Dear DSAO Members and our Friends,
Lately, there has been a lot of activity on our Facebook Community site – both constructive and not. The community page was created this year as a way for members and friends of DSAO to share their interests, news, and community relations with each other. It’s a way for us all to get to know one another when we are not down at the club sailing. We know that time off the water can be difficult – and long. That’s why our mandate this year was to build our community. We are stronger knowing we are a community that cares a lot for one another.
What’s disturbing is that actions of a few individuals have chosen to try and divide our community. Our community is made up of kind, good and caring individuals who all share a passion for the sport of sailing. It’s simple: we ALL have different abilities and we ALL have a role to play in the success of this organization.
To date, we have been incredibly respectful of people’s ability to air their thoughts and opinions in their own way; unfortunately, there are some individuals who have taken things too far and in doing so, have upset and caused destruction in our community. Every member acknowledged the code of conduct which was part of membership. The code of conduct extends beyond sailing at our location.
It’s time to remind everyone that this organization can only survive if we work together – and that means following a respectful process of airing opinions and not mis-representing facts as hearsay.
The Board has always been open to receiving any information or questions (confidential or not) from members, volunteers, staff and the broader community. The email which to relay communications to is: [email protected].
I would like to take this opportunity to state some facts from the Board, so that as we prepare to go into the AGM, members are not influenced by rumor or hearsay:
The location of the AGM and it’s accessibility has been covered in a previous email communication. Please also find more information on our website: disabledsailingontario.com. The AGM is for members in good standing – if you require an attendant to come with you, please contact us and let us know your attendants name, so that we can have them on the list if you have not already done so.
Our club is NOT moving, nor has there been any discussion by members of the board to leave the Harbourfront location. We have a wonderful and convenient location at Harbourfront, however, as our club gets larger and participants increase, we are finding that we are out growing the space we are in. It would be short sited of us to not start to investigate other locations we can expand into as our city and waterfront changes. Therefore, we have met with various parties, including the Mayor, Ports Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and Sidewalk Labs to discuss the possibility of DSAO having additional space on the Eastern end of the Harbour.
Independent Sailing Privilege- Despite what has been said on Facebook, Independent Sailing Privileges (ISP) have NOT been eliminated. In the 2017 season, we saw a number of collisions occurring by members sailing ISP that did significant damage to the fleet. This combined with concerns by our insurance provider caused us to revisit the program and temporarily suspend privileges. Unfortunately there is no easy solution to the problems arising out of ISP but rest assured that the Board is working with the membership to find a solution that is fair to all.
The Reach Regatta was again held on the same weekend (Aug 11/12) as the John Farrell regatta in Hamilton. Rather than compete with this regatta, we instead participated the following weekend in the Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Royal Weekend Regatta in aid of Easter Seals. This decision allowed us to sail the boats out of our own docks using our equipment to aid sailors into and out of the boats, and it also inspired the patrons of Easter Seals who were able to watch our club racers race. This regatta was open to participants outside of the DSAO. We are already in discussions to have our Martin 16 sailors represent the DSAO at other regattas next season.
These issues will be discussed in greater detail at the AGM.
I look forward to seeing you all at our AGM and Party where we will celebrate the many accomplishments of our organization this year and our plans for the future.