Winners Celebrated at Mobility Cup 2013

Disabilities were left behind on the dock as 41 sailors from across North America and as far away as Australia challenged the waters of Halifax harbour from August 25 to 30.

The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron was the site of the High Liner Foods 2013 Mobility Cup, a sailing regatta for people with disabilities of all kinds.  The competitors sailed Martin 16 sailboats which are specially constructed to allow a variety of adaptations to allow people with disabilities to experience the freedom and competitiveness of sailing.

Emerging victorious in the Gold Fleet and claiming the Mobility Cup was Christine Lavallée of Gatineau, Quebec.  This follows Lavallée’s gold medal performance in the Canada Summer Games 2.4mR class this past summer.  Second place was taken by last year’s winner, Marc Villeneuve of Laval, Quebec and third by the 2011 winner, Pierre Richard of Montreal, Quebec.

Mobility Cup winner Lavallée says she was happy to be back in Halifax.  She competed in her first Mobility Cup in Halifax in 2007. She credits the good winds and the volunteer support for her victory though she wishes the weather conditions had not caused so many cancellations. “But that’s the life of a sailor,” she says.

The winner of the Dallaire Cup as the top competitor in the Silver Fleet was Jean-Paul Dussault of LaSalle, Quebec.  Tracy Schmitt of Toronto, Ontario was second in the Silver fleet and Basil Katsivalis of Pointe-Claire, Quebec won third place.

For Dallaire Cup winner Dussault, the win was particularly gratifying because it was his first appearance at a Mobility Cup.  He has been sailing for three years at his home club, AQVA in Pointe-Claire, Quebec and competing at smaller regattas.  “The racing here at Halifax was very exciting and I am very pleased with my result,” says Dussault.

There was hardly a dull moment out on the water during the week of sailing competition.  The weather played a key role in the regatta resulting in several cancelled races including all racing on the final day.  Equipment issues, particularly with the assistive electronic gear, kept dock crews and the support teams busy.

Tremendous assistance and goodwill was received from the Yacht Squadron and its staff. Competitors and volunteers alike were welcomed to this historic facility which has its beginnings in 1837. For some sailors, it was their first experience with ocean waters and the winds and weather that can present itself. Local sailors and coaches provided briefings on what to expect and a practice day prior to the start of the regatta gave the competitors a taste of what was to come.

The event was fortunate to have over 90 volunteers, many of whom booked off work to devote the entire week to the regatta. While most volunteers came from the Halifax area, including members of the RNSYS, many dock-side volunteers and coaches accompanied the competing teams, travelling from as far away as British Columbia.

Other awards presented at the closing ceremony included the Sam Sullivan trophy, which recognizes the highest placing “sip and puff” sailor, won for a record 10th time by Rene Daillaire of Montreal, Quebec.  The Debbie Donald award for the highest placing female sailor was won by Christine Lavallée of Gatineau, Quebec and the Daren Tucker award for demonstrating tenacity during the regatta was won by Terry Leblanc of Vancouver, B.C.

The first Mobility Cup was held in Vancouver in 1991, the idea of the former mayor of that city, Sam Sullivan.  Sullivan was looking for a way to enhance the sailing experience of the group of sailors that had formed around a donated boat, one given to Rick Hansen by Margaret Thatcher in the UK on his famous travels around the world.  Mobility Cup has since grown and developed into an international regatta and the premier event of adaptive sailing in this country.

Mobility Cup moves to Alberta in 2014 and will take place on scenic Lower Kananaskis Lake, in partnership with William Watson Lodge; a fully accessible wilderness retreat in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.

For more information about Mobility Cup go to www.mobilitycup.org

Mobility Cup 2014 - An Unforgettable Experience!

At Mobility Cup 2013 Sara Cooper & Robb Lawrence of the Disabled Sailing Association of Alberta (DSAA) gave a presentation on their plans for Mobility Cup 2014.  It was a new concept:  rather than holding the event in a city where the locals would go home every night and the out of town participants would stay in hotels, they described how the event would be held on Lake Kananaskis and all sailors and volunteers would stay together in the fully accessible cabins of the William Watson Lodge.  We were all excited to try something new - but nobody could possibly have imagined what an unforgettable experience it would turn out to be!
Read more

At Mobility Cup 2013 Sara Cooper & Robb Lawrence of the Disabled Sailing Association of Alberta (DSAA) gave a presentation on their plans for Mobility Cup 2014.  It was a new concept:  rather than holding the event in a city where the locals would go home every night and the out of town participants would stay in hotels, they described how the event would be held on Lake Kananaskis and all sailors and volunteers would stay together in the fully accessible cabins of the William Watson Lodge.  We were all excited to try something new - but nobody could possibly have imagined what an unforgettable experience it would turn out to be!

For those of us who had never been there before the beauty of the location was breathtaking.  And we were all impressed with how accessible not only the cabins and lodge at William Watson Lodge were, but the trails in the woods as well.  Equally impressive was the dock and access ramp which had been specially built for the regatta

Sunday the weather was sunny and warm - but that quickly changed....  Monday morning we awoke to cloudy skies and chilly temperatures.  Gold Fleet went out for a practice rae in 12-15 know winds while those on shore got colder and colder.  The wind was building when Gold came in  and the decision was made not to run a practice race for Silver.  (PRO Peter Van Muyden left a weather station in the middle of the lake for the afternoon that recorded average winds of 16 knots with multiple gusts to 42 knots!)

Tuesday it was still cold and there was no wind in the morning so no racing for Gold.  The weather forecast was for the wind to start building by late afternoon - accompanied by precipitation.  None of us wanted to really believe what form the precipitation might take.  But as the wind never did arrive racing was cancelled for Silver fleet as well.

Wednesday morning we woke up to several inches of snow on the ground - and no wind.  As the day went on the snow continued to fall and by the evening there was 15 cm.  Needless to say - no racing.

Thursday morning there wasn't a cloud in the sky - and there was finally wind.  But before any racing could start a major snow removal operation took place on the dock and access ramp and the boats had to be de-iced. It was still very cold but Gold Fleet got out there and had three races surrounded by the spectacular scenery of snow covered mountains. The wind started to fade when Silver Fleet was racing but they were fortunate to get a close look at a safe distance at the grizzly bear who appeared on the opposite shore!

Friday morning was slightly warmer and there was wind but the skies were cloudy and rain was predicted for the afternoon.  Silver Fleet started their first race with lots of wind but halfway through the race there was a major wind shift and then a big black cloud arrived over us, the wind died and it started to snow again! They just managed to finish that race but the lake was a mirror so back to the dock they came. The snow continued to fall and the wind refused to return so by 3pm racing was cancelled for the Gold Fleet.

One might think that the regatta was a bust with only three races for Gold and four for Silver.  But the fact is, nobody really cared because we were having such a fantastic time being all together like one big happy family!  It was a rare occasion for Gold & Silver sailors to hang out together and provided an opportunity for all of us to get to know one another better. On days when there was no racing PRO Peter VanMuyden, judge Warren Nethercote and Alberta Sailing coach Ian Elliott put on a number of educational seminars that were not only informative but entertaining as well. Every night after dinner DJ Rod Mack had us all dancing up a storm. Then after the dancing it was off to the campfire for games and songs. And the food was amazing! The event was catered by chef Wade Paterson who did an excellent job of providing delicious and nutritious meals, as well as taking care of any special dietary needs.

One highlight of the event took place when  Ian Elliott offered to shave off his bushy beard if people made $1000 in donations to DSAA. That goal was quickly reached so he then offered to shave his head as well if a target of $2000 was reached. In the end over $3500 was raised & Ian’s hairdresser drove up from Calgary to trim his locks in front of us all.

We were all sad when it was time to leave - especially as the weather was finally starting to warm up.  Kudos to DSAA for hosting this outstanding Mobility Cup in spite of multiple challenges and hurdles that had to be overcome to make it happen!

Be sure to check out the photos at www.mobilitycup.com

Paula Stone

New Partnership Friday, November 09, 2012 - Able Sail Network Partnership - Sail Canada is pleased to announce recent partnership with the Able Sail Network. Read more

Info contact

Nous avons 106 invités et aucun membre en ligne

DÉBUT DE PAGE