On Saturday July 18, we hosted a free Shells & Sails try-it-day with the South Muskoka Sailing Club. We arrived to South Muskoka late Friday night at George Rd. Landing, a launch area,, and met Dan. Dan was kind enough to billet us for the night and we were treated to a cruise around the lake to his cottage where we had some great conversations and rested up for the busy day ahead of us.
The weekend of July 11 and 12 was a fantastic, sunny weekend, as we traveled to Grand Bend Yacht Club and Mississauga Sailing Club. Victoria rejoined the travels and it was great to have her back. After picking her up after work, we traveled to Grand Bend Friday night and got our plans ready for a very busy Saturday. We met Billy and the rest of the Yacht Club who were very welcoming and ready to help us.
For a week we traveled through and around the Ottawa region going to many clubs hosting our fun, free, try-it-days. For the week of June 26 to July 3, we traveled to Britannia Yacht Club, Kanata Sailing Club, Manotick Rowing Club, Ottawa Rowing Club, and Upper Canada Rowing Club. While Victoria was helping at her local sailing camp, this week featured Ontario Sailing and BOOM Sailing Instructor Alex Hamilton. All packed up and ready to hit the road, the journey began with a long road trip to Britannia Yacht Club and our week of travel and coaching began.
Jumping castles, magicians, music, face painters, food trucks & more! Whitby Yacht Club has outdone themselves this past week while sailebrating their 40th anniversary and we got to join in on the party! Nestled in between the end of the school year and the beginning of sailing classes, the club hosted a four day outdoor education event for school groups with two evenings of Try-It sessions on member keel boats, club dinghies, and Shells & Sails sailing and rowing boats.
North Bay Rowing Club – June 14-15
Our last leg of the journey brings us to the North Bay Rowing Club. Beginning at 5am, we left Sudbury and made our way to North Bay and met Nadine, a key rowing enthusiast, at the North Bay Canoe and Kayak Club. Another grass-root club, North Bay is currently trying to create awareness of their rowing club ambition. Located on the beautiful Trout Lake and using a beach for our launching, North Bay was a fantastic venue.
Sudbury Rowing Club - June 12-13
Our second leg of our Northern journey took us to Sudbury Rowing Club, and saying we had a lot of participants is an understatement. Over the two days, we taught sailing and rowing to 144 people! We would like to thank the support by the Canadian Safe Boating Council, and Transport Canada. SRC is located on Ramsey Lake along with Sudbury Yacht Club and Sudbury Canoe and Kayak Club. The clubs are fundraising and advocating for their sports to create a multi-watersport complex that is currently being built across the lake; and we must say, the new building looks spectacular! We began every session by making sure our bright green PFD’s were snug and everyone got a briefing about how to be safe on the water.
Our North trip started with a long drive, beautiful scenery, a few missed exits, a night in Espanola, and an eventual visit to Desberats at the Township of Johnson. With a population of only 400, Desberats is a beautiful, small town, peaceful, with many great people. Driving our trailer with rowing shells and sail boats caught a lot of eyes and intrigue as to what we were using the equipment for and we had a lot of great conversations. Desberats is well represented in the long distance and indoor rowing competitions and have interest in developing a rowing club in addition to their indoor rowing program at the local high school. Our first session in Desberats was on Wednesday, June 10th and we actually split the locations of sailing and rowing; sailing would be at Kensington Point Marina and rowing was in town along a little river that accessed the lake.
We made it to Cayuga! If you were wondering who we still are, we are Matt and Victoria, and we the 2015 Shells & Sails Mobile Unit (more about us here). Working with RowOntario, Ontario Sailing, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Get Out On The Water Camparign, we are travelling across Ontario to promote sailing and rowing. On June 7 we went to Cayuga, and ran a Try-it-Day at the Haldimand Grand River Rowing Club. We travelled a day early and stayed with Louise and Jake, members of the HGRRC. We had a great time staying over, we were treated to a great meal, a few handfuls of delicious cupcakes, got a tour of the area, and watched James Bond. We were ready to go for the big try-it-day!
We are Victoria and Matt and together we are the 2015 Shells and Sails Mobile Unit coaches. For those who do not know what Shells and Sails is, we are a free program that is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation and work with Ontario Sailing. As the mobile unit, we run Try-it-Days for rowing and sailing at numerous clubs throughout Ontario while working with Get Out On The Water campaign to promote sailing and rowing.