by Guy Perrin
In 2013 Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club was selected as host of the Canadian Optimist Dinghy Championships and subsequently put on an outstanding event for the 98 young athletes from Canada, the US, Great Britain and Bermuda. After a long year of planning and preparation, the opening ceremonies kicked off the regatta with an incredible showcase of aerial artists as well as an athlete parade.
Regatta of the year - Canadian Optimist Dinghy Championships
Five days of sailing ensued with four days of fleet racing and one day of team racing. Two time Olympian and silver medalist Zach Riley (USA) was on hand as the event coach, as well as Tyler and Kai Bjorn at the Olympian night. There were daily info sessions put on by sport psychology legend Wayne Halliwell as well as a screening of The Morning Light project accompanied by a satellite interview with movie star Chris Branning.
Over 80 club members volunteered their time at this event, high level sponsorship was secured, and elite level coaching was provided to the sailors. 'Run the regatta you would have wanted to attend as a young sailor. Then make it the best it can be with safety and fun in mind.' Sound advice offered by event organizers at RStLYC to other aspiring National event hosts.
Jessica Lombard, Director of the Junior Sailing program and Regatta Chair reflects on their achievement saying, 'Winning Sail Canada’s Regatta of the Year award in 2013 is notably special for the Royal St. Lawrence as it falls in a year that our club marks its 125th anniversary.'
Jessica will be in attendance at the Rolex Sailor of the Year awards night on Friday to accept the award on behalf of the organizing committee and Royal St Lawrence Yacht Club.