• 28 Sep 2020 7:03 PM | Matthew Burpee

    Race Results (PDF) | Photo Gallery Event on Facebook | Instagram

    By Beata Sejane, race organizer, and Jonathan Lazdins

    To many, 2020 has presented challenges unlike any in recent history. But the positive spirits and can-do attitude of cat sailors, sponsors and organizers at Water Rats Sailing Club contributed to another successful Regatta. Water Rats hosted the Water Cats Fall Regatta on September 26 & 27. Twenty-four (24) catamarans competed in light to medium air on the first day with strong breeze on the final day. The sun and the beautiful skyline of Toronto were shining along with all those who contributed to the event by supporting the sport. It revealed the remarkable passion, enthusiasm and love for sailing that is present in the sailing community in Toronto.

    It is hard to find words to thank the large team of volunteers who dedicated their time and efforts who made this Regatta successful, Fogh Marine and North Sails taking the lead. A special thank you goes to Morten Fogh, Geoffrey Moore and Louisa Bobyk.

    Huge thank you to Race Committee Maxim Newby, Jimmy Sabourin, Kevin Smith, Peter Eagar, Andrew Mahoney, Rahm De-Undergrad and David Chennels; Race Chairs Beata Sejane and Marvin Coulson; Communications Matthew Burpee and Ed Young; Results Dan Borg, Rahm De-Undergrad and Marty Vandenberg; Weekly race practice Jimmy Sabourin and Dan Borg; OHCC, JTown and Westwood Sailing Clubs for extra crash/pin boats; Jessica Lee, Michael Williamson, Kate McMurray, Dean Goodwin, Murray Kibler for awesome photos and videos; Benoit Friolet, Jessica Lee, Mike Doell and Ray Davies for terrific rescue/race support; Greg Brothers for purchasing and delivering 15 gallons of gas; and a very special shoutout to Robert Wessel for lending us his big cat to be used as a Committee Boat. Thanks to everyone from near and far who came out to make this event a success, from Burlington Beach Catamaran Club, Westwood Sailing Club, Outer Harbour Centerboard Club, St. James Town Sailing Club, Toronto Multihull Cruising Club, Etobicoke Yacht Club, and Mississauga Sailing Club. Congrats to all winners and a special shout out to first in their fleets, Andrew Woods of Burlington Beach Catamaran Club in his foiling super cool A Class cat (Low Portsmouth), along with Andy Warwick and Mike McKnight of Etobicoke Yacht Club in their supercharged Hobie 16 (High Portsmouth).

    Here are some photos and videos from the Regatta, please feel free to add yours!

    Shared Google Photo Gallery

    Thanks again and see you on the water!


    Race Results | Photo Gallery Event on Facebook | Instagram

  • 20 Sep 2020 10:01 PM | Bruce Hanson

    Oct 17, 24 Saturday mornings from 10-12:  This year we're going to mulch the leaves, not throw them away. Each team will have: 

    -  1 person to pull leaves from under boats, clear twigs away and throw them out

    -  1 mower who will be mulching up the leaves

    Need more than two hours? Just bring a lunch! Prefer some other date or time?  Come when it suits you.  Because there’s only two mowers, if you want to come Saturday, please reserve your day.

  • 04 Sep 2020 1:36 PM | Matthew Burpee

    The Regatta Road gate near Unwin Ave will be locked beginning this weekend‬ (Sep 4) for the near future to reduce illegal activity such as garbage dumping and presumably others such as overnight parties and cruising.

    OHSF members must apply their code to use and return key from lockbox and then close gate.

    The City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation @TorontoPFR thank you for your cooperation. 

    See Norm’s email for more details on the process.

  • 01 Aug 2020 1:16 PM | Matthew Burpee

    From Race Rat Randy

    Drum roll please.....

    Attention Race Fans!!! (Been a while since you heard that eh? Whoot whoot!)

    With the GTA now cleared for COVID Phase 3, we are cleared to start our weeknight racing program forAugust, Sunday racing in Sept/October, and possibly host the infamous Fall War Regatta.

    Here’s the deal for August.

    -We will race Tuesday and Thursday nights until the end of August
    -All classes welcome from all OHSF clubs. If we get enough interest from the cats we can think about a separate start and handicaps
    -Races will start promptly at 630 pm and run TIL dusk.
    -Expect 3-4 races per evening
    -Races are simple windward leeward as shown in the very professional looking diagram below.
    -Starts will be 3 minutes. There will be no visual aids (flags) - we use a whistle only.
    - you must sail by the committee boat and identify yourself so we can score properly. Last year we had way too many unnamed participants.
    -no protests - if you break a rule take your circles
    -Wearing PFDs mandatory
    -our RC will be made up of students who will be trained on how to set up the course but are not PROs. No abuse will be tolerated - this is meant to be fun so if the line is not perfectly square just take a deep breath
    - the Race Director is totally open to bribes to overlook OCS’ and other infractions - just DM me.

    First race night is Tuesday August 4th. Be there or be square. Tell your friends...

    Race Rat Randy (RRR)

  • 31 Jul 2020 8:26 PM | Matthew Burpee

    We each need to help minimize the spread of Covid this August and fall. 

    Be aware of a false sense of security. We should still be very vigilant as numbers have spiked in many places when restrictions have been lifted. It may be safer to assume that each person you meet could have Covid. Take necessary precautions including avoiding groups, social distancing, wearing a mask, and hand washing.

    Sail or paddle with people from your household or bubble. If you don't go with people in your bubble, Ontario Sailing recommends that you wear a buff or face mask or covering while on the water.

    We are still required to maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres with people from outside our household or ten person bubble. We must wear a mask or covering when close to people outside our household or bubble.

    Our club is responsible for ensuring physical distancing can be maintained. It’s important we present well, as you reflect our club. So let's not let our safety measures slip.

    Always bring a mask, have it with you at all times and expect it to be required when things prove difficult to maintain physical distancing.

    The clubhouse remains locked. 

    There will be a clean up day in early November.

    The AGM will be done via zoom.

    Knowledge about Covid prevention has developed further since this spring. Please see the following about this awful disease.

    Reputable Sources for Covid Info

    Province of Ontario

    City of Toronto

    Health Canada

    World Health Organization

    Related Information

    Ontario Sailing Association

    Outer Harbour Sailing Federation 

    Water Rats COVID-19 Guidelines, May 2020

  • 14 May 2020 10:38 PM | Matthew Burpee

    Getting out on the water with caution

    We are all members and as such must bear responsibility for the well being of all. Please carefully read the following sections: 1) COVID-19 Guidelines 2) Before Coming, and 3) At the Club.

    1) COVID-19 Guidelines

    1. Club members with any possible signs of COVID such as cough, sniffles, fever, headache, lack of smell and/or taste must seek medical help and not visit the club
    2. Club members who have been exposed to anyone with COVID or are suspicious of having COVID, must stay home 14 days
    3. Club members are responsible for ensuring the safety of others and themselves
    4. Club members should clean anything they touch that will be touched by others, with sanitizer or soap and water
    5. Club members should not assume, however, that common surfaces are clean. On the contrary, they should assume the opposite and do frequent hand washing in an appropriate fashion for at least 20 seconds
    6. Club members should avoid touching their face
    7. Club members should avoid close contact with others and should be at least 2 metres/ 6 feet away from others and probably more
    8. Club members should not assume that if they are wearing a mask, this will necessarily protect them from getting COVID. Wearing a mask is more protective of others by helping to prevent the transmission of virus from the person wearing the mask. It has less protection for the person wearing the mask of getting the virus from others and especially from someone not wearing a mask. Club members can wear masks but still keep their distance from others
    9. On the water, sailors should be as far away from others as possible, and at least several metres. Recommendations re runners / bike riders, etc., have been to stay considerably more than 2 metres away as people exerting themselves, as may be the case in stronger winds, may spread the virus longer distances
    10. Generally, the virus is spread by droplets from a person's cough, sneeze, breath and by touching something contaminated with the virus and then touching one's face
    11. COVID is very contagious and is probably significantly spread unknowingly from asymptomatic individuals or from people with minimal symptoms
    12. While many, if not most, club members are in good health, they should not necessarily assume that they will not get severely ill, and at any rate may unknowingly pass the virus onto a more compromised person who could get very ill and / or die
    13. Members should be encouraged to keep their distance from others, not assume that what they are touching is free of virus, frequently wash their hands and not touch their face

    2) Before Coming 

    1. You must bring hand sanitizer with 70% alc. and/or soap & water
    2. A face mask, and ziplock bag for safekeeping it on you, is recommended
    3. Bring your own water, cleaning supplies, dishes, utensils, thermos, and personal chair if needed
    4. No guests at this time

    3) At Our Club

    1. The clubhouse will be closed. Practise 6 feet / 2 metre spacing everywhere
    2. Washrooms may be infection hotspots. Sanitize door handles, toilet seat cover before and after use. They will be cleaned on Fridays
    3. Front Gate: You must use sanitizer on the lock and gate before and after. Mowing under your boat? Sanitize shed lock, shed handles, lawn mower handles and cord handle before and after
    4. In larger boats, such as cats, a second person should only be a household member. Luckily, most of our boats are for only one person and are shore launched which is an ideal situation 
    5. We are not permitted to run any organized programs or events
    6. Sanitize your hands and cellphone after handling anything shared

    4) COVID-19 In Toronto

    The trend in new infections has not yet started to fall in Toronto by mid-May as it has elsewhere. We still need to be cautious until we are vaccinated. Please see COVID-19: Status of Cases in Toronto.

    According to current evidence, the COVID-19 virus is primarily transmitted between people through respiratory droplets and contact routes. Symptoms have included: cough, fever, difficulty breathing, and pneumonia. In severe cases, infection can lead to death (650 to date in Toronto). Symptoms can be mild and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. 

    Please visit the following resources. And please verify news sources you see online as the world collectively responds to this tragic pandemic. 

    Public health information about COVID-19

    5) Boating Guidelines

    A) City of Toronto & Province of Ontario directive

    B) Government of Canada boating directives 

    Note: The guidelines were written by member, MD Larry Chad and sections by Grounds Rat, Barbara Anderson and Web Rat, Matthew Burpee. They will be updated as the season progresses through stages of relaxing restrictions and in keeping with directives from the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, the Ontario Sailing Association and the Outer Harbour Sailing Federation. For information about clubs please see: Guidance on Health and Safety for Marinas during COVID-19 (PDF). 

  • 25 Mar 2020 5:04 PM | Matthew Burpee

    After considerable discussion during a conference call last night attended by all members of the Club executive, it was unanimously decided that the Club will be closed effective 4 pm on Sunday, March 29.

    The lock on the gate will be changed and only one or two executive members will have keys.

    The decision to close is based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the declarations of emergency made by the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto.

    The delay in closing is to permit notification to all members and provide a brief period for members to remove their boats and trailers should they wish to do so before the Club is locked down. The combination for the lock on the Clubhouse door will be changed when the gate lock is changed. Please bring hand sanitizer. Or bring soap to wash your hands with lake water brought onto land. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Keep distance from any others.

    Anyone with a catamaran on the beach is urged to move it to the catamaran parking area to the east of the Club road. High water is forecast for Lake Ontario and could occur during the period when the Club is locked down. Any catamarans left on the beach will be solely at the risk of the owner and the Club accepts no liability for any loss or damage to catamarans left on the beach.

    All members are urged to make sure their boat is properly secured especially those with kayaks or canoes on the racks prior to lock down.

    Spring clean-up is indefinitely postponed. 

    The Club will re-open once government authorities indicate that normal activities can resume.

    Norm Lamb

    Chief Rat (Commodore)


    Outer Harbour Sailing Federation

    City of Toronto COVID-19

    Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19

    Health Canada COVID-19 

    World Health Organization COVID-19 

    A letter from the City of Toronto for Water Rats, April 9, 2020

  • 25 Mar 2020 11:13 AM | Matthew Burpee

    The international body that helps regulate water levels on Lake Ontario is forecasting a return to flood-level heights this early summer but not as high as in 2017 and 2019. 

    The International Lake Ontario - Saint Lawrence River Board (ILO-SLRB)  

  • 10 Sep 2019 12:12 PM | Matthew Burpee

    Club events

    Please join Sunday races into October. The Water Rats Club BBQ on was on September 12 and the Water Rats Cat Regatta was on September 21 - 22. Upcoming: 2019 AGM on November 3, Fall cleanup day on November 9, Holiday season party on December 7.

    Club news

    Water Rat’s own Joe van Rossem finished 2nd in his class though tied with 1st in points at the 2019 Laser Masters World Championship. Well done Joe! Very close racing as there was only 1 point between 1st, 2nd & 3rd.

    Congratulations to The Water Rat club founder Paul Henderson on becoming the first Sailor to be inducted into the Ontario Sport Hall of Fame.

    Please add your photo in the directory so members can connect names and faces. Login and select members.

    On LinkedIn? Please press "Follow" on our new LinkedIn organization profile at…/thewaterratsailingclub/about/ If you volunteered on the board in the past (you rock) consider updating your LinkedIn profile with the name "The Water Rat Sailing Club" and then your role.

    Please consider joining the Outer Harbour Chat (OHSF) on Facebook to learn about local concerns. If interested in the future of the Port Lands. You are invited to join a discussion September 11 at 5:30pm at Westwood Sailing Club. All welcome.

    A Hobie 18 and a Sea Kayak are for sale and more items are wanted. 

    Looking back, it was the wettest year on record with our road and beaches flooded. But it was a good summer as we had our 50th celebration party, good turnouts for Tuesday evening races, and members won in competitions abroad. What was your favourite moment? 

  • 30 Jul 2019 1:00 PM | Matthew Burpee

    Water Rat and Team Canada member Dan Borg won 3rd at World Championship Hobie 14, FF Voile in Paris last week! Congrats Dan! 

    Lean more about Dan on Team Canada's page.

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