Sometimes, all it takes in life is the right people with the right mix of passion to see what’s possible and make it real.
Here in Sylvan Lake, that passion is bringing the Alberta Sailing Provincials to Camp Kuriakos Sept. 2 and 4.
Stacey Gibb, Principal Race Officer, and Alberta Sailing Association president, notes this type of event is usually at a sailing or a yacht club, so this is a first.
While lots of work, the support of local sailors and the community at large has made it possible, says Gibb, organizing the all-ages event with Susan Cossi, Regatta Chair of the ASA and Sylvan Lake Sailing Club Past Commodore, and ASA coach Braedyn Denney.
Key businesses making the event possible include On the Lake Restaurant, the Camp Kuriakos team, and Phil Paxton of Wheatland Trees, an avid sailor.
“The Town of Sylvan Lake has also been a great sponsor and a great team of people who support new ventures,” Cossi says, also saluting the RCMP, Sylvan Lake News, Real Country 95.5, and Zed 98.9.
Cossi, who got involved in sailing in 2016, has a deep passion for it. She says, “In 2014, I moved to Sylvan Lake and one of my intentions was to learn sailing. I was invited down to the dock and hopped on a boat called the Black Pearl, so nothing is out of your reach if you put your mind to it.”
The Sylvan Lake location is ideal for the event, she adds. “The water quality is great. We’re lucky to have a great venue with a supportive town and sponsors, and a lake with prime conditions that’s right smack in the middle of Edmonton and Calgary.”
The ASA offers numerous sailing and racing opportunities for clubs across Alberta, ensuring all ages and walks of life feel welcome.
“In sailing, you forget about the stress, and you focus on the here and now, the sun and water,” says Denney, a life-long sailor originally from New Zealand, who’s excited to support the organizers, coaches and volunteers bringing the Provincials to Sylvan Lake. “When you race, you have to keep focused – you’re looking at the water and wind, but you’re still in the moment.”
The Regatta Sub Committee of the ASA are creating a welcoming, competitive event for all. “We are working hard to support our Alberta sailing clubs and want to offer more opportunities, including Keel Boat racing. We want an Alberta Series where people say, ‘I want to win that,’” Gibb says.
Six regattas formed this year’s Alberta Series, culminating in the provincials.
“Keelboats are new for Provincials, so bringing them in is exciting, and we have a target of six races over two days, with 15 races scheduled for the dinghies if the weather and wind are good.” Braedyn, along with Susan, Stacey and the subcommittee have worked hard to make this event happen outside of a typical club setting. This year, there are six regattas named in the Alberta Series, with Provincials being the final event that scores the sailor double points. A sailor must participate in four of the six regattas to qualify.
More than a race
The event is a good opportunity to get kids excited about sailing, Gibb says. “Sailing empowers kids. They have to go out in that boat alone. At a very young age, you have your own boat that you have control of, and you get to take it out on the water. You learn physics, how to sail and learn about yourself.”
Denney agrees. “In sailing, you don’t get bored. It’s all about the journey, rather than the destination. It’s the time you spend with the people around you, your time with your thoughts and the sun and water.”
Visitors and residents are encouraged to cheer on the sailors at the event but to avoid the racing area: “We want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves on their boats, but just steer clear of the racecourse.”
Details of accommodations for attendees:
There is a fee for all who attend. There are photos available on the Alberta Sailing Association site. Registration starts on Friday, Sept. 1 for checking in and ends on Sept. 4, for checkout.
On-site tent camping is $25 per person, per night or $40 for a tent, located at the Zone W Field Camp. Powerered RV sites are $55 per night, with non-powered sites $45.
The ARC Lodge sleeps 38 people in three dorms with game rooms, a gym and a double kitchen. There is a general, female and male dorm which can accommodate 12 people and is $37.50 a night.
For accommodation and booking information check out: Alberta Series Notice of Race – Alberta Sailing Association. Attendees are able to book their accommodations through registering directly through Bradeyn Denney, Booking Coordinator, at
Learn more at albertasailing.com