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Jericho Sailing Centre in the wind

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, for March 14-21, 2008 and beyond:

Jericho Sailing Centre - Ocean Access Denied? YOU Decide.

Since 1974, the body of water bordered by the Jericho Pier to the west; the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club break water to the east: the line of orange can bouys to the north,
and the western portions of Jericho Beach (including the one still guarded by the former DND Marginal Wharf) to the south, has been a training and transiting area for Vancouverites who wish to enjoy their marine environment, naturally. Many legions of landlubbers have been transformed in these waters since the decommissioning of DND Jericho Beach. In recent years more than six thousand annually come here to experience first hand the lure of the sea for the initial time in kayaks, windsurfers and sailing dinghies.

The bridge, the tunnel, the intersection, on ramp, logjam, entry and exit point to this body of water and beyond has been the western most portion of Jericho beach directly in front of the Jericho Sailing Centre and traffic congestion at peak periods is reaching gridlock. 160,000 launches (and landings) occur on this small stretch of beach each year.

Rush hours here have hundreds of people in a variety of craft going in a multitude of different directions, crossing wakes, skippered by experts and novices alike. Demand for ocean access is growing and will continue to grow. Safety is a key consideration for facilitating current and future demand for ocean access.

In 1978 60% of the original Marginal Wharf was removed to improve ocean access from the Jericho Sailing Centre. Vancouver's population has grown immensely since that time along with the demand for ocean access. The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation is asking for public feedback on 4 options developed by their consultants to deal with the remaining section of the deteriorating wharf. For complete details on these options click:

The JSCA is strongly in favour of option 1A, the removal of the wharf and the reinstatement of the foreshore to it's natural state. This would allow for immediate access to paddlers and paddling programs with a launch area protected by the rock groyne.  Novice windsurfers would also benefit by not having the groyne immediately to the lee of their launch area. All Jericho Sailing Centre users would benefit by reduced congestion on the beaches and spreading out the traffic leaving and returning to the shore. Future development will also allow for improved ocean access for people with disabilities. This is a very important opportunity in the evolution of the Jericho Sailing Centre, which will allow us to keep pace with current and future demand for recreational opportunities for people in small, naturally powered craft.

YOU, the JSCA members reading this, need to take action right now with that mouse in your hand. Don't use some apathetic excuse or pull an "I'm too busy right now, I'll do it later" - you're a paddler. Or a sailor. Or a windsurfer! You carry your kayak to and from the shore; hoof your Hobie up the beach; right your capsized sailing dinghy; jump your Windsurfer off English Bay waves; or paddle your outrigger there and back, uphill both ways-you throw yourself into the sea and like it; you CAN take two minutes to voice your opinion, preserve and enhance your ocean access, then get right back to that rat race that is your life between your sessions in Vancouver's largest, and saltiest playground. Once you're back on pace in your routine you won't even give it a second thought until the next time a seagull floats by on the wind above you and you savour your existence in nature from your small silent craft in the middle of the ocean surrounded by the most beautiful city in the world, knowing that these moments release your soul - the precious antidote for treadmill-itis.  The JSCA was created and continues to operate and evolve from the input of our members, please take two minutes to contribute a few clicks of your mouse to your ocean access community centre.

Your Opinions:

Jericho Wharf Public Meeting

There were about 70 people at the March 12 Park Board Public Meeting to consider the 4 options with respect to the wharf including 10 JSCA Board members and an additional 20 current and former members.

As expected, many people voiced their opinion that the wharf is an important feature of Jericho Beach Park and the goal should be to find some way to preserve all or a portion of the rapidly deteriorating structure.

Our members spoke well in favour of Option 1A, removing the wharf and reinstating the foreshore to it's natural state, to improve ocean access for the people of Vancouver.
One item that everyone seemed to agree on is that there is a need to recognize the historical significance of Jericho Beach Park as the former Department of National Defense Base Jericho Beach as well as the Jericho Beach Air Station. One of our members mentioned that even though he was a long time resident of the area, he only became aware of the history of the area after becoming a JSCA member and hearing about it through our organization.

Everyone in attendance was given a survey to complete to measure public opinion with respect to the 4 options presented. The survey is also online on the Park Board website for the next 2 weeks and we are asking our members show their support of ocean access for small, naturally powered craft by participating.

The survey asks respondents to rank the options they favour from 1-4 (first to worst). For us the first choice is easy as our Planning Committee and Board spent the past year considering it: Option 1A-complete removal of the marginal wharf with the beach left in a semi-natural state.
The second choice would be 1B: complete removal with an "urbanizing" seawall- an option that was roundly pooh-poohed at the meeting but would facilitate our contemplated future development for a small dock to improve access for disabled programs better than the remaining two.
The third choice would be option 3: retaining a portion of the east end of the structure. We could access the majority of the beach space but it would be a "catch all" for novice windsurfers and would limit our options for future development ie: once we accommodate DSA dockspace needs, there would be less beach available for other ocean access.
The forth option would be number 4: the complete retention and rehabilitation of the Marginal Wharf.

Tired of Mosquitos? April is Tire Exchange Month
At their monthly meeting this past week the JSCA Board moved to accelerate a policy to phase out the use of discarded tires in the Jericho Sailing Centre compound within the next year. As of now NO TIRES MAY BE BROUGHT INTO THE JERICHO SAILING CENTRE COMPOUND. In April, members who currently store their craft on tires may trade these tires to the JSCA for foam blocks at no cost to them. The tires will be collected by the JSCA under the BC Tire Stewardship Program and sent for recycling. Members are asked to help us rid the compound of tires, a breeding ground for mosquitos which could potentially spread the West Nile Virus, as soon as possible. While we prefer not to tamper with boats stored on tires, any tires remaining under boats after the end of April may be removed by volunteer workparties.

Yoga at Jericho on Wednesdays
Recalibrate your flexibility in time for the spring sailing, paddling and windsurfing season. Beginners welcome 5:15-6:45pm $5 Drop-in. Vinyasa Flow Yoga.
The vinyl flooring on the second floor of the Jericho Sailing Centre is being replaced. The JSCA office will be closed until Tuesday March 18 as we re-floor this space. We hope to complete this project by the end of next week and will strive to ensure that members have access to washroom, shower and change room facilities. There will be times during weekdays in daytime hours where it may not be possible to accommodate those who are unable to levitate across freshly glued areas. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate the patience and understanding of our members who, we are sure, will enjoy the new floor once installation is complete.
2008 JSCA Fees Due April 1 - Just 2 Weeks Away
A reminder that your 2008 JSCA Membership and Storage fees are due April 1, 2008. A late fee of $30 will apply to fees paid between April 2-30; a $60 late fee will be applied to late payments received during the month of May, and after that things go from bad to worse and your ship could end up on the craggy rocks of our annual bailiff auction. If you are planning not to store your craft at the Jericho Sailing Centre this year please ensure that you vacate by March 31 and notify the JSCA office so we may bring boats in from our waiting list. Also, please remember to take the time to complete the membership survey. Your feedback helps us better serve the needs of JSCA members.
2008 JSCA Racing Schedule Gets Underway in April
Penguin Cup                                                   April 13 @ 1230H
Flights of Spring Regatta                              April 19 & 20
CYA Race Management Program at Jericho
Level 1 -- Tuesday, April 1  7:00 pm till 10:00 pm
Register by calling 604 224-4177 by Friday, March 28.
Level 2 -- Thursday, April 3 -- Tuesday April 8 -- Thursday, April 10_7:00 pm till 10:00 pm
Suitable for those who want to serve as a Race Officer leading a club race committee.
Register by calling 604 224-4177 by Wednesday, April 2
These courses are provided by the race management committee of BC Sailing._For further information, please call John Culter at 604 742-8832.
Outrigger Canoe Paddling Development Program
The Jericho Outrigger Canoe Club has been a fixture at the Jericho Sailing Centre since 1993. These magnificent hulls glide through the chop of English Bay as smoothly as silk propelled by teams of 6 paddlers. If you've ever wondered what it's like on board here is your chance to find out: sign up for the Canadian Outrigger Racing Association's Outrigger Paddling Development Program for an introduction to the fundamentals of outrigger paddling and steering. The program goes every Saturday April 12 to May 17, and, if you choose, a seat in the Jericho Iron Classic race on May 24. Times are 1000H-1200H. Registration is $50 and includes your 2008 CORA membership. For more info or to register contact (I can tell you from a sailor's point of view, paddling in a 6 person outrigger canoe is a great rush!)
JSCA Volunteer Workparties
March 15            Rack Building & Boat Moving 0900H
March 29            Painting 0900H
April 5        Painting 0900H
April 12 & 13        Boat Wash Weekend
JSCA Office Hours
March Hours 0930H-1630H Weekdays. 0900H-1700H Weekends. Gates open at 0700H and are locked at Dusk. (approx. 1805H/1905H after Sunday).
Join the Jericho Rescue Team
The Jericho Rescue Team is looking for experienced sailors, windsurfers, paddlers and rowers who are interested in developing their seamanship and water safety skills, and are willing to volunteer to assist their fellow boaters. The Jericho Rescue Team provides safety and rescue support for all on-water events facilitated by the JSCA. This year our Rescue Team members will provide rescue coverage for the over 90 on-water event days on our 2008 events calendar. Qualified candidates can sign up for the Jericho Rescue Team Training Course which will be conducted on April 26 & 27. We provide training in water safety and seamanship, Boathandling, boat rescue and first aid. Course graduates must complete ongoing Rescue Team training including the Pleasure Craft Operators Certification, VHF Radio Licence, emergency first aid and CPR Certification (all provided). If you are interested please contact me in the Jericho office to discuss your qualification for this program.
On the Water, Your Safety is Your Responsibility
Please remember that launching in Vancouver winter conditions requires an extra emphasis on boat safety for yourself and your crew. Jericho Rescue and other boaters are notably scarce at this time of the year so you must take extra care to ensure a safe on water session. 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 apr├Ęs sailing phone call). Do a meticulous pre-launch check of your craft and equipment. Recognize when conditions are beyond your ability and choose not to launch. Make sure you are properly dressed-wetsuit/drysuit/hat/booties/gloves-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,

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