Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ecover - The Power of Nature

Dinghy sailing is one of the most eco-friendly sports on the planet. Unlike race cars, we don't burn tons of fuel in our bid to get around the course - all we use is the wind and our bodies. This is why our sport is so attractive to individuals who embrace a sustainable lifestyle. Indeed, more and more big boat campaigns and races are starting to emphasize and promote the environmental benefits of sailboat racing, including the recently announced Carbon Challenge, which is hoping have an entry in the next Volvo Ocean Race.

So, when we started to think about who to contact for support for the 2008 Worlds, we felt it would be great to target companies who embraced sustainability in addition to the usual suspects, which let us to Ecover.

In the 2004 Vendee Globe, Mike Golding of the UK, was sponsored by Ecover, which is an international producer of eco-friendly cleaning products. The Vendee is considered the toughest single-handed non-stop round the world race, and Mike placed third, despite losing his keel along the way. Ecover continues to support Mike in his ocean racing exploits, and we're pleased to announce that they've generously offered to donate products to help with our fundraising for the 2008 Worlds. I'd certainly like to think we have a bunch of tough little sailors in our fleet who would do this great company proud.

For anyone in the Toronto area who is interested in purchasing Ecover products, you can find them at the Big Carrot. If anyone else is interested, check out their website for local retailers.

Thanks Ecover!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Joel Magnan (CAN 84)

Name: Joel Magnan
Sail No. CAN 84
Boat Name: still thinking about it
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: Outer Harbour Centreboard Club
Weight: 155 lbs
Height: 5’11”
Age: 36

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 25 years. Laser 2, iceboat, keelboats, Contender

Number years sailing Contender? 17. For many years, I was sailing and racing it “in secret” on Georgian Bay, and doing silly things like loading it up with camping gear for overnight sailing adventures to the islands, before I saw the light and “discovered” the Toronto fleet.

Why did you get on the Contender? It was fast and challenging, lots of power, I love trapezing and I’d rather blame myself rather than someone else.

Number of Worlds? 2

Favorite Worlds moment? Finishing a windy day race in Medemblik 2000, just minutes before the pintles ripped off the back of the boat and getting towed back to shore.

Favorite Food? A nice thick Rib Eye steak followed by chocolate mint Nanaimo bars for dessert.

How do you keep in shape? Running, cycling, kayak, swimming.

Stupidest thing you’ve done on the boat? Turtle the boat with both feet securely fixed in foot straps. Those foot straps were promptly removed.

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? It would be great to be surrounded by other competitors while on the race course.

What you’d like to do/see at the 2008 worlds? I hope not to have to make big repairs to my boat or someone else’s!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Gil Woolley (USA 2117)

Name: Gil Woolley
Nickname: Gil
Sail No: USA-2117
Boat name: Atzuma
Country: USA
Sailing Club: Santa Cruz Yacht Club
Weight: 15 stone
Height: 1.97 m 4 ft, 29 inches.
Age: 71 (by the time of the Worlds)

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 62 years. Dad's keel boat, Penguin, Sailfish, Cape Cod Knockabout, Sunfish, Beetle Cat, Cape Cod Mercury, El Toro, Super Satellite (boy, is that a stupid name for a boat. Of what was I thinking?), Thistle, 505, International One Design (keel boat) and Contender.
Number of years sailing the contender? 36 years. Launched my own boat 1 January, 1972

Why did you get on the Contender? No one could stand my body odor. Actually, Dr. Dennis Surtees kept going off sailing his 505 at various exotic sounding places like Adelaide and La Baule. Then sailing in the 505 Worlds at Santa Cruz in 1971 is what pushed me over the edge. It was so exciting seeing sailors coming from all over the world to my favourite sailing venue. I had to do more of that.

Number of Worlds? 17: 1976 - Palo Alto, 1977 - Kiel, 1979 - Takapuna in New Zealand, 1981 - Kingston, 1984 - Garda, 1989 - Brisbane, 1995 - Connecticut, 1997 - Sydney, 1999 - Kiel, 2000 - Medemblik, 2001 - Kingston, 2002 - Melbourne, 2003 - Plymouth, 2004 - Garda, 2005 - Travem√ľnde, 2006 - Fremantle, 2007 - Medemblik.

Favourite Worlds Moment? In first place crossing eventual winner Barry Watson's bow on the first work at Garda in 1984. 113 competitors. Finished that race in 4th place. I'll never forget that.

Favourite Food? Vindaloo

How do you keep in shape? Eat lots of Vindaloo. Cleans you right out.

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? Tee boned an Enterprise.

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? Have fun. Have a great time. See lots of old friends and meet new ones. Maybe, maybe maybe finish in the top half of the fleet.

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? The winner on my transom at the finish line of a race.

Any other comments? The Brits are wusses if they don't send a container of 10 boats. Their idea of good sailing is so distorted. They ought to come to see really good sailing weather.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Rick Needham (CAN 68)

Name: Rick N. Needham
Sail No: CAN 68
Boat name: Bert's Boat
Country: Canada
Sailing Club: OHCC
Weight: 165 lbs
Height: 5' 6"
Age: 62

Number of years sailing (and on what)? 25 years with 505, Shark, Albacore, Contender

Number of years sailing the contender? 7

Why did you get on the Contender? Right number of crew required

Number of Worlds? 0

Favourite Worlds Moment? upcoming

Favourite Food? lots of spicy foods

How do you keep in shape? sailing

Stupidest thing you've done on the boat? hard to choose from the many

Goals for the 2008 Worlds? survival

What you'd like to do/see at the 2008 Worlds? race and have fun in a large fleet

Friday, February 1, 2008

K7 Waterfront

By dumb luck (which is what usually gets me around a race course) I was contacted by an administrator of the K7 Waterfront website - which is a page dedicated to celebrating the Kingston waterfront. Just about everything and anything you need to know about anything that gets wet in Kingston is on this page, including:

- A map of where to get beer and liquor (under construction but will hopefully be ready for the Worlds)

There is also an excellent page for regatta competitors.

I would encourage everyone to have a look through the K7 site, which also includes a lot of helpful photographs. I guess the downside is that there won't be much in the way of a surprise when you arrive in Kingston, but the advantage is that you'll know the city well enough to feel confident about navigating it.