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Sailpast May 16

Sailpast at the Queen City Yacht Club  

The Annual Sail Past and Review of the Fleet by the Commodore marks the official opening of the Club. This is quite a traditional and formal event. It’s a day when all members celebrate the new sailing season. This is an all-day event to which all are expected to attend. There are three components to the day:

  • Sail Past in the afternoon
  • Post Sail Past social
  • he banquet and dancing in the Great Hall in the evening.

The schedule for Saturday, May 16, 2015:
1205    Skippers Meeting
1345    Review of the Fleet
1600    Sail Past of the Fleet in the Lagoon accompanied by the pipes
1630    Commodore’s Punchbowl Reception
1745    Formal Dinner
1755    Head Table Piped in
2030    Head Table departs for Flag Lowering Ceremony
2042    Sunset and Flag Lowering Ceremony
2045    Dancing to Juice

The Skippers’ meeting is when the written instructions for the Sail Past are distributed and discussed. One important aspect of the Review of Fleet is the orderly line of yachts passing the Commodore’s anchored yacht.  As with many aspects of yachting, naval traditions drive this practice.  The order, with minor variations, is:· Fleet Captain, Past Commodores  in order of seniority, Sailing vessels, longest first, Power vessels, longest first, Invited vessels, and the Rear Commodore

In order to provide some help in organizing the fleet, the fleet is divided into groups with assigned group leaders.  The order, groups and group leaders are in the Skippers’ meeting handout. The actual Review of the Fleet begins at as 1345 as per sailing directions distributed at the Skippers meeting. The review begins with the firing of a gun. The Fleet Captain leads the parade of Past Commodores by the Commodore’s yacht. The objective is to have an orderly Sail Past and to allow the Commodore a chance to salute each boat and members. Please find the leader of your section and then fall in line to follow. If your boat is moving too fast reduce sail or cut power. This is important and will help maintain an orderly procession. It is important to leave two boat lengths between you and the boat ahead  as you ‘sail past’ the Commodore’s boat.

Salute the Commodore in the following manner:Yachts wearing an ensign (the Canadian flag) dip the ensign, Yachts not wearing an ensign, luff the foresail. The salute should commence one boat length before reaching the Review Vessel and it should continue for one boat length beyond. Where possible, the skipper and crew should stand to face the Commodore. ONLY the Commodore salutes by hand.

The traditional “dress of the day” is white pants and navy blazer. Many members follow this standard. But if the weather is lousy, the rule is: stay warm and dry. (If the weather is really foul, the Rear Commodore may direct the fleet to remain at the moorings; in such case, the Commodore’s yacht or his designate will pass through the lagoon.) Finally, your boat should look ship-shape: take up your boat’s fenders; leave the dinghy at your dock.

Some members watch the Sail Past from the Great Hall. In the past several years, a number of members participated on the water aboard the Algonquin Queen II, which acts as a spectator vessel for this event.  Please reserve with the Office if you intend to sail on the AQ II.

After you sail past the Commodore, return to your mooring and “dress ship”. This means hauling your line of race or signal flags up a halyard to the top of your mast. At this point members tend to congregate in various cockpits around the lagoon (assuming the weather is decent) for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. At about 1600, the Commodore and Flag Officers will cruise past the fleet in the Harold S. Robbins.

This is followed at 1630 by the Commodore’s Punch Bowl on the front lawn of the Club (or inside the main floor lobby if weather is inclement.) Basically, this is a cocktail party and another opportunity to raise a glass to the Commodore and the new sailing season.

Sailpast dinner is a formal dinner in the Great Hall (with over-bookings in the dining room) which begins at 1745 and don’t forget to book your tickets early! Dinner dress is “semi-formal”.

After dinner we have the ceremonial Flag Lowering on the front lawn and then it’s time to enjoy a great dance.