Sailor of the Month - September

Sailor of the Month - September

September marks the start of Autumn Equinox, with sailors enjoying the warmer days and cooler evenings with no shortage of competitive performances throughout the country and around the world.

Fall CORK greeted hundreds of sailors with classic summer-like conditions in Kingston. Many battles ensued on the water with Robert Davis (KYC) capturing the Laser title, while Youth Champ Matti Muru (OST) placed 2nd in the Radial behind Youth Olympic Games participant Justin Vittecoq (HYC).

The ISAF World Championships were held in Santander Spain marking the first event of true significance for Olympic class sailors as country qualification for Rio 2016 was up for grabs. Isabella Bertold (RVYC) and Lee Parkhill (RCYC) successfully secured spots for Canada in both the Laser and Radial.

The Etchells North American Championships were held at the Chicago Yacht Club with a respectable 32-boat fleet at Belmont Station. Canadian Dirk Kneulman crewed with skipper Anatole Masfen on NZL boat named ‘The Horn’ placing 4th, while Brad Boston placed 6th overall with helm Shannon Bush on ‘La Tormenta’.

The J24 World Championships continues to rise in popularity, drawing in a large fleet of skilled sailors to Newport, RI. Canadian Rossi Milev, a well-known name on the J24 circuit, placed 7th on boat ‘Clear Air’. Canadian Olympian Richard Clarke crewed on 3rd place boat ‘Savasana’ skippered by American Brian Keane at the J70 Worlds.

One of the biggest losses in Canadian sailing occurred earlier this year in March with the passing of sailing icon Hans Fogh. Son of Hans, Thomas Fogh, sailed to a 3rd place finish at Soling North American’s this month with his fathers crew, Gord Devries and Roger Cheer (EYS) in the boat named ‘HANS’. The entire class paid tribute to Hans Fogh before the first race with a jib down salute. Thomas reflects on the emotional weekend saying, “Taking his spot at the helm was a huge honour for me. I hope he was watching and enjoyed the racing.”

There were other Canadian sailing rock stars battling at the Soling NA’s, including 2nd place finishers Bill, Joanne & Larry Abbott (SYC) with first place awarded to the renowned sailor Peter Hall with crew Paul Davis, and William Hall (RSTLYC). This championship title adds to the long list of achievements for Peter Hall dating back to the late ‘70’s when his success began in the Soling class. Hall is 6-time Canadian Soling champion with consecutive World Championship titles in 2011-12. Peter has also enjoyed tremendous success in the Lightning class with a Pan Am silver medal (1987) and three World Championship titles (1989-2006) among many other significant accomplishments in North America. Hall was also presented with the CYA’s Sailor of the year award in 1989.

Apart from the medals and trophies, Peter gives back to the sport by dedicating his time and resources to ISAF, serving on several committees over the years including his current role on the Constitution Committee and Vice-Chair of the ISAF Review Board. Peter also volunteers as chief fundraiser for the Fédération de Voile Québec and is a strong supporter at his local club RSTLYC.

Beyond the scorecard, Peter Hall exemplifies the true meaning of Sailing to Win, Sailing for Life, achieving success around the clock and paying it forward. Sail Canada celebrates a performer and leader recognizing Peter Hall as Sailor of the Month - September!

Sail Canada’s Sailor of the Month award acknowledges sailing achievements by Canadians involved or associated with the sport in all its forms. Sail Canada encourages the submission of noteworthy Canadian sailing activities to sailorofthemonth@sailing.ca.

photo credit: B Boston