I Am A Sailor – Nikka Stoger
Published on February 12th, 2019
Sailing offers a recreational outlet that is as unique as each person that embraces it. Sail Canada, the national governing body for the sport of sailing, is recognizing sailors across the nation who share a passion for the sport. Nikka Stoger, who sails on Lake Superior in northwestern Ontario, provides her story:
I have always had an interest in sailing, but never got the chance to try it out until I went on a vacation in high school. Once I hopped on the boat I was hooked!
I signed up for lessons at my local sailing club and eventually became an instructor. I now sail competitively on keelboats and dinghies and even own my own Lightning named Nickles.
I love how sailing can be both simple and complex at the same time. I can take some friends out on my boat for a cruise to see the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park or enter a regatta and factor in all of the tactics involved. I am always thinking and always learning, yet I am always having a great time!
One of the main reasons I sail is to practice and get better. I never got a bullet until my second year skipping a boat in 2018. This just goes to show you that hard work and perseverance pay off! I’m not there yet though, there is still much to learn and accomplish in my sailing career. Another reason I sail is that I get to share my passion with others, whether they be veteran sailors or sailors who are new to the sport. It’s never a dull moment sharing stories and experiences!
My fondest sailing memories are the early mornings at breakfast when all crew members get to chat about the day ahead of them and the late nights when the crew gets together again after dinner to discuss the day’s events on each boat. It’s always fun to hear the advice from other sailors and how they dealt with situations.
The best sailing advice I have ever received was from my sailing mentor from Temple Reef Sailing Club. Being an underdog and a young female sailor, sometimes you get pushed around. She told our team to always put in 110% and to not let other sailors push us around.
We took this advice seriously and became more aggressive out on the race course. We earned the respect of other sailors in this way, which made our racing experience even better. Before, other boats would not move when we hailed “starboard!”, but now we are taken more seriously on the race course, which allows us to learn and grow as a team instead of getting frustrated.
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