Jericho Sailing Centre Association                  June 13, 2012

in the wind
Ahoy Vancouver Ocean Lovers  
Here is what's "in the wind", coming events and items of interest at the Jericho Sailing Centre, Vancouver's Ocean Access Community Centre, for June 13, 2012 and beyond: 
In This Issue
Kits CCG Station Closure
On Line Petition
Event Photos
Thursday Nite Paddling
Safety Seminar
JSCA Fund Raising
Join our Mailing List!
THIS WEEKEND 2012 Jericho Hobie Classic Regatta

 Who says cats are afraid of the water? This weekend sailing cats from all over will launch from their favourite litter box, Jericho Beach, to compete in the 2012 Jericho Hobie Classic Regatta. For more information pounce on the link below for the official Notice of Race.


2011 Jericho Hobie Classic Regatta    Photo: Jonathan Hitchings                              .





NO Regular Sunday Racing this Weekend 
Kits Coast Guard Station Closure        
Jericho Sailing Centre Launches Letter Campaign

The Jericho Sailing Centre Association is joining other recreational boating and commercial marine organizations in British Columbia by encouraging members to do something they probably haven't done for a long time - send a physical letter; snail mail.


Below is a sample letter  to the Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada expressing concerns about the planned closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station. We encourage members to write their own letters or welcome them to use all or part of the letter below and copy their own Member of Parliament and the ranking BC Conservative Member, James Moore. Physical letters are harder to ignore than emails or petitions and your life, and the lives of others, could well depend on the final decision to save Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.  



June 13, 2012


Honorable Keith Ashfield, Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

200 Kent Street, 13th Floor

Station 13E228 OW, ON

K1A 0E6 Canada


Hon. Mr. Keith Ashfield:


This letter is written to express strong concerns regarding the planned closure of the Kitsilano Canadian Coast Guard Station in Vancouver. Your consideration of the following objections and forwarding of these comments to other responsible authorities would be most appreciated.


Retired Canadian Coast Guard: Captains, Search and Rescue analysts, SAR specialists; marine industry experts, commercial marine workers, recreational boaters, beach lifeguards, and the Canadian Coast Guard's regional advisory board all agree: closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station would be a tragic mistake that will certainly result in the loss of lives. The consensus is that our concerns must be heard.


The Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, over the past 20 years, has consistently been the busiest Coast Guard Station in Canada. Located centrally to serve Vancouver Harbour, Canada's largest and busiest port, as well as surrounding areas; more than 5 million people annually transit the waterway within a 10 minute response time radius of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.


Contrary to local marine community knowledge, a number of Federal politicians have stated their opinion that such a closure would not put lives at risk and that response times will actually be improved. Examination of the facts indicates that opinion is blatantly wrong.


The Canadian Coast Guard and Federal politicians are telling Vancouver's marine community that their closest "rescue partners" will be able to fill the large void left by the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, yet we all know, and the attached nautical chart illustrates, that the closest "rescue partner" is actually 45 minutes away from the epicenter of Kits Coast Guard Station's 10 minute response zone. We are also, acutely aware, that the professional accountants, carpenters, businessmen, students, etc., that comprise the "rescue partner" auxiliary crews are not an adequate substitute for professional coast guard crew members in a dire marine emergency. Extending the burden of volunteer rescuers to cover the loss of Canada's busiest Coast Guard Station not only puts the public at increased risk; it also increases the risk to these dedicated and committed auxiliary volunteer rescuers.


There are numerous reasons why the Sea Island Station cannot provide adequate safety coverage for the Vancouver Harbour area in addition to their current area of responsibility.

Any response from the Sea Island Station to the Vancouver Harbour area of responsibility would require travel in excess of thirty minutes in ideal sea conditions, which is often not the case.


The Sea Island Station's hovercraft responds to marine emergencies throughout the Salish Sea and the Gulf Islands. During the busy summer season the hovercraft is kept extremely busy and would frequently not be available to respond to an emergency situation in or near Vancouver Harbour.


When there is a serious incident in the highly concentrated marine traffic area of False Creek, it will take, according to a recently retired hovercraft captain, 35 minutes to the entrance and because of restricted navigational circumstances, an additional 25 minutes to get to the east end. The hovercraft is not the right vessel for a rapid response to this exceptionally busy and confined marine traffic area.


The Vancouver marine community is being told that the Sea Island Coast Guard Station will be getting a "NEW hovercraft" as if it were getting an "additional" hovercraft. This appears to be a deliberately misleading statement, as an existing hovercraft will be retired when the new one comes on line - there is no increase in Coast Guard service from Sea Island to fill the large void left by the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.


Deep sea traffic: freighters, oil tankers and cruise ships; regularly travel amongst the variety of fishing vessels, tug boats, barges and pleasure craft through the First Narrows, the epicenter of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station's response radius.  Any disruption or loss of this traffic, or an obstruction in this critical waterway, could mean an extreme financial loss to Vancouver and adjacent cities, as well as the revenues of the Province of British Columbia and Canada.

Among the numerous other vessels and activities in Vancouver Harbour, the Sea Bus ferry operation runs scheduled trips daily between downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver. Vancouver Harbour also contains one of Canada's busiest float plane and helicopter operations.

It is inconceivable to think that all of this marine traffic will be left without the closest, best possible, Coast Guard emergency service.


With the future anticipated growth in commercial marine traffic, including oil tankers, through Port Metro Vancouver, the short sightedness of Federal planning to close a major Coast Guard facility with rapid environmental emergency response capabilities, is further evidenced by the relocation of the Government Oil Spill Team to Alberta. What will be the response time of this group should any of these large vessels run aground or collide?


The Coast Guard cutters based at Kitsilano Station have greater fire fighting capabilities, larger pumping equipment to help keep a sinking vessel afloat, life saving and other equipment that the inflatable boats are not capable of carrying. They can get to places in extreme conditions that a hovercraft can't. The current Coast Guard facility and its professional crews need to be supported and the service expanded in order to provide the best possible and fully meaningful response.


The real requirement is the provision of equipment and staff to levels that would ensure that the emergency services provided on the West Coast of Canada meets the capabilities that should be mandatory for the volumes of traffic present, and expanding, in this area.


The amount of money reportedly saved by closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station cannot be considered sufficient reason to potentially place lives, of Canadians and our sea borne or air borne visitors, and the protection of this area's beautiful environment, at increased risk.



Online Petition to Save Kits CCG Station Tops 3,000   

 If you haven't signed the online petition to save the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station please take a moment to do so @:

Send Us Your Pictures!
We're looking for Jericho style photos for our newsletters, website, Facebook and other Jericho Sailing Centre promotions. Thanks to Sea Otter for these photos of the first Thursday Nite Paddling @ Jericho on June 7 and last Saturday's "Boardstock" SUP.

NEW PROGRAM - Thursday Nite Paddle Races @ Jericho



          Thursday Nite Paddle Races
                        @ Jericho

                    Kayaks, outriggers, surf skis, SUP's.
                    If you can paddle it, you can race it.

June 21
July 5 & 19
August 2, 16 & 30


Registration $5/
Free for JSCA Members
Registration Opens  1730H
Registration Closes
First Start @ 1900H
Draw Prizes
Sponsored By:
MEC Paddlefest 2012, Ecomarine & Windsure Adventure Sports

Jericho Beach Restoration - Volunteer Workparty
Thanks to our great crew! Next workparty July 1 

Thanks to a great crew who helped clean-up the new beach space on June 3.  



The next Jericho Beach Shoreline Clean-up Volunteer Workparty will be on on Sunday, July 1 from 0930H-1130H  





NEW PROGRAM @ Jericho - Stand Up Paddleboard Bootcamp

A fitness class on a paddle board!  Learn to paddle as well as squat, plank and push-up your way to a strong core and toned body this summer. Classes are taught by a certified personal trainer.


Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-7PM


Boards, paddles, wetsuits and life jackets are provided.

No experience necessary. PFDs must be worn at all times.


For more information, contact Windsure Adventure Watersports (604)224-0615




Upcoming Events
Sea Cadet Navy League Regatta        June 23 
MEC Paddlefest                                   July 7 
Subaru Vancouver Half Iron Triathlon   July 8

Laser Master Canadian Championships August 4-6 
Spring School Sign-ups @ Jericho
Dinghy Sailing, Windsurfing and Ocean Kayaking Schools at the Jericho Sailing Centre are signing up students for Spring & Summer programs. For full Season Pass, Rental or Lesson information and registration click the link below:


Dinghy Sailing                                        


Windsurfing & Stand Up Paddling


Ocean Kayaking                           

Weekly Sail Racing Programs @ Jericho 

Tuesday Nite Racing every Tuesday through to September 4 @ 1815H. 


Sunday Racing will be 1230H every Sunday through to September 4 except for June 17: August 5 & 26; and, September 9.



For a complete event schedule barge over to:  

English Bay Safety Seminar  June 25

The English Bay Safety Seminar was developed for users of the Jericho Sailing Centre to help keep them safe at play on the waters of English Bay. The seminar covers basic water safety fundamentals along with user specific information drawn from the logs of the Jericho Rescue Team who have intervened in thousands of "sea disasters" over the past 37 years.  
Why make your own mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes of others? Don't challenge Darwin's theory, make sure your water safety knowledge is the fittest it can be. Your survival may well depend upon it. Find the missing links and fill in the gaps in your water safety knowledge by attending a FREE English Bay Safety Seminar June 25 at 1900H Please RSVP JSCA office.


2012 Fund Raising Campaign
As the Jericho Sailing Centre approaches 40 years of providing Vancouver citizens with low cost, ocean recreation programs, services and facilities, she is feeling her age and requiring infrastructure renewal and upgrades.

On the JSCA's radar are: compound plumbing replacement and upgrades; electrical service replacement and extension to the east end; roof repairs; rack and dolly replacement; winch replacement; fence repairs; new gates to better access beach areas; compound paving; and developing alternative energy sources such as solar hot water heating. The "Albatross" required extensive work this year during her annual refit. The large "heritage" hanger doors required expensive re-fabrication. Our auxiliary rescue and event support boat, "Jericho Marks" requires replacement in the next year or so. All this to say that, if the JSCA is to continue successfully meeting our "low cost" mandate in the future we must explore and develop alternative methods of fund raising.

The JSCA has launched a 2012 Fund Raising Campaign to assist us in achieving our goals. If you would like to donate or know of another person, or organization who would like to support distinctly Vancouver recreation, please contact us in the JSCA office.
For more information you can surf over to:

Or contact Mike Cotter, General Manager, Jericho Sailing Centre Association.

Your Safety on the Water is Your Responsibility - Pre-launch Checklist
Quite often users of the Jericho Sailing Centre experience equipment failure early in the season after their equipment has been unused for several months. While it is important to carefully check all of your equipment every time prior to launch, it is even more important at this time of year. Here is a sample Pre-launch Checklist:
  • Personal Flotation devices - make sure they are in good condition, properly fitted and worn by every crew member.
  • Operator Competency - have you taken a boating safety course? Are you aware  of the risks involved?
  • Weather - check the marine area forecast and monitor current conditions.
  • Float Plan - tell a person you trust where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Safety Equipment - know and carry all of the safety equipment required by law for your craft always check your required safety equipment to ensure it is in good condition.
  • Local Hazards - make sure you are aware of all local safety hazards. (Ex. tides, shipping lanes, keel boat races, Jericho Pier fishers, tugs and tows, etc).  
  • Boat Condition - check the hull for cracks or other damage, check your propulsion system (sails, paddle or oars), check your steering, make sure your drain plug is in place.
  • Safety Briefing - As skipper you are legally responsible for your crew. Explain the possibility of capsize and how you will recover, show them where the safety equipment is and how to use it.
  • Use Common Sense  - do not launch into conditions beyond your capabilities.
Links to previous issues