By Walter Lewandowski
Once again, we are at that special time of year between the Thanksgiving leftover potluck event and the Frostbite Regatta. This year’s Thanksgiving paddle was the best-attended I remember, despite the windy forecast and cooler temperature. I for one was thankful to be back in my kayak with my friends after too long a time. The potluck was well attended, many wonderful dishes, a second holiday feast. I look forward to seeing you all at the Frostbite paddle and potluck.
We can look back over this last year with pride as a club. We held two adaptive paddling events, both well attended and staffed with volunteers. If any do not already know, some of the Sebago volunteer instructors have been trained in adaptive teaching techniques which enable us to serve a new group of paddlers as well as enhancing our techniques for all paddlers.
The Sea Kayak committee, in cooperation with the Racing committee, put together a fantastic team of motivated paddlers, totally dominating the inter-club race series. Sebago won the first annual competition for the “Joe Glickman Cup”. This race series featured races at each of the ACA Paddle America Clubs in the New York City area: Inwood Canoe Club, Yonkers Canoe Club and Sebago. The non-racers, who helped transport kayaks, volunteered to be race officials or just rooted on our racers, had a wonderful time. Plan to attend or volunteer at next season’s event, especially at the “All Club Invitational” at Sebago.
Anyone who wants to train or learn how to use a flatwater racing kayak should contact Yosi Dayan. The club has some training boats. Yosi is especially eager to develop some youth paddlers but all are welcome. He is at the club most afternoons, training.
This has also been a big year for the sailors, with many new skilled sailors, an expanded sail training course, and participation in club racing and day cruises on Jamaica Bay. We must wish them fair winds in the Frostbite Races held at the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in America.
The Canoe and Rowing committees have not been idle, both offering expanded opportunities for members. I look forward to the return of our refurbished war canoe and the start of refurbishing the second. I am also eager to learn to handle the Whitehall Skiff now at the club and hope other members join me.
Next year promises many first and new additions to Sebago. We will be launching our new safety boat, Canarsian – hand-built by Sebago members under the supervision of Jim Luton. Work on the new garden shed will start, again with Jim’s hard work and help. The garden plots are being re-laid out to simplify the work of lawn mowing.
Tony Pignatello has decided after four very good years as Sea Kayak chair to “turn the paddles over” to Lydia Thein. I know that Lydia is up to the task and I am confident that she can count on the members to help with the various tasks needed to keep the Sea Kayak committee running smoothly. We owe Tony a big thanks for his excellent stewardship of the Sea Kayak committee.
As the club continues to grow and offer more activities for the various committees, I would like to send out a special thanks to all the volunteers whose work makes Sebago possible. As the club becomes more complex we all owe special gratitude to the Board Members and Standing Committee Chairs whose hard work behind the scenes helps manage Sebago. No commodore could do without them.
A thanks to all the members who paid their dues and storage fees on time. This goes a long way toward establishing budgets and the planning that is a large part of the winter work of Sebago. Thanks to everyone – you make Sebago the special place it is.
My your skies be fair and the wind at your back.