Jericho Sailing Centre Association
November 6, 2015
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 Community Centre, for November 6, 2015 and beyond:
In This Issue
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Bond of the Sea Strong on BC Coast That Day
           Jericho Sailors Save Sailor
Maritime law requires that mariners help fellow mariners in distress to the best of their ability. Since seafaring began It has always been a custom unquestioned by those who hold the sea close to them.

Mariners of the Tofino area responded to the best of their ability to the recent marine emergency in their coastal backyard as only they could. With the exceptional sea leg skill of people intimate with the sea and knowledge of the neighbourhood, they saved their fellow human beings in distress. Their natural seafarer reaction was reminiscent of how the people of Hartley Bay responded when the Queen of the North sank in their environmental wheelhouse on the BC coast in the middle of the night during the winter of 2006. In Vancouver's English Bay, the same afternoon seafarers of Tofino answered their calling and came to the rescue, the BC coastal community of the Jericho Sailing Centre also exercised the bond of the sea to save a sailor's life.
On October 25, 2015 the Jericho F 18 Fleet raced their high performance, double handed catamarans in a stiff Pacific autumn breeze at the last Penguin Cup Racing Series race of the year. After a high speed, spinnaker flying reach, one of the cats capsized while gybing at the leeward mark; the skipper was knocked unconscious, likely by the boom, and both he and the crew were thrown into the water. When the crew surfaced he tried to locate the skipper with no success. He swam to the capsized vessel and climbed on for a better view. He spotted his skipper floating motionless, face down in the water, 40 metres away. Swimming over as fast as one can swim in full sailing gear, he pulled his unconscious skipper`s head out of the water and slapped his face, which brought him to a sea water sputtering, coughing, semi-conscious state.

Their capsizing competitor and subsequent crew swim had not gone unnoticed by the F-18 crew trailing them in the race. They recognized, as they were closing in, that there was an emergency situation, sailed over and assisted the crewmember in getting the stricken skipper onboard the trampoline of his now overturned craft.

Meanwhile, the Jericho Marks boat, crewed by 2 volunteer members of the Jericho Rescue Team, had been preparing for a race mark adjustment once all the boats had rounded the leeward mark. They were in a good position to observe the F-18 go over and notice the following boat deviating from normal race course behaviour. They recognized the emergency situation and were on scene very quickly.

The Jericho Rescue crew member worked with the F18 sailors to get the stricken sailor from the overturned F18 onboard the rescue boat while the helmsman of the Jericho Marks contacted Jericho Base on marine radio to activate Emergency Medical Services. Fire and ambulance crews arrived at the Jericho Sailing Centre shortly after Jericho Marks made shore and the sailor was transferred to VGH. The skipper, who has limited memory between the tipping point of a blown gybe and waking up in the hospital, spent two days there being treated for sea water in his lungs and a blow to the head. The timely first responder efforts of his F 18 fleet mates and the volunteers of the Jericho Rescue Team ensured he lives to sail another day.

The JSCA would like to recognize the rescue efforts of F 18 sailors Kevin French, Colin MacDonald and David Fearn, as well as Jericho Rescue Team members Paul Botkin and Lou Parsons in Jericho Marks, and Andrei Bredin and Josh Grigg on shore as well as PRO Mike Wang and the members of Jericho's F18 fleet who stood by during and after the event. On behalf of Vancouver's ocean community - thank you all.  
JSCA Volunteer Appreciation  
The JSCA would like to acknowledge and extend thanks to all of the volunteers who helped put the wind into the sails of the Jericho Sailing Centre over the past year.

In particular we'd like to acknowledge our 2015 Volunteer of the Year Peter Lam (right) and our 2015 Rookie of the Year Lou Parsons. Both contributed an exceptional amount of time with our Jericho Rescue Team program throughout the year.
Lou was on the helm of our rescue boat for the situation described above. This photo was taken a couple of hours later at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Honourable mention went to other attendees: Paul Botkin who also contributed mightily to our program throughout the year and was our other rescue crew for the incident; and the F-18 sailors involved in the rescue.

Volunteer Sandbaggers Wanted 

We are having a volunteer workparty Saturday, November 28 at Noon to fill and place sandbags in advance of winter King Tides and potential storm surges. All members welcome! 

Canadian Naval Review
Jericho Rescue: A Case for Community Collaboration
The Canadian Naval Review published an article on the Jericho Rescue Team written by our President Chris Stairs in their Fall edition. Check out the article in its entirety at:

Join the Crew! 
JSCA Committee Season 
The 2015/2016 JSCA Board met for the first time last Tuesday night, elected their Executive (President, Chris Stairs; Vice-president, Tony Martin; Treasurer, Brian Hunt; Executive Secretary, Jeri Griffith) and established the initial Committee Meeting Schedule. All JSCA members are encouraged to participate on the committees to help us ensure that the JSCA best serves the needs of all members. If you are unable to personally attend but have some ideas you'd like to see happen please email me and I will take them to the appropriate committee meeting. The following is a list of JSCA standing committees and a summary of their functions:

PROGRAMMES COMMITTEE (Annual Event Planning Meeting November 24 @ 1900H)
To plan J.S.C.A. Special Events and racing schedule. To oversee all aspects of racing at J.S.C.A . To oversee the production of the J.S.C.A. newsletter to ensure it is produced and distributed with reasonable frequency and adequate quality. To oversee the development and maintenance of the JSCA website.

OPERATIONS COMMITTEE (Next Meeting November 17 @ 1900H) To serve as the Jericho Sailing Centre's Technical Maintenance Committee for the building, compound, ramps and beaches. To consider requests for annual allocation and restricted use of club/meet­ing rooms, craft storage, and locker space. To receive and consider members' appeals of administration decisions in reference to storage and space allocation, and make recommenda­tions to the Board.

SAFETY COMMITTEE (Next Meeting November 17 @ 1700H)
To oversee the operation and maintenance of all J.S.C.A. power craft and accessory equipment. Be responsible for training and testing all operators of J.S.C.A. power craft. Oversee the Jericho Rescue Team Program. To maintain a safety conscious atmosphere for J.S.C.A. users, both on the water and in/around the compound.
PLANNING COMMITTEE (Next Meeting November 25 @ 1900H)
To provide a structure for the on-going function and development of the physical plant of the Jericho Sailing Centre Association.

Upcoming JSCA Board Meetings:
Tuesdays: December 8; January 26; February 16; all @ 1900H

Remembering the Jericho Beach Air Station
The bells that now toll here are wind whipped stainless halyards ringing a forest of anodized aluminum sailing dinghy masts; but it wasn't always that way.

Department of National Defence Building 13, now known as the Jericho Sailing Centre, was a hustling, bustling place during the Second World War. Here, Canadians carried out their solemn duty to serve our country, to stand with honour to defend and preserve the freedom and way of life we cherish today.

What is now known as Jericho Beach Park and the adjacent lands south of 4th Avenue were all part of the largest military training base in western Canada, Canadian Forces Base Jericho Beach. The foreshore, which was hemmed with an apron of concrete wharves including 4 large airplane hangers and a Marine & Stores building (now the Jericho Sailing Centre), was RCAF Jericho Beach Air Station, a flying boat and seaplane base. Through the CFB Jericho Beach passed thousands of western Canadians in their metamorphic journey from civilians to soldiers, launched from here to the eternal hell that is war. Many never came home.

Supermarine Stranraers on Patrol
The Jericho Beach Air Station's focus was civil defence; launching recognizance missions from this shore to patrol the BC coast, looking for signs of enemy vessels and/or aircraft. This original Jericho "ocean access facility" featured floating wooden launch ramps, steel wheeled launch dollies, winches, winch ropes, indoor flying boat storage, armed guards and barbed wire, lots of barbed wire.

The crews and personnel of Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 4, launched flying boats and seaplanes; craft with names like: Blackburn Shark, Fairchild 71, Vickers MKII, Canso Catalina and the mainstay of the fleet, the Supermarine Stranraer - a sub hunter-nicknamed "the Whistling Birdcage" for the sound generated by it's biplane wing shrouds and rigging in flight.
The wind and the sea were elements as important to those brave souls as they are to us today although their work was far more dangerous than our leisure time launches. A dead calm sea was difficult to take off from as the heavy craft's hulls had to break through the salt laden surface tension to lift off. A sleeping sea was also treacherous to land on as it was impossible for sky skippers to judge altitude over a swiftly rising glassy surface. Larger waves could also be a problem. There were many spills; eleven aircrew lost in mishaps during this period. In one episode a Blackburn Shark's pontoons punched head on into an English Bay rogue wave in the late stages of a takeoff, flipping the bird and killing the crew.

It may soothe the pacifist nature of our modern day users to know that in over 1700 wartime sorties the original crews of Jericho never fired a shot in anger and their only contact with the "other side" was a mysterious, ineffective, invasion of bomb rigged weather-type balloons in the winter of 1944/45.

A monument, just south of the Jericho Sailing Centre entrance; the Jericho Hostel; Jericho Arts Centre; the Vancouver Park Board Maintenance compound, and the Jericho Sailing Centre are all that remain in Jericho Park in Remembrance of those flighty days and fearless crews. When the tubular bells of the Jericho Sailing Centre ring every November 11 they ring for all who served our country and particularly for those who served from these shores. Whenever we launch from Jericho we are exercising the freedom passed on to us from their weathered hands. Remember them well.

Fall/Winter Ocean Access
For security & safety Jericho Sailing Centre's ocean gates are kept locked at this time of year until needed. Please come see the office if you need a gate opened. Gate keys are available to our early morning users.
Cold Water Safety                     
Here are some things you must know about to recreate safely on English Bay at this time of year:

Appropriate Attire - Dress for Cold Water Immersion
The water temperature is well below the level where it is safe to recreate without a proper  wetsuit (no shorties) or drysuit. People who get into serious trouble at this time of year have often made the mistake of dressing for the air temperature not the water temperature, which is fine until something goes wrong and they suddenly find themselves immersed in the water.

Always Stay with Your Craft
When a sailing dinghy, windsurfer or kayak capsizes they are usually within a couple of swim strokes of their crew. Some craft, particularly SUP's and surf skis, require a safety leash (in good condition and properly attached) as they can easily get away in a capsize situation leaving their crew swimming. Never leave your craft in an emergency situation as it is far easier to spot than a person in the water.

Use the Buddy System
Always sail, paddle, row with someone else, especially in cold water conditions. Let a reliable friend or relative know when and where you are going and when you expect to return. Diligently contact them upon your safe return. In addition to this, if you are launching from Jericho Beach stop in at the Jericho Sailing Centre office and fill out the WINTER LAUNCH LOG to let us know when and where you are going and when you expect to return.

Be Aware of Sunset
Recently, JSCA staff have witnessed people launching within a few minutes of sunset. This is a dangerous practice particularly if you are not equipped with legally required running lights. If something goes wrong for you: equipment failure; changing conditions; fatigue, etc., you are very difficult to find in the dark. Make sure your safety float plan includes plenty of time to get off of the water before sunset.

Here is a link to give you more information on coping with cold water conditions:
Jericho Sailing Centre Etiquette 

Common sense and consideration of fellow members and other users help make the Jericho Sailing Centre a true community centre with a friendly salt water community atmosphere. Here are a few etiquette reminders to keep things sailing along smoothly:


  • No Alcohol is permitted within the Jericho Sailing Centre other than that served by the Jericho Galley Patio & Grill or by a duly authorized affiliated club with a Special Occasion Permit. At no time is alcohol permitted outside of a licensed area.                   
  • Do not leave your craft unattended on the shoreline for extended periods - share the shore.                          
  • RAMPS, and the areas adjacent to launching ramps, are for craft launch/retrieval only. Do not rig, repair or otherwise loiter in this area.
  • Do not leave or rig your craft in the rinsing areas adjacent to hosing stations. 
  • The Jericho Sailing Centre is a SMOKE FREE facility. There is No Smoking permitted in any Vancouver Park or beach area.
  • Give pathway users the right of way and bear in mind they may be distracted and not aware that you are crossing the pathway with your craft or launch rope.
  • launch dollys are for launching/retrieval only (not for storage) and must be returned to the fence immediately after use.
  • if you launch from your own dolly or trailer return it to your storage spot after launching-do not leave dollys on the beach.
  • do not use the winches unless you are familiar with their safe operation. Winch instruction is available from staff or Jericho Rescue Team members. Only members or registered guests may use winches & dollies.
  • only leashed, well behaved dogs are allowed in the compound, no dogs are allowed in the building or on the deck. Do not tie dogs to the base of stairwells or in other traffic areas. Do not leave your dog onshore while you are on the water. The City prohibits dogs on beaches. In consideration of other Jericho users please consider leaving your dog at home while visiting the Jericho Sailing Centre.
  • Please coil hoses immediately after use and conserve water.
  • Do not block aisle ways.
  • Rinse racks are for rinsing not drying.
  • Swimming is prohibited in front of the Jericho Sailing Centre.
SAFETY is Your Responsibility
On the ocean there are elements of risk that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Regardless of how you decide to use the ocean always show courtesy to others. Please adhere to the code listed below and share with others the responsibility for a safe ocean experience. 

It is every member's responsibility to know and observe the rules of the road when on or near the water. Here are some key rules which every Jericho member must know and practice.

1. Always wear your P.F.D. on the water.
2. Sail powered craft have the right of way over power craft, paddle and rowing powered craft.
3. All non-commercial vessels shall keep well clear of commercial vessels.
4. It is illegal and extremely dangerous to pass between a tug and it's tow.
5. A port tack sailing vessel shall keep clear of a starboard tack vessel.
6. A windward vessel shall keep clear of a leeward vessel.
7. A vessel clear astern shall keep clear of a vessel ahead.
8. Any vessel overtaking another shall keep clear.
9. A vessel tacking or gybing shall keep clear of a vessel on a tack.
10.The area south of the orange can buoys is for training or transiting only.
11.Swimming or wading on the beach in front of the Centre is prohibited and is particularly dangerous for small children.
12.It is unsafe to loiter or let children play near the bottom of launching ramps.
13. Stay well clear of the end of the Jericho Pier as fishers cast lines as far as possible
14. Be cautious of pathway traffic when launching/retrieving
15. Do not leave your craft on the shoreline for extended periods of time
Common sense goes a long way toward maintaining a safe environment. Membership in the Jericho Sailing Centre Association is contingent on members knowing and observing the Safe Ocean Sailing rules.
Links to previous issues