Chris Steer

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About Chris Steer

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  1. Chris Steer

    Lake Ontario Anarchy

    Don't think RCYC's Commodore ever landed in the swimming pool at LYRA. I do recall the Commodore of Royal Hamilton YC getting a helpful push-he was sort of leaning forward telling a young lady in the pool that she ought to be wearing more than she was and, let's face it, he was asking for it on all counts. The bloke who pushed him is now living in Dubai. Probably get his head cut off for such a stunt there which is probably what would have happened to him if he'd done it at RCYC-and on the Bowling Green!
  2. Chris Steer

    Lake Ontario Anarchy

    Things are getting going here at the Western end of Lake Ontario. It's a short season and we have to pile it on while we can. Poor attendance at the P.J. Phelan was due at least in part to the fact that winds were gusting to 40 knots and it's a bit early to be ragging a new(ish) Main in those kind of zephyrs and risking a newly tuned mast. On Maggie Kelly we were out on a training sail that day and got the first use out of a #4 I bought a year or so ago after a similar P.J. We were overpowered and returned to the MK table to discuss it all over a few Single Malts. Very new and inexperienced crew was a factor and we had no plans to race just yet. ABYC as ever great. My own racing preference-if anybody cares-is for the Cavalry Charge of the 1.2nm windward/leeward race and six of those in a weekend is a prescription for all of life's ills. And then some! The Susan Hood? All honour to those who go out in the dark and cold but for me it all goes on too long. See above. A former wife of mine once told me " I have better things for you to be doing in the middle of the night than freezing your ass off on Lake Ontario". A rare burst of unanswerable logic from the lady in question. I've done a few Susan Hoods -in my old Shark (472) with only a $17 compass for navigational aids,for example-but I think grey hair is a pass card although no shortage of it out on this last race. One of the things that kept MK out of the Phelan was the fact that we are training up a very new crew the source of which could be of interest. We've got 5 University of Toronto students who come from what started as the RCYC/U of T Crewbank Program that I started a few months back. Resulted from a conversation with a student of the U who crewed with us for a season or so and who told me there were dozens of kids there that would love the opportunity to go sailing evenings and weekends. So I got in touch with some connections at the U and told them what I had in mind and the word was passed. At RCYC John Golding (lecturer supreme-I should know, he's sailed on my boat these past 9 seasons) ran three classroom sessions in the City Clubhouse-handily located right next to the Downtown Campus-followed by three succesive Tuesdays racing in RCYC's midweek series. We found ourselves with 50 students breathing fire and enthusiasm of the kind that most keelboat skippers only dream about and we learned that U of T had 50,000 students-people young, usually fit and looking for something to do in the evenings and on weekends that was energetic, fun and didn't cost too much. A pretty fair description of crewing on a sailboat! Looking at the numbers we were getting at this early stage we decided to share the wealth. Called Etobicoke YC who jumped at it-they are handy for the Mississauga Campus. Called National but got no response and found out later that they already had a similar program. Told Cathedral Bluffs YC and they are connecting the Scarborough Campus. Told Wendy Loat at the ABYC Regatta but haven't yet followed up on that one. With respect, most crewbanks I've encountered have been populated by people who are in the Yacht Club world but can't get or keep a ride. Not, unfortunately, an ideal source for crew. These kids-age speaking-from U of T are uniformly astounded and grateful to be offered a chance to sail on a racing yacht. They will turn out at every chance, will work on the boat and will devour any printed or electronic material that may teach them something about sailing. On Maggie, our three new male crew are very early 20s and all play soccer and work out in a gym regularly. The 2 ladies are keen as they can be and they do bring cookies! We like it! The RCYC Open is starting with a PU on the Island one week from today-ie the Friday evening-followed by two days of racing and the Social Program is organized by The Roaring Twenties, a group of people in that age bracket who create parties for their age group all over Toronto and, just once per year at RCYC for it's Regatta.It was a blast last year and will be more so, I think, this time around. We appear to have a quantity of Rum and Whiskey looking for a home in nautical tummies so don't be at the back of the line. Is it legal to say that it's included in your registration? There's a Poster on the LORC website that gives times and details-go search it out.
  3. Chris Steer

    Lake Ontario Anarchy

    Sailing Anarchy is a good spot for sailors to hold forth on whatever is bugging them or causing them deep and lasting satisfaction but it is still a bloody shame that the LORC website has become so neglected. LORC stands for Lake Ontario Racing Council and it still is the only organizing body for Yacht Racing in the Greater Toronto Area which sort of stretches about twenty miles either side of that amiable city. It's Forum was as near as we had to a Parliament wherein local sailors could air their beefs, bright or not so bright ideas and very, very occasionaly say something nice about the people who organized the sport for them. I had the honour of Chairing LORC for about three years and in conjunction with a really great bunch of people who represented the Member Clubs on the LORC Board made quite a few changes in the way LORC worked. Principal change was to hand the running of the on-the-water part of the regattas to the clubs and turning LORC into a body that set up the season's schedule, made up the NORs and Sailing Instructions, sent it all out to an eagerly awaiting mob of winter-crazed sailors with a single Registration Form on which all the races you might want to enter in the season could be entered and paid for.Then we sent 90% of the money to the clubs with which to run their regattas.Up to that point, the clubs hadn't had to do a thing. Anything wrong wih that concept? Well, if there was we had the Forum for folks to talk about it and they did. Most of the chat was good and constructive-generally sailors are like that-but there were those who's totally negative and mindless take on what we on the Board of LORC were trying to fashion for our local clubs and their members that I was often tempted by the thought that my job might better be handled by a Proctologist. Go over to and read such items as The Death Of LORC-you'll get the idea. But while you're still with SA,go look at the post on How To Kill Your Yacht Club. What it has to say is a familiar theme and in context. I am tempted-but will resist the temptation-to speculate as to the identity of those who then subjected the LORC Forum to a blizzard of meaningless posts under obvious aliases that made it difficult/pointless to try to get any real discussion going-ie the sort of thing that the LORC and the SA Forums are designed for. That's what really drove people away from the LORC Forum- no fault in itself but the action of one or more useless bastards.Anybody know a good way to track such posts to their source? I was told at the time that we couldn't which was a pity. Irishmember, I sail a boat called Maggie Kelly which may tell you and others what my principals are. Chief among them is that I don't like being buggered by bastards ( or anybody else for that matter) so this post on this Forum sounds the charge to revive the LORC Forum so that we have a place to talk about our local issues .We can still have our say on the SA Forum when we seek a wider audience and broader input but if we really are Canadian-remember the Rant!-we should not be letting our own Forum be taken from us. Especially when we can't get on the Gardiner or drive down University Avenue! Enough already!!!
  4. Chris Steer

    Melbourne Big Boat Fleet

    FLATBAG: Brian would have been early-mid twenties back around1970 when he was here in Toronto sailing with me on a 24 ft sailboat made locally and called a Shark. One of his jobs was to keep an eye on the compass and tell me what was happening with it. He used to get excited when the numbers got bigger. Course, we all had a lot to learn in those days and we were taking our time about doing it. He got a bit pissed one night and called his girlfriend in Oz and proposed. She was here before he put the phone down. How do they do that? Nice lady though and they tied the knot in a beautiful old church (1805) in Niagara On The Lake just across from here and had a couple of kids before moving back to Australia. I met his lawyer-also a friend of mine-just after that who asked me if I knew that Brian had left me his kids in his will in case anything happened to him and Marg. I didn't but I guess I would have looked after them if it had come to it. Don't know how he knew that though. Royal Brighton as he and some friends of his used to tell it sounded a bit like Royal Canadian YC as it was well before my time. Ladies allowed only on New Year's Eve-that sort of stuff. I've forgotten the namesof the other blokes who were here at the time also from RBYC.I have not forgotten the night they persuaded me that the best way to get an evening going was Tequila with beer chasers. They were right-too right. Guess he'd be 60ish now. Bloody hell! Nice to find out what he's been up to. Doesn't seem that long ago.
  5. Chris Steer

    Melbourne Big Boat Fleet

    Melbourne? Royal Brighton Yacht Club? Anybody know a bloke called Brian McKain (not sure of the spelling but that's how it sounds) with wife Marg who lived and got married in Canada about 35 years ago? Was a member of RBYC. Still around?