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The Commodore

GLAA On An Even Keel For 2009

Another year has passed by the stern of the boat and with this weather we have time to reflect on how successful or poorly the past season has been. With much of our society in turmoil for economic reasons, it is really a bonus to say that most of us are not maxed out to the limit of a line of credit needed for a new boat because we sail Albergs. The second bonus to that is that we are having just as much fun on these old boats as those that sail the new boats are having, in fact, we may be having a more enjoyable time without the huge costs up front. There has been very little deterioration within the fleet this year that I know of, no broken masts, no boats on the bottom, so that is a plus. And, Whitby Boat Works is still known as a builder of strong hulls. I am sure that some might say I might not be quite so kind to other builders. But others still have boats on the water that float and certainly do sail well. In the world of Alberg boats, this year's excitement has been in finding the original wooden hull that was the plug for Doug Badgely's first Alberg design moulds. It was known as the Douglas 22.

We have had a reasonable year within the GLAA, except with weather perhaps. Weather effects began in March with a big snowstorm on the very day of the Blahs so that party had to be cancelled. We have had 2 very well attended cruises this year, one to Fifty Point and the other to PEYC. For those two events to the betterment of the association, I want to thank the organizers and hostesses Janet McNally for Fifty Point in July and Cathie Coultis for Prince Edward County in August. We really did have two enjoyable weekends with excellent programs and great food. Gord Laco has had two misery cruises this year in Georgian Bay, The second was required because the first was not "misery" enough ! There were several boats on that first cruise and much to Gord's dismay, Wanderlove was faster than Surprise for the sailing!

As for racing, we did have a good Syronelle with two teams from the south. Fran Doyle sailed really well and won all three races, so we retained the trophy in the Great Lakes. Our thanks go to the owners who loaned boats, John Kitchener and John Flanders because without loaner boats, there is no race series. The triangle was to be sailed at Fifty Point, but with almost no breeze and only 3 boats to race, we decided not to hold a race. The Great Lakes was at Port Credit YC and we joined in with one of their club regattas so were in the thick of a big fleet. They had planned for 3 races, but that was cut to 2. I was fortunate to win that regatta over John and Fran. We impressed the locals in that we kept up with boats they thought should run right over us.

We sent 2 teams to the Chesapeake and they did very well particularly Phil's crew who came much closer to the front than we usually do, but all had a really good time at a new to us, smaller club that we had not been to before. Once again, it is the trip for good racing and fun with the people there.

Finances have been adequate and in the last 3 weeks, with no further entries backdated, we have gone from a 30 cent deficit due to spread sheet ghosts, to a small profit this year. I suspect we may need a fee raise to cope with ever escalating costs that we seem to have for this relatively small association. That will not come until next year.

The disappointment for me this year is that both Fran and John have said they will not be racing again and John has resigned from the executive. I also want to make a comment about the retirement of Rolph Townshend from the American race fleet. Many of you know Towney from the joint events we have with the Chesapeake group and you might know he was one of the original group down there who bought an Alberg 30. Towney has retired this year after winning the High Point Trophy 5 of the last 7 years and he chose to retire after he turned age 80, and that was partly because his foredeck crew was having trouble with footing while managing the pole. That was Ken Liddick, and he too is well over 70. Towney is a really good sailor, a great guy to race against and a gentleman when he comes back in the fleet, although that has not often been his lot and certainly never his choice. He is still cruising Skybird, #550, his second Alberg 30, so sailing is still a part of his life.

As usual there are a number of people that need to be recognized for their work this year. The executive has done an excellent job of coming to meetings, communicating and putting this season together and so thanks to Jan Grodzinski as secretary, Peter Kennan as treasurer, Clare and Brian Matthews as membership, John Kitchener for racing, Cathie Coultis for volunteering and taking over the Cruising, Peter Scholz for the newsletter, Randy Litchfield for the web site, Bill Newman and Janet McNally for being directors at large. Sam and Ann Malcolmson have been gracious hosts for the Blahs even though we had to admit defeat this year for snow and John Flanders hosted the Friday night dinner at the Syronellle. I must also thank Gord Laco for getting a cruise together for us in Georgian Bay.

With that being said, the theme of this month's newsletter is weather related. Two articles are written on "Squalls" from Gord Laco, our Misery Cruise man.This is followed by the last chapter of "Tragedy on the Bay" written by Janski.

Last but not least, I want to thank every one who has come to an event this year, and/or convinced other Alberg owners to become members because you have made it a year that has had its rewards for those of us on the executive. There is still a lot of life left in these good old boats and those who sail them.

Don Campbell - GLAA Commodore