North Sails LOFT NEWS
CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: BRITANNIA YACHT CLUB
BYC Cruise Week On The Ottawa River
Dear North Sails,
Thank you for your support during “Cruise Week”, a 30+ year-old, family-friendly tradition at Britannia Yacht Club in Ottawa.
This event is a mid-summer, multi-day flotilla on the Ottawa River, which offers us 25 NM of ever-changing wind and a half-dozen rural anchorages. Cruise Week serves these purposes:
- Mentor new or inexperienced sailors in navigating the Ottawa River.
- Meet new friends (new club members/boat owners, or first-time participants).
- Catch up with long-time friends.
Cruise Week 2018 (July 15-20) was another fun week in the sun and great heat – temperatures exceeded 30C every day. Eighteen boats joined the fleet, and crews were a diverse mix: new and experienced sailors, people who cruise and race here and in other parts of the world, racers, delivery crew, and world circumnavigators.
As in past years, Cruise Week started Sunday afternoon with an onshore BBQ at Pinhey’s Point, about 10nm upriver from BYC.
At the BBQ, we handed out North Sails beverage cozies and sunglass keepers to start things off on a fun note – these items were put to work immediately:
We shared a variety of appetizers and caught up over a great meal. The World Quyon Bocce tournament trophy was displayed proudly, and the 2nd edition of the Nautical Skills Challenge was issued: those who complete any 3 skills such as heaving to, 2 COB drills (under sail), and reefing/shake the reef, are awarded prizes.
Here’s our watered and fed group at the BBQ – thank you, North Sails, for the swag and the flag!
Long into the evening, socializing continued on several boats.
On Monday, the fleet drifted downwind to Baskin’s Beach in a 6-8kn east wind. Several boats completed some of the items on the nautical skills checklist. After lunch, a swim, and a snooze, we headed ashore for the World Quyon Bocce tournament. It was an afternoon of spocking, kissing, and lagging, and the competition was fierce!
As teams were eliminated, they were given North Sails swag, such as water bottles, belts, and frisbees, to ease their pain.
Storm clouds rolled in as we concluded the awards ceremony. Those North Sails hats kept our sailors dry! After dinner, socializing resumed throughout the fleet.
On Tuesday, the fleet made the 5 NM skip to Mohr Island. The 16-20kn west wind made for a fun beat, with 28-30kn gusts to keep us on our toes. Our North Sails sunglass keepers came in handy, and a couple boats kept their mainsails securely reefed with their new North Sails sail ties.
We spent the afternoon swimming and relaxing, resting up for a raft-up Happy Hour: a “blind” wine tasting. We sampled a variety, mostly reds.
However, the final bottle puzzled everyone – was it spiced rum? Sherry? Revealing a bottle of Canadian Club stunned the group and provided lots of laughs. North Sails beer cozies also fit stemless wine glasses!
On Wednesday, wind direction and whim dictated that it was worth staying at Mohr Island another evening. A few boats made the 4 NM zip up to Quyon for a few provisions. Happy Hour was another raft-up. By this point in the week, we’re quite a good-looking group with our North Sails hats and shirts! We shared many laughs and stories over a variety of appetizers and beverages.
On Thursday, the group headed back downriver to PInhey’s Point for more swimming and relaxing, and the grand finale – scotch tasting.
Thanks to your support, we had great prizes to hand out for special moments such as these:
- MacGyver award – a North Sails T-shirt – for Wind Song’s creativity in replacing a broken oar lock with one made of rope.
- Long-distance swimming award – North Sails hat and T-shirt – to Somerled, for completing a nearly 1-NM swim before breakfast one morning.
- Cruising with Pets award – a North Sails hat and T-shirt – to Emotional Rescue, for bringing their pet parrot, Purdy.
- Good Samaritan award – North Sails sail ties – to Spallpeen, for siphoning fuel to give to Grande Dame for their dinghy.
- Persistence award – North Sails sail ties – to Grande Dame, for making the 2NM dinghy ride in a 15kn headwind to get more fuel.
- Old School nav skills award – North Sails sail ties – to Casual Elegance, for depth-sounding with a lead line the entire week, because their depth sounder was broken.
- Life in the “Faast” Lane – North Sails t-shirt – to KnotFaast (a trawler), for spontaneously deciding to join us on the last night.
- Welcome Back to the Ottawa Riviera award – North sails shirt and book bundle, and hat – to Veritas, who years ago, used to host a brunch for the Cruise Week fleet, and after several years away, are back at BYC.
- Nautical Challenge winners: boats who completed the skills were rewarded for their efforts. North Sails T-shirts and hats were awarded to Casual Elegance and Emotional Rescue.
The Grand Prize from North Sails, a bucket full of goodies, was special. In the spirit of the 2018 Golden Globe race, we honoured Jay, who successfully single-handed his boat the entire week. He was delighted to receive the Grand Prize, which included a hat, shirt, water bottle, and much more!
Over the week, new-found friendships and long-term friendships strengthened, and we had many laughs together. The people make it great, and support from North Sails made it even better.
Many thanks again for supporting our club’s tradition.
Britannia Yacht Club Cruise Week Coordinator