65th season opens for Canadian Forces Sailing Association

Base Commander and CFSA Commodore greet boat owner Dick Mills

Base Commander Capt(N) Bob Auchterlonie (foreground) and CFSA Commodore CPO2 John Haggis greet Dick Mills, owner of Jetstream.

Despite rough winds and grey skies, dozens of sailors gathered on the lawn of the Canadian Forces Sailing Association (CFSA) for their annual opening ceremony.

Recreational sailors, both civilian and military, met April 28 for the opening of CFSA’s 65th sailing season.
The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy was on hand, playing both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems to acknowledge American sailors present at the event.

Following the recitation of the Prayer of the Sea, CPO2 John Haggis, Commodore of CFSA, gave a short presentation.

He presented CFSA’s past commodores with specially made ball caps to acknowledge their service to the specialty club.

“These are the people that made this association what it is today,” said CPO2 Haggis. “It’s not much, but it’s a small token of appreciation for all they’ve done and what their work has meant to us.”

Base Commander, Capt(N) Bob Auchterlonie was also present to give a short speech, which he started with a humorous admission.

“I own a power boat,” he admitted to the crowd of sailing enthusiast. “I hope you won’t hold it against me.”

Capt(N) Auchterlonie spoke about the appreciation the Canadian Armed Forces has for the CFSA and the work they do in the community.
“The sailing programs available for youth are exceptional, as is all of the work the CFSA does in the community,” he said. “This is an exceptionally well run organization, and the work John and his folks are doing is tremendous.”

The CFSA’s traditional sail past, in which members sail their boats past the association’s Commodore for inspection, was put on hold this year due to winds that reached up to 30 knots.

Choppy waters made the often delicate and synchronized nature of the sail past an unnecessary hazard, said CPO2 Haggis. “Plus, we’d hate to spill that much gin,” he added jokingly.

Instead, CPO2 Haggis and Capt(N) Auchterlonie made the rounds to where each ship was docked, making the traditional salute and staying for a quick chat.

Haggis said that while the weather had put a damper on the day’s proceedings CFSA’s members wouldn’t be deterred from the thing they love to do.

“Our members are sailors through and through,” he said. “We know they’re going to do what they can to make this sailing season a great one.”

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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