Algoma Sailing Club
St. Mary's River,  Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

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The Algoma Sailing Club at the Tall Ship History Feast.

Reported by Neil Trudel.

The Tall Ship History Feast weekend in July of 2013 had 3 tall ships that arrived and docked with each conducting on board tours at the Roberta Bonder Marine and Park site.

At the same time within the park housed a host of war of 1812 enactors complete with enactment village displaying in their tents many of their occupations of that time frame and all protected by a garrison of British Solders that fired their rifles and cannon on the hour, followed by the voyagers firing their muskets, and also celebrated by public group dancing with the Metis dancing at the Metis Village.

The overall event was sponsored by the War of 1812 Committee and the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site.

"It was busy weekend and quite encouraging and successful to have the Algoma Sailing Club represented at the Tall Ship History Feast with many different areas of the club were highlighted. Everyone who worked at the display tables got to see the tall ships for free."

Because the theme was Tall Ships it was deemed by some members of the Algoma Sailing Club that we should be involved. The problem was that since the Tall Ship event was occurring at the same time of the famous MacMan race only a few volunteers would be available to help out. Those that did worked hard to construct a display area within a short time period and to double man the display area for the weekend.

The Algoma Sailing Club Fleet also had the honour of sailing and escorting the tall ships when they passed the sugar island ferry location in the the St. Mary's River over (west) to the Roberta Bonder Marine and Park.

"It was quite different and loud being on the river between the boats when the cannon barrage and salutes between land and sea occurred, it's something you'll won't forget for a long time."

The club display area had 4 areas of interests.

  • The display table: which was covered with a chart, and had placed around it; 4 large sailing race trophies, Laptop movie of the race to Richards Landing, a video Picture Frame that displayed and rotated 120 photos of the club in 12 different themes, River Race schedules, boom and shells and sails info, and 8 different sailing magazines.
  • The Display wall: had the club ASC banner logo, ASC and CYA pendants and flags, international racing rules, MacMan info, and sailing photos.
  • The Rope Tie-ing table: on loan from Parks Canada had a knot trying station that allowed 6 people at once to tie knots complete with instructions on how to do so. Around this station had more information on the tall ships, and ASC membership forms.
  • The Racing and Sailing Pool that was built just for this event was 8 feet x 8 feet in size and had 10 dual mast tall ships, and 5 triple masts ships. Complete with some navigation hazards (rocks) and channel markers in the middle.

The Sailing Pool was a hit for the younger kids and their moms and dads, the knot tying was used by teens and adults, and the display table and wall were good for those who were more interested in sailing and about the club. We had a member of the Sudbury sailing club who really enjoyed our display area and wanted to purchase the boats to use at their club in addition to parents who also wanted to buy them. We discovered many other out of town visitors from other sailing clubs.

The cool weather worked well for us and the many folks who had directed questions to us in talking to them have shown that for next year we can have a potential of possible new senior members and associate members. Plus there were a possible 8 adults and 8 kids who indicated and wanted to partake in future sailing lessons in the BOOM sailing for the next year.

Some input or questions from the public were as follows and hence our clubs website was discussed as a way to obtain more information.

  • When are we getting smaller boats?
  • More awareness about our club, location, and races.
  • Public inquires as are we filling the void since closure of RYTAC.
  • Folks want sailing lessons.

There was two requests from other non-profit organizations (Parks Canada, Old Stone House) in wanting us to bring the pool to their community events, hence we could promote the club even more but using a smaller display for faster setup. Hence Norm has agreed to start making the second Tall Ship Fleet when needed (grin) :)

I would like to say Thank You to the following persons who helped and manned the display area for 21 hours in shifts plus another 4 hours of site and pool setup/teardown.

  • ASC Shirts and Logo Branding was by: Brenda and Erin Hernden.
  • Setup and Teardown: George & Brenda, Norman.
  • Display Manning: Bert & Betty, Norman & Anna, George & Brenda, The Dionis Family (and Micheal obtained work hours for school).
  • Charts: Louis

Additionally the following; George, Louis, Norman and Neil were pressed into emergency service and were very helpful for the Sault Ste Marie Historic Metis Council in scrubbing, washing, cleaning, and setting up a full size canvas Tee-Pee (that was incorrectly stored wet) for the Metis Display at the Tall Ship Festival.

When we were ribbed and teased "what do sailors have to with setting up Tee-Pee tents" we remarked quickly "Well it does has canvas and ropes".

Also thank you to the following skippers in the Tall Ship Escort; Ken, Tony, Bill Pickering, and Neil.

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Last Update: Updated May 12, 2013
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