Local Comox Valley Sea Cadet MS Chris Volkers (skipper) and his teammate PO Stewart Clark (crew) from Victoria are part of the B.C. team of eight cadets competing in the National Sea Cadet Regatta in Kingston, Ont. from Aug. 18-23.
The national regatta is an event held annually where a total of 25 teams of the best sailors from each region across Canada compete in a minimum of 12 races over four days. They’ll be sailing Club 420 boats, rigged with spinnaker and trapeze competing on a modified Olympic triangle course.
The regatta tests both their seamanship and strategic skills as well as their physical endurance. It’s the culmination of years of training provided in part by the Sea Cadet program.
The road to Nationals was not an easy journey. Volkers and Clark competed in the Provincial qualifying regatta last October (20 teams) where they were selected as one of the 10 teams. Volkers was scored individually as one of the top 20 sailors. He and Clark then advanced to the National qualifying regatta last Easter long weekend Victoria in conjunction with the Spring Training Camp at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
At the spring qualifier, the team finished first overall. As one of the top four teams in the Pacific Region, they qualified to compete in this weekend’s national regatta. Volkers won a silver medal at the 2012 national regatta.
Volkers and Clark are spending the summer at the HMCS Quadra Cadet Summer Training Centre, where along with regular course training they are able to practise and prepare for the national regatta in Comox Valley waters.
When asked about his sailing success, Volkers calmly states, “I’m just doing what I love…being out on the water.” Volkers has competed in both the Spring and Fall Dinghy Championships at Royal Victoria Yacht Club, taken part in the CYA Youth National Championships (Under 19) in Gimli, MB in 2012, and this past June crewed in the prestigious Black Press Van Isle 360 International Yacht Race.
Twelve hundred teenaged sea cadets are introduced to sailing in 30 sea cadet corps in B.C., making it the largest youth sail training program in the province. Youth interested in learning to sail as part of sea cadet activities are invited to attend 189 Port Augusta’s registration night, Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 6 p.m.
The corps is located on HMCS Quadra, Goose Spit, Building 46A. There is no cost to join RCSCC 189 Port Augusta. To learn more about the Comox Valley Sea Cadets, visit www.189portaugusta.ca.
– Comox Valley Sea Cadets