Sail Canada awards Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron

Published on January 26th, 2015

Sail Canada has named Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron as the recipient of the 2014 City of Kingston Regatta of the Year Award. This annual award recognizes a regatta whereupon all aspects of race management have resulted in an overall organizational success; a well-coordinated and orchestrated event with a high level of community involvement, and positive feedback from participants, including sailors, coaches and officials.

Headed by chairperson Heather Robertson and PRO Rob Williams, their teams of officials, volunteers and organizers hosted the International Federation of Disabled Sailors (IFDS) 2014 World Championships at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron in August 2014. Disabled Sailors from all over the world came together to race and take part in events on and off the waters of Halifax over the week. A well-planned regatta resulted in full accessibility for participants and spectators, including technology that allowed offsite spectatorship via video and tracker feeds.

The 2014 IFDS Worlds were a great success and left a legacy that will benefit able sail and Paralympic programs in Nova Scotia for many, many years to come. A renewed commitment to hosting major international events, created a platform to better train race officials and volunteers. This commitment has also provided the opportunity to leave an infrastructure legacy that makes RNSYS second to none in hosting sailors with disabilities and any major sailing event.

Enthusiasm for the event was seen provincially, as clubs from all over Nova Scotia donated resources such as coach and official boats. Dalhousie University completed, in time for the event, a new residence that was completely barrier free, and Halifax Transit dedicated bus services to the regatta. RNSYS club members gave up their slips for two weeks during the event and volunteers dedicated countless hours to ensure the regatta went off without a hitch.

“An undertaking of this magnitude and the accomplishment of a well run event deserves recognition. From the exceptional shore side support, the fabulous entertainment, and outstanding opening and closing ceremonies made this an event to remember. Although the wind conditions tested everyone’s patience the on-water support was world class, executing a quality championship in trying conditions. Of note, the media coverage and efforts made to make this a media friendly event were fantastic, from daily blogs, to live TV coverage and outstanding use of modern technology. A worthy recipient of this award.” – Ken Dool, High Performance Director, Sail Canada

What advice would you offer other event organisers?

“Start early, as we did. This event was three years in the planning. We had time to qualify local jurors and race managers to higher accreditation, time to raise money for planned infrastructure projects and time to build, pave, and manufacture equipment. We had time to build websites and plan for technology to bring the event to spectators not in Halifax during the event. Lastly we had time to engage the whole community in the event.” – Heather Robertson,Chair IFDS Worlds 2014

Delegates from RNSYS will be in attendance to accept their awards at the Sail Canada Rolex Sailor of the Year Awards at the Carlu Toronto on February 6, 2015.

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