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in the wind XXXVII

Jericho Sailing Centre "in the wind" September 27, 2007

Ahoy JSCA Members:
Here is what's "in the wind", coming events and items of interest at the Jericho Sailing Centre, your ocean access community centre, for September 27-October 3, 2007 and beyond:

Day of the Longboat - Big Canoes coming to Jericho
The music of crispy crunching colliding fiberglass Voyageur canoes, war chanting ten crew tribes, churning plastic paddles, cheering spectators, amplified young guppy rock and roll seasoned with DJ one liners, amid the omniscient, ever present, water torture percussion of Vancouver rain married with English Bay shore break will fill the air at the Jericho Sailing Centre this weekend. The weekend long "Day of the Longboat" invades our friendly shores and despite yet another snub from the fair weather of 2007, the Centre will ring with the positive energy of thousands of people having fun on Vancouver's largest playground. Not just the predominantly UBC student, 3,000 competitors, but friends, family, dozens of UBC Rec staff and volunteers will stir the salty sandy pot of Jericho's atmosphere to create a bouillabaisse of uniquely Vancouver recreational energy. This is one of Jericho's finest hours, the fulfillment of our commitment to provide low cost recreational ocean access to the people of Vancouver is rarely more obvious.

This annual migratory spectacle of UBC long boating lemmings throwing themselves into the sea is one to behold. If you can't take it in live click on to our webcam which is focused on the starting area and early stage of the race. The heats are LeMans style beach starts with 9 crew already loaded and cocked and the steersmen for each boat up above the high tide line. When the horn goes the boats start paddling with the steersman running to catch up and leap aboard before they get in too deep. There is chaos and congestion at the start with boats bumping together sometimes with no way to dip their paddles as competing boats occupy space where the water should be. As in any race, a good start is crucial. Most of the heavy banging comes at the first turn, a yellow race mark 100 metres off the beach-here is where the most capsizes and T-bone collisions occur. If you can get past this mark cleanly in first and establish a good stroke rhythm you have a very good opportunity to win the heat. This is the 21st annual "Day of the Longboat" it is a Vancouver, University of British Columbia and Jericho Sailing Centre tradition.

JSCA Food Forum-Apres Entrée
Jericho members participating at last week's Food Forum and via email helped the JSCA identify areas which we will strive to improve in our food and beverage service to members. Members told us they would like to see more members seating and preferred service during peak periods. Other priorities include a better system for "order ready" notification that eliminates or reduces the PA noise. Pre-packaged, lower price point, "grab and go" items to get you on the water faster will be on the menu next year along with healthier items such as fresh fruit. Lori's favourite, bagels with cream cheese, is making a comeback next season. We're also looking at ways that the F&B can better serve our affiliated club's social functions. Thank you to all the members who participated, your FEEDback will help us better serve the needs of all JSCA members. If you think you missed the boat with your idea to help us improve our food service it's not too late, send me an email and we'll chew on your ideas. See minutes of the meeting here.

Syd's Vision
A new seating area has been added to our rooftop Safety Observation deck donated by the family of Syd Butler in his memory. Syd was one of the JSCA's founding members and a driving force behind the establishment of a low cost ocean access community centre for the people of Vancouver-the Jericho Sailing Centre. Syd's spirit is in the natural cedar (his family flatly rejected suggestions for plastic wood) and the conversation pit layout where members can shoot the breeze, trade sea stories, play chess or backgammon, read a book, write a book, have a picnic or a snooze. I know all members will enjoy this new feature to the Jericho Sailing Centre, but the many members who new Syd, will enjoy it just a little bit more. Many thanks to the Butler family, and to Syd for his enduring inspiration.

Who Speaks For Ocean Access in Vancouver?
You do, but time is running out! The Vancouver Park Board is developing a "Vancouver Sport Strategy" to 2015 for the City and is requesting input from citizens and sports organizations to further develop their draft strategy report which is due to go before the Park Board and City Council in November. I participated with a focus group on behalf of the JSCA earlier this month and although the draft report identifies a growing trend to participation in "..ecologically-sensitive outdoor activities.." they could end up missing the boat as they receive overwhelming feedback from traditional landlubber sports organizations and individuals who have strongly, organized, squeaky wheel, lobby groups while the recreational seafaring community remains largely mute. Let's not get left "blowing in the wind", make your sea siren voice heard by participating in the online survey for individuals here.

In general, the emphasis of the discussion leaders in the focus group tended toward the "Excellence" level of competition and sport as well as providing improved access for disabled athletes. Points I was able to make on behalf of the JSCA include: Vancouver provides unique opportunities for "ecologically-sensitive outdoor activities", ie. the sea, which could be better utilized through prominent inclusion in an overall Sports Strategy; The Jericho Sailing Centre facilitates a wide variety of these opportunities including: dinghy sailing, windsurfing, ocean kayaking, rowing, outrigger canoeing, skimboarding, stand-up paddling, canoeing, surf skiing and even open ocean swim events; The Jericho Sailing Centre has facilitated a disabled sailing program since 1988 which has grown Canada wide, achieving 800 launches this year; Our facility has generated Olympians and many other high calibre athletes in the competitive sports we facilitate; The Marginal Wharf area to the east of the Jericho Sailing Centre presents a timely opportunity for the City to improve ocean access facilities for Vancouverites; A modest dock facility could cost less than a new playing field and effectively double the capacity of the disabled sailing program, accommodate current and anticipated future demand and provide year round opportunities to high end athletes in the sports we facilitate. The Canadian Olympic training centre for sailors is in Kingston, Ontario and Canadian athletes must train abroad in the winter-if an adequate facility existed in Vancouver they could train here year round. I will continue to faithfully report developments on the Vancouver Sport Strategy to members as they occur-please do your part by taking 10 minutes to complete the survey-thank you. The researchers will be gathering survey responses up until "mid-October".

LAST CALL FOR LOST AND FOUND CLOTHING ITEMS!!!
We have been accumulating a grand collection of clothing in our Lost and Found section this year - where do all these people go from here without their clothes? We would like to liberate some space, and some of them are quite smelly, so we are notifying members that on THIS Sunday, September 30 we will deposit all suitable clothing items into the Developmental Disability Association's donation clothing bin located just inside the main entrance to our compound. We will not include any sailing or paddling gear which, if unclaimed, will be included in next year's Bailiff Auction. Come check out our lost and found section if you are missing anything, prior to Sept. 30. Members who are looking to clean out their closets are encouraged to donate your old or poor fitting clothing items to the Developmental Disability Association.

JSCA Notice of AGM Tuesday October 23 at 1900H
The Jericho Sailing Centre Association's 34th Annual General Meeting will be held Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 1900H in the English Bay Banquet Room of the Jericho Sailing Centre, 1300 Discovery Street, Vancouver, B.C. The 2006/2007 J.S.C.A. Board and Committees will report on their accomplishments this past year and the challenges for the future. Please plan to attend and participate in the future direction of your ocean access community centre.

Call for Nominations
Voting will take place to elect eight members for a two-year term to our 15 member Board of Directors. The J.S.C.A. Board meets once a month to set policy and determine Jericho's direction. Interested members who have time and expertise to offer are invited to submit a letter indicating their experience and areas of interest to the J.S.C.A. Nominations Committee c/o the Jericho office no later than 1700H, Tuesday, October 9. The signed nomination letter must include your name, address and telephone number. For additional information contact Mike Cotter, J.S.C.A. General Manager 224-4177 or email Mike.

Weekly Events at the Jericho Sailing Centre
Penguin Cup Racing October 7, 14 & 21

Upcoming JSCA Meetings:
JSCA Board October 9 @ 1900H
JSCA AGM October 23 @ 1900H

JSCA Office Hours

September Hours 0930H-1730H Weekdays. 0900H-1800H Weekends. Gates open at 0700H and are locked at Dusk. (approx. 1900H and fading fast).

On the Water, Your Safety is Your Responsibility
A reminder to members who play on the bay at this time of year-place an extra emphasis on boat safety for yourself and your crew. It starts with a check of the weather forecast and tidal activity. Let a friend or family member know you are going, where you are going and when you expect to be back on shore (follow-up with an après sailing phone call). Do a meticulous pre-launch check of your craft and equipment. Make sure you are properly dressed including your PFD. Double check your safety equipment-paddles, bailer, whistle, flares. Know when the sun is setting and understand that the wind often shuts off abruptly in the hour before sunset. Don't go farther from shore than you care to paddle back if you or your equipment should fail or the wind shuts off.
One final tip: enclose your fully charged cell phone in two sealed sandwich bags and keep on your person. In the event of a sea disaster you can't solve yourself, dialing *311 will put you in touch with the Canadian Coast Guard's Rescue Coordination Centre.

Fair winds,
Mike

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