennen zu lernen. Und allen Unentschlossenen verspreche ich, dass Ihr die Reise nicht bereuen würdet. Kingston ist eine sehr freundliche Stadt mit netten Leuten, prima Essen und Trinken, und hervorragenden Segelbedingungen. Und wenn Euch das alles nicht genügt: Wenn wir 12 oder mehr Segler aus Deutschland begrüssen können, erklären wir einen Abend zum "Augustfest", und bewirten Euch persönlich mit Bier und Würsten. Neil hat versprochen, dazu Lederhosen zu tragen, und ich werde mich in ein Dirndl-Kostüm stürzen.


Neil Smith (CAN 2398)

Name: Neil Smith
Nickname: Smitty
Sail No: 2398
Boat name: Adele
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: Outer Harbour Centreboard Club
Weight: 180
Height: 6'2"
Age: 42

Number of years sailing (and on what)? around 30 years, but for many crew of a CL16(I am not sure if that counts) .

Number of years sailing the contender? 8 years.

Why did you get on the Contender? I always loved the look of the Contender, and since I didn't need to worry about crew it was a great option.

Number of Worlds? 4 Kingston 2001, Plymouth 2003, Perth 2006, Medemblik 2007.

Favourite Worlds Moment? Sailing in 35 knots in Perth, also when sailing out seeing the flying fish jump over your bow.

Favourite Food? Salad.

How do you keep in shape? Swimming, Cycling and Yoga - if the knee is working.

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? Sail with a torn meniscus.

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? To sail to my best ability - #1 is to be able to sail with my knee issues.

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? Over 50 Contenders and then to Party like it is 1999.

Any other comments? I promise that everyone who comes to Kingston will have a great time, there will be lots of free beer and great things to do. Plus we will get to see Steph mounting the centerboard trick which is very amusing. [The Dictator: It really is something to see!]

Tom Janidlo (CAN 752)

Name: Tom Janidlo
Sail No: CAN 752
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: Nepean Sailing Club, Ottawa
Weight: 190
Height: 6 feet
Age: 37

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 6 years, mostly racing 505s.

Number of years sailing the contender? 0, just got it in September and have sailed it 3 times.

Why did you get on the Contender? Cool boat, needed a single hander to train for my 505 campaign and couldn’t stand doing it in a laser.

Number of Worlds? 0, but I’ll be doing Contender and 505 Worlds in 2008.

Favourite Worlds Moment? Saving this for Kingston.

Favourite Food? Poutine.

How do you keep in shape? Poutine, Bench pressing daughters Fiona 5 and Philippa 2.

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? Haven’t had it long enough to have anything interesting...

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Finish every race, don’t finish last. Top Ottawa boat!

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? See something other than transoms, bring on that bullet proof Kingston thermal.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jacqueline Ruefenacht (SUI 82)

Name: Jacqueline Ruefenacht
Nickname: Jac
Sail No: SUI 82
Boat name: Nadjeshda
Country: Switzerland
Sailing Club: Thunersee Yachtclub
Weight: depends - from 62-66
Height: 1.73 m
Age: nearly 31

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 13 - 420, 470, CONTENDER - and various sins on types which I call "Trucks" or "Lead-transporters"

Number of years sailing the contender? Uh, started in late summer '99. So - 8? But the first three it was more swimming than sailing!

Why did you get on the Contender? My 470 crew didn't have any more time - I wanted a single hander. But the common boats do not have a trapeze - they're too boring. What's more: I love wooden boats! So was there any choice?!?

Number of Worlds? 3 (Garda 04, Travemuende 05, Medemblik 07).

Favourite Worlds Moment? first surf on a wave.

Favourite Food? Raclette.

How do you keep in shape? my job does it for me...and the way to get there (bicycle).

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? Many! Well, here's the story that takes the cake: Europeans 06, I start close to the pin end, some heavy guys overpass windwards - I get in a panic for losing the good position - and - tack. Alone against 90 others, without the right of way. No need to explain the consequences....

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Have a good time and no damages.

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? Heaps of contenders.

Any other comments? Come on guys. Look, I'm not a good sailor, don't expect fame, but I am flying to Canada because the event is important for the class as whole. So do the same!!!

Jo Roesler (GER 425)

Name: Joachim Roesler
Nickname: "Jo", "JoRoe", "JoR", "Dr. Jo" - you tell me
Sail No: GER 425
Boat name: wat mutt dat mutt
Country: USA/Germany
Sailing Club: HSC
Weight: 180 lbs
Height: 6'
Age: 51

Number of years sailing (and on what)? Since age 14, starting out on Vauriens, Klepper dinghies, Moths, H-Jolle, on the Lake of Constance in southern Germany. A Contender was my first own boat, and ever since then I have always had one. Later in Kiel I also did some big boat and multi-hull racing and cruising, including races across the North Sea to Scotland and back. We moved in 1990 from Germany to Connecticut, and discovered the Roton Point Beach Association (site of the 1995 Contender Worlds). I kept a Hobie 18 there, then I crewed for a few years with Sonars for very tactical racing. I experimented on my Contender with a larger rig and wings to keep up with the multi-hulls of Roton Point, that was pre-Musto Skiff. I'll bring the rig to Kingston.

Number of years sailing the contender? Since 1977. When I left the army in Germany, at age 20, I had scraped the money together to buy my first Contender. That was an old yellow Rondar. Boats #2, #3 and #4 I built myself. I'm now on Contender #6, a 1995 Bonezzi.

Why did you get on the Contender? I have to blame reading a Paul Elvstroem book. Somewhere in it he lauds single handed trapeze sailing, going as far as saying that "if you can sail a single handed trapeze boat, you can sail anything". I figured, why not start at the top. There was his own trapeze dinghy with which he tried to popularize the concept. Upon closer inspection of course the Contender emerged as the much better design, and a trial sail with Schappi's boat in the fall of 1976 in Kiel quickly won me over. Before that I had rigged a Klepper two-person dinghy from my high school with a long tiller extension and sailed it single handed. Somewhere I have an old b/w picture. I'll try to find it.

Number of Worlds? First one 1977 in Kiel. Fewer since we live in the US.

Favourite Worlds Moment? I like the buildup to it in the days before, the getting together, meeting old friends again from all over the world, and making new ones during the course of the week.From the past, of course I like to remember the occasional moments when I thought I sailed well. I always seemed to have good speed on Lake Garda. The free sailing on a too breezy day in Sardinia was just spectacular. In hindsight I also cherish the tough and ugly days, like you get them in England, where just making the finish line can seem like an accomplishment. It feels good to come in 5th in a race where from a 75 boat fleet only 50 start and 25 finish. Of course, the older I get, the better I was.

Favourite Food? Many. Good bread. Espresso. Mediterranean ingredients, Italian cooking, Peruvian ceviches, Japanese aesthetics, Brazilian grilled meats, real American smoked BBQ, Austrian cakes, some German classics.

How do you keep in shape? Not enough of course. Some Contender sailing, working out with light weights, biking, hiking my paraglider up mountains. I hate running.

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? Hmmm. That I both care to remember and admit? Well, there was i.e. that perfect summer day with a light steady breeze, when I tried to show off by trapezing on my shoulders (feet out). It worked quite well and for a long time. Unfortunately, I did it on port, and got flattened by a keel yacht which couldn't understand how I would not have seen them. But wait, there is more…

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Enjoying myself. Finishing every race. Staying out of trouble. Sailing fast and well enough to be able to focus on sailing smart (questionable). Seeing if I can catch up to the present speed level in the class after upgrading to all the fancy carbon stuff (questionable). Making it through the week without Ibuprofen (there is hope).

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? I have sailed in Kingston before of course, and know how pleasant the sailing there is. I hope we'll the usual nice mix of weather conditions. I'm not a fan of the trend to a lot of short races. Two per day is definitely the maximum for serious events, and I don't think I'd want two scheduled for every single day, especially if it's breezy and easier to break stuff. I think it's a great idea for weekend and club races, where it can feel like a waste to have driven hundreds of miles for only one start per day, especially if you mess them up. But in a World Championship I'd rather like to see longer races that count and that take all your focus. 10 races in 6 or 7 days are more than enough. Maybe people feel that in a 45 min race they could get lucky once and hold a finish ahead of their usual placements, but I don't think that's what a World Championship should be about.

Any other comments? Some Sunday night back in Europe, driving home from yet another light wind/rainy/cold/protested/not-finished-first regatta, I decided to enjoy my regattas no matter what. It's not my livelyhood after all. Since then I have been a little bit more selective about where I race, and how I approach it. If I can sail only a limited number of weekends, I'll gladly drive twice as far to a place with sun, breeze or good food. I prefer places that are original and attractive and I'll make use of it. I'll have a good time no matter how the sailing goes, although that doesn't mean that I don't get focused and competitive once I'm on the water. The people one can meet in sailing are interesting, and tend to be individualists. That's especially true in a class like the Contender. It's worth getting to know everyone. Bigger regattas are a challenge because you can't get to all the new sailors you meet in that one week.

Other things I learned: I took up paragliding in 1986, and hang gliding in 2002. Only on a strictly relaxed and recreational base, no competitions. The aerodynamics of flight are very familiar to a sailor, and lots of other pilots are sailors too. But it was eye opening for me to be studying and experiencing the weather now in three dimensions rather than two. Everything that is happening on the ground is of course connected to the conditions at higher altitudes.

Kingston - a customized map

A suggestion was passed on to create a customized map of Kingston, so I've started one here using google maps. I will continue to populate it with relevant addresses as we get closer to the Worlds, and if there is any place you want to see on the map, let me know.


Mike Smits (CAN 2397)

Name: Mike Smits
Nickname: Mikey
Sail No: CAN 2397
Boat name: Ubersonic
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: Outer Harbour Centerboard Club
Weight: 162 lbs
Height: 5' 11"
Age: 52

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 40 years- Gasp! Started crewing on a Shark as a young teenager and I bought my first boat, a used Laser, the second year they were in production. Progressed to an ancient Soling that I cruised on the Ottawa River from Montreal. I then moved to Toronto and got involved with the Albacore fleet for a few years and noticed Contenders sailing in the harbour while hiking my guts out in an Albacore. That was it, I bought my first boat shortly after the Contender Worlds were held in Toronto in the early 80's and I have been at it ever since. I also owned a C&C 25 lead dragger for a few years before I saw the error of my ways. I also have been sailing an International 14 for about 15 years which simply means I sail two boats - neither one particularly well.

Number of years sailing the contender? 25 years.

Why did you get on the Contender? When I first saw the boat it was the only single handed trapeze boat and I was hooked.

Number of Worlds? 3 Santa Cruz, California (yeah I'm that old), Kingston, Ontario and Rowayton, Connecticut.

Favourite Worlds Moment? Kingston - Right at the start of the 5th race the gun went off and I had a great start with Andreas Bonezzi stuck behind my transom. Worst moment - 45 seconds later when Andreas bore off and sailed right through my lee.

Favourite Food? Donuts - hey I'm Canadian.

How do you keep in shape? Huh?

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Top North American and top half of the fleet.

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? A tuning clinic from some fast Europeans for all us slow Canadians.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stephanie Mah (CAN 80)

Name: Stephanie Mah
Nickname: The Dictator
Sail Nos: KC47 / CAN 80
Boat name: Princess Petalpuff / Sweet Pea
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: Outer Harbour Centreboard Club
Weight: For me to know and for no one to find out
Height: 5'6"
Age: 30

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 5 (albacore, lightning, hobie 16, 420, Sydney 41, Volvo 60 (a puketacular ride), contender)

Number of years sailing the contender? .5 (but it has aged me 10 years)

Why did you get on the Contender? Originally to spite my albacore skipper who kept criticizing me for being too light to sail the boat.

Number of Worlds? 0.

Favourite Food? Chocolate.

How do you keep in shape? By running away from my favourite food.

Stupidest thing you've done on a boat? Not bringing earplugs on board. I discovered that Aussie males snore. Very loudly.

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? To keep my mast pointing up, and to make sure everyone has fun.

What you'd like to see at the 2008 Worlds? Someone, ANYONE, finishing behind me.

Any other comments? If I get my way, the sailing instructions will state that you are not allowed to pass women on the racecourse.

Roger Martin (CAN 2399)

Name: Roger Martin
Nickname: (the most recent, bestowed by F. Whittington: “dodger”)
Sail No: CAN 2399
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: Outer Harbour Centreboard Club
Weight: 190 (I’ll be 180 at the Worlds!)
Height: 5’ 10”
Age: 52

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 52 (although I spent 25 of it sailing very little. Parents' keelboats, Albacores, 505s, 420s, Lasers, Contenders)

Number of years sailing the contender? 2

Why did you get on the Contender? Good group of guys [the dictator: and a girl!]. Very fun and demanding boat. Singlehander.

Number of Worlds? 1 so far

Favourite Worlds Moment? Finally receiving my new boat the morning of the first race, closely followed by finishing 4th in the Silver fleet in the last race.

Favourite Food? Dunno, but it isn’t good for me.

How do you keep in shape? Running, some strength training.

Stupidest thing you've done on a boat? Pulled the starting cord on an outboard motor while a priest was holding the spark plug lead (he almost blasphemed), closely followed by attempting to hold onto the spinnaker sheet on a large keelboat while it smoked through my hands. I could go on.

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Top half.

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? Steph complete every race. [the dictator: light wind here we come!]

Any other comments? Come to Kingston!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Our Course - Foxtrot

See how far we are from the land? Big waves! Big wind!

Kingston: an Introduction

Kingston is a little city about 200 km East of Toronto, and 200 km West of Ottawa. With a population of about 120,000 people, Kingston is the home of Queen's University, Fort Henry (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which we'll be touring), and the famous 1,000 Islands (which we'll be seeing on a dinner cruise).

The Thousand Islands (just take our word for it that there are 1,000 of them)

Being a university town, Kingston is full of cheap and cheerful places to eat. Some of my favourites (from my school days) are the Sleepless Goat (great for vegetarians and vegans), Mekong, Windmills, and Luke's. All of these restaurants are located along Kingston's main street - Princess street, which also has heaps of cute little stores. Throughout the week, Kingston also has a farmer's market in the Market Square, with great local produce on sale.

Oooh, pretty!

Other Links:

The Haunted Walking Tour of Kingston (ooooh, scaaary)

Maps of Kingston

The Wikipedia entry on Kingston (Apparently there are a lot of buildings made from limestone.)

Where to Stay in Kingston

Although a certain birdy (Gil Wooley) told me that it hasn't been unheard of to sleep in one's boat, I can't imagine it's comfortable - no matter how much progrip you've laid. I would think that's a shared sentiment, so I'm posting some suggestions for where to stay. As I've noted before, we're also working on large group accommodations through Queen's University, which should reduce costs (and enhance the fun - nothing like a bunch of smelly sailors under one roof! Contact me asap if this is what you want to do). If you want to book a place on your own, you may want to take into account the distance of your accommodation from the sailing area, known as the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour. My suggestion is to take the address of your hotel and map it against POH (53 Yonge St, Kingston, ON K7M 6G4). Since there are many of us driving from various areas around North America, it shouldn't be a problem arranging for shared transportation. You can also try the Kingston bus system, or rent a bike for the most scenic way to get around.

General listing of places to stay (from the Tourism Kingston site):

Bed and Breakfasts

Hotels, Motels and Resorts

Camping and Cottage Rentals

KOA Campgrounds

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Niagara Falls

Some of you want to make the 2008 Worlds into a proper holiday, so we'll be making suggestions for what to do with the family while they're here.

Niagara Falls is probably the most obvious thing to see while you are in Ontario. The city of Niagara is about 2 hours drive West of Toronto (4 hours West of Kingston), and the Falls are one of the most spectacular sights we have to offer. The surrounding area is also great to tour, as the wineries in Niagara on the Lake produce most of Canada's famous ice wine. A nice way to spend a day is to rent a bike and drink yourself silly.

The Falls

But back to the awesome Falls - this wonder of nature generates power for a lot of us Ontarians (and some mooching Americans). The Falls are over 176 feet tall, with 150,000 gallons of water per second rushing down its mighty walls. And guess what - Neil, your ICA Chairman, has promised that if we get more than 50 competitors at the Worlds, he'll sail his new Schappi boat down this mighty rush of furious water. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip now!

Schappi versus the Falls - who will win?

A Blast from the Past

Getting to Kingston - Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I've heard people say that it's the journey, not the destination, that is important. To them I say, "phooey". I'm sure you've all had your fill of lost luggage, delayed flights, rude co-passengers, and crummy airplane meals, and are looking to make the trip here as hassle-free as possible, and we're here to help.

Kingston is a small city about two hours East of Toronto, and there are flights between Toronto's International Airport (YYZ) and Kingston's airport (YGK). An alternative to flying straight to Kingston is to fly to Toronto and rent a car at the airport and drive (for most of you coming from across the Atlantic, keep in mind that we drive on the wrong side of the road). It's a pretty simple drive from the Toronto airport and Kingston - straight East on the 401.

Buses are another option - check Greyhound for times and prices. Going to Kingston by train is also possible, but it's pricey.

The best thing to do if you're really nervous about the trip is to get in touch with me or Neil with your arrival/departure dates. We'll do our best to lump travellers together (and if you're really lucky you can catch a ride with the Canadians who are making the trip to Kingston).

Cheap flights:

Kayak (they compile and compare results from all of the major discount flight websites - expedia, travelocity, and orbitz)

Flight Centre (check their international sites)

Why come to Kingston?

Big wind, big waves, friendly people, cheap food and beer, no crocs, no sharks, no salt water, and no ferries. The 2008 Worlds will also be held at the same time as CORK (the Canadian Olympic-training Regatta Kingston), which means there will be heaps of 49ers, 29ers, lasers, Bytes, 420s, RS:Xs, Finns, 505s, Solings, and other one design boats with tons of international crews.

For some great videos of the sailing venue, see: com/watch? v=uRKNce1_ GhU