Sailing Association churns out top sailors

Vancouver Island Racing Series 2016 champion Antony Zegers, from the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, with his 25-foot sailboat Ducati. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout

Vancouver Island Racing Series 2016 champion Antony Zegers, from the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, with his 25-foot sailboat Ducati. Photo by Peter Mallett, Lookout

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

One of the Canadian Forces Sailing Association’s (CFSA) most successful competitive sailors is 40-year-old Antony Zegers, a former researcher with Defence Research and Development Canada.

As skipper of Team Ducati, Zegers and his four teammates claimed first place in last year’s Vancouver Island Racing Series (VIRS) involving approximately 200 teams sailing in a series of regattas and races held throughout the calendar year, including the cornerstone event, the Swiftsure International Yacht Race.

Team Ducati was one three teams from CFSA to finish in the top five. Plus CFSA captured the VIRS Best Team Trophy awarded to the club with the best overall point total.

“I felt very proud and appreciative of the whole team. We had a good crew and lots of people worked together to do it, so winning was a very satisfying experience,” says Zegers. “The whole process of competing in the regatta series is highly rewarding, interesting and a true challenge because sailing is something you are constantly trying to improve on.”

Club members involved in the racing series were honoured during the CFSA annual awards banquet in February.

The other two top finishers were Team Jaguar skippered by MS Clayton Mills who tallied 84 points to finish third, and Team Pitoraq led by Graham Heath who finished in fifth place.

Zegers grew up in Kingston, ON, and learned to sail from his father Tony, a former competitive sailor who once tried out for the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Zegers said he drifted away from sailing in his early 20s after education and work took up most of his time. Then in 2006, when his work took him to CFB Esquimalt, he reconnected with the sport.

He purchased his 25-foot Kirby 25 boat about seven years ago and has spent countless hours practicing his skills.

“Most people just sail once a week when we have our club races and aren’t as obsessed as me, and that’s fine,” says Zegers. “CFSA is for everyone. It’s volunteer driven and set up to be accessible for military families and DND employees, and we are always happy to have new crew.”

As the days of spring grow longer, CFSA will switch its weekly race days from the weekends to Wednesday nights beginning in April through to October.

About CFSA

If you’re looking to kick off the summer with fun, friendship and some exercise the Canadian Forces Sailing Association (CFSA) is at your “Ready-Aye-Ready”.

The Sailing Association’s mandate is to provide recreational and competitive sailing opportunities to military members, and their family, DND employees, and veterans.

“We welcome both experienced sailors and those new to the sport with open arms,” says LCdr Chris Maier, CFSA Commodore. “If people are interested, just show up at the dock and we will do our best to get you into one of our boats and out on the water.”

The club was established in 1946 and was originally located on a jetty below the Naden barracks and organized as the Royal Canadian Naval Yacht Club. It eventually moved to its present location in 1954 at the end of Maple Bank Road.

For more about the CFSA visit their website

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  1. Eleanor Beach says:

    Antony, I’m so proud of you and the success you’ve achieved in sailing. You’ve shown so much effort, skill, and dedication to be able to accomplish this…with flying colours! Wishing you many more years of happy sailing, whether it’s competitive or just for relaxation and fun.
    Lots of love from Mom.

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