CYA Newsletter

March 2009

Canadian sailors hit the campaign trail for the London 2012 Olympics – Peter Wood

While I was coaching at the Miami OCR, a friend and personal assistant to one of the athletes I was coaching asked me why do sailors call their preparation to qualify for the Olympics a “campaign”. Golf and Tennis us the term “tour” while motor sports uses the term “circuit”.

For our Canadian Sailing Team the term “campaign” has many parallels to the road taken by political candidates as they seek elected office. The regattas can be likened to primaries. Strong showings in the early regattas show that you have talent to belong in the elite group who are going to make it to the starting line in the final selection trials. A weak showing and it may be time to consider your options. New sails, a new boat or even a new crew may be in the cards.

Then there are other aspects of the campaign logistics, coaching boat maintenance, and financing. In the case of the athletes I coach they were fortunate that a club member drove their boats to Florida for the cost of fuel. A second club member drove the boats home again for the cost of fuel. The travel expenses of their coach were substantially paid for by Ontario Sailing, while he donated his time and paid most of his out of pocket expenses for meals and incidentals.  Boat maintenance is another issue. One of the 2.4mR’s is leaking badly so it had to go into the shop for repairs after its return from Florida. 

Just like that politician seeking elected office fundraising is a major component of any sailor’s campaign (unless he just won 6-49).  The Miami mid winters and OCR cost the sailors I coach about $ 5,000 each. Add to that two other major North American regattas and you are looking at a cost of $ 15,000 each per year not including sails, yacht club fees. Add to the mix a European regatta with boat transport and boat charter fees and the costs ratchet up pretty quickly.

If you know of a sailor who is starting a campaign or continuing a campaign for London 2012 ask them how you can best support their program. I am sure they will appreciate it. If you don’t know any aspiring Olympic Sailors personally but would like to help please donate to the CYA’s Olympic Fund. We will insure that it will go to the greatest need. Contact us at

Long Term Athlete Development

The Canadian Yachting Association has recently initiated a project to review its Long Term Athlete Development Model. The LTAD is the model whereby young people entering sailing can follow a clearly defined path to excellence in sailing. The purpose of the LTAD is to provide guidance to sailors, their parents, their coaches and sailing administrators.

Initially CYA’s expert panel will review the athlete development model of other countries (sailing) and other sports (within Canada) as we build our athlete development matrix. When the stages of development have been finalized the expert group will work on optimum sailor programming for each stage. This is where the details of  what type of boat a sailor should using for training, how many hours of training, what types of competitions, if any, a sailor should participate in.  As part of the process the CYA will also be reviewing its programs and competitions. Some of the questions that the expert panel will be considering are: Are our current programs appropriate for each stage of athletes development? Do we have gaps in our program area? Where? What should we do to fill the gap? Do we have program duplication? If so should a program be dropped?

With respect to the competition review some of the questions the expert panel will be addressing include: Do we have appropriate competitions for the various age and skill levels of the sailors? Should some of our competitions be replaced with other competitions?  Where should the Youth World Sailing Championships and the Canada Games fit in our athlete Development Model?   

Through out the process there will be wide consultation with our top level coaches, with staff of provincial sailing associations, with clubs and with parents. The goal is have reports available at the end of June 2009 and mid September 2009. Implementation to commence following the Canadian yachting Association AGM in November 2009  

CYA Web Store

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Business Development Volunteers required:

The Canadian Yachting Association is in the process of reorganizing itself as it moves from a functional to a strategic governance model. Volunteers are needed for committees reporting to the Board of Directors and for working committees, councils and work groups who work closely with staff and report to the Executive Director. The following are examples of some of the positions that are available.

Business Development Committee member

The Business Development Committee works closely with the Executive Director advising him/her on business aspects of the services the Canadian Yachting Association provides to its members. These include analyzing the demand for products and services that the CYA offers or intends to offer its members, assisting in fundraising activities to further the association’s programs, and helping develop public awareness programs which will raise the association’s profile among its members.

Qualifications:  Potential volunteers should have a background in business, marketing or merchandising. They should understand the role of the Canadian Yachting Association and its partner provincial sailing associations as the sport governing body for sailing in Canada.  They should have a passion for sailing and should be able to volunteer up to five hours per month.

Interested volunteers should submit a resume of their experience, information on their sailing background, and contact information to the Executive Director by e-mail .


Executive Director

The Canadian Yachting Association is Canada’s national sailing authority.  Based in Kingston it oversees sailing activities across this great country.  On their behalf we are seeking to recruit an Executive Director to lead this critically important organization through its next phase of development.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the ED will be responsible for the total management of the CYA.  Working with our provincial authorities, Sport Canada, various yacht clubs, volunteers, sailors and elite athletes, you will chart the course of this storied organization as it strives to build the sailing capacity throughout Canada.  Ultimately the goals will be to embed sailing as a lifelong activity for many of your constituencies and to develop elite athletes so that world championships and Olympic medals can be won.

As the ideal candidate, you will be a passionate sailor with very strong communication skills, in both official languages.  Comfortable and experienced in running a business, you will have an entrepreneurial drive that ensures success follows all your endeavors.  High energy, strong management skills, an engaging personality and a commitment to excellence will all be attributes people see in you. 

This is a terrific opportunity for an enterprising sailor who wants to rebuild Canada’s international reputation as one of the world’s leading sailing powers.  Through your leadership, the CYA wants to see growth in participation and growth in victories.  Many say these two goals are incompatible, we disagree.  We want you to prove us right.

For the right individual this will be a dream job.  Great environment, supportive board of directors, energized staff, and a broad mandate all combine to create a recipe for winning.  Complement this with a competitive compensation package and a fabulous location and you have the platform to build an enviable success story.

Come join us on our voyage at CYA.   To explore this opportunity further, please contact Terra O’Bryan in our Halifax office at 902.424.1117 or submit your resume online at

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