Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tim Irwin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIM IRWIN

(1940-2020)

It is with great regret that we pass along the news that Tim Irwin passed away early Friday morning at home in Kingston.

Tim Irwin was the true heart of CORK.

Tim’s volunteer service to CORK began with the first CORK regatta when he wrote the program for scoring.  It continued in a variety of roles and reached a high point in 2005 when he took on both primary leadership roles of Board Chair and Operations Chair.  Almost immediately, Tim led the organization to bid for and deliver the 2007 ISAF Youth World Championships – the largest youth sailing competition in the world with 53 countries participating.  This involved such aspects as obtaining funding, arranging the fleets of charter boats and recruiting volunteers and officials.  all in less than 18 months after the original host withdrew.  It was also in addition to leading CORK’s four annual regattas and an average of one world championship each year from 2005 until health forced him to step back.  He led CORK’s team and built CORK’s reputation as an international venue that could always be relied upon to produce a world class event.

Tim drew on his considerable experience as a racing sailor in guiding CORK. Tim grew up racing dinghies and keelboats and represented Canada in the 1968 Mexico Olympics in the Dragon class.  His strength was in how he combined a variety of people with qualifications into a highly functional team.  He led with friendship and consideration.  He created an environment that made volunteers want to return year after year.

It is no surprise that Tim’s work was acknowledged by being presented CORK’s Douglas Heath Award,  Ontario Sailing’s President’s Award, Sail Canada’s President’s Award and selection for the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame, a truly rare accomplishment.

In all of this, Tim never lost his bond and fellow-feeling for the corps of CORK volunteers.  He was the embodiment of the CORK volunteer spirit.

We will miss him.

From all of your friends at CORK

 

Timothy Alexander Ready Irwin

February 19, 1940 – August 7, 2020

Born in Hollywood California to somewhat eccentric Canadian parents, Tim bounced among six different elementary schools in California and British Columbia, including stints at Ganges Public School on ‘hippie’ Salt Spring Island and Queen Margaret School for Girls in Duncan, British Columbia. Apparently, he was not the only boy. High school was a little more orderly. After spending grades 7 to 10 in Duncan, he bowed to family tradition and followed his dad and uncles to Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ontario to complete his high school career.

After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in physics at UBC, Tim spent two years teaching first year math and physics at Campion College in Regina. Why a Jesuit college hired a brash young non-believer remains a mystery, but he was fondly dubbed a “universal genius” when he persisted in engaging the good Fathers in theological debate.

Following the completion of his Master’s degree in physics at UBC in 1965, Tim joined the technical department at DuPont in Kingston, where for thirty-nine years he enjoyed a rewarding research career that included a number of opportunities for international travel. In 1996, he was presented with a plaque in recognition of excellence in engineering. DuPont was bought and renamed Invista a year before Tim retired in 2005, and he continued as a consultant there for ten more years.

During his early years in Kingston, Tim owned a house on King Street that he shared with several young bachelors, all of them accomplished cooks. Their dinner parties were written up in the Kingston Whig-Standard, and typically featured good friends, good food, good wine, and good pot.

In 1976, more or less on a whim, Tim answered a classified ad, bought a farm, and moved to Hay Bay, where for the next ten years he combined his DuPont career with farming cattle, throwing great parties, and developing lifelong friendships.

Throughout his life, Tim’s over-riding passion was sailing. It began when his father bought a 40-foot cruiser with a sailing dinghy and managed to convince his mother that Tim was safe as long as he was out and about in the dinghy. There followed an idyllic childhood of freedom and adventure in Maple Bay, B.C. with a close-knit group of friends who have remained connected to this day.

Tim followed the wind, and it was his knowledge of our legendary sailing conditions that brought him to Kingston. He was active in the Kingston Yacht Club from 1965, served as Commodore, and at his passing, was a life member. At the pinnacle of his sailing career Tim achieved a fourth place in the 1968 Olympics in Acapulco along with his teammates, Dave Miller and Steve Tupper. For the 2010 Olympics he was honoured to be one of the bearers of the Olympic torch.

Tim was among those who were instrumental in bringing the Canadian Olympic-training Regatta to Kingston and has volunteered for CORK ever since. His awards included: Peoples Credit Jewellers Athlete of the Year, 1969; Canadian Yachting Association Volunteer of the Year, 2007; CORK Douglas A. Heath Award, 2010; Ontario Sailing President’s Award, 2019; Sail/Voile Canada President’s Award, 2019; Helly Hansen Sailor of the Month, March, 2020.

If not for COVID-19, he would have been inducted into the Kingston Sports Hall of Fame in May, 2020. The severity of his illness precluded receiving the plaque at home, and the induction will take place posthumously in May 2021.

Tim remained an active volunteer to the end – only weeks before his passing, he was busy making coffee for the Tuesday morning CORK planning committee.

In his final years, Tim found his greatest joy spending time with his adored grandchildren. Despite his ailing health, he carried out the task of home-schooling his grandson during the pandemic with his customary gentle patience. Jayden and Madi will grow up always knowing that their Grandpa was simply the best.

A self-described fiscal conservative and social liberal, Tim had strong political opinions and loved a good argument. He was a man who was not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. He will be remembered by a host of friends who miss his warmth and tolerance, his sense of humour, and his down-home common sense. And by Eleanor, who misses everything he was.

Tim is survived by his beloved family: daughter Kaitlyn Romak-Irwin, her children Jayden and Madison; his sister Margot Szabo and her two daughters, Kathleen McClarnon and Silvia Szabo; and Kathleen’s three daughters, Megan, Bridget and Mia.

Cremation has taken place.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Those wishing to honour Tim’s memory may donate to www.kingstonyachtclub.com/corinthianfund

which assists up-and-coming young sailors to hone their sailing skills and chase their own Olympic dreams. OBITUARY

 

Sail Canada

https://www.sailing.ca/eight-bells-tim-irwin/

 

Ontario Sailing

https://ontariosailing.ca/news/eight-bells-tim-irwin/

 

Scuttlebutt

https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2020/08/10/eight-bells-tim-irwin/

 

 

 

 

 

 

First time at CORK-Erika Vines

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo and story submitted by Erika Vines)

My first CORK was in 1989, racing an optimist. This picture includes David Westwood, Aaron Hobbs, Annie-Claude Ethier, Marie-France Ethier, Gordon Cook, Siri Agrell,  Vanessa Hobbs, myself  and a few others. This event was the first of around 20 CORK regattas I competed in over the years.

As a young sailor from Ottawa, I was always excited driving down Sir John A BLvd towards POH with some boat (Opti, Laser, or Europe) trailered behind.    I looked forward to the Kingston thermal, the waves and the 100 boat start line. When the breeze kicks in Kingston, what can be more fun than flying (and racing) downwind in a strong southwest breeze?   This said,  regardless of whether it was a world championship hosted by CORK or Fall, OCR, it was (and still is) great to catch up with sailing friends and the community at CORK.

 

Thank you Erika for sharing your memories with us all!

 

We thought that you might like to see picture of you racing against Canadian Sailing Team member Sarah Douglas sailing at CORK during the 2015 Laser Canadians.

(photo  Sailing Shot)

 

Do you have a story about your first time sailing at CORK in an Optimist event?  Was it in Green Fleet?  was is for the Optimist North American Championships?  Was is for the CORK International Optimist Regatta?  We would like to hear from you!

A big thank you to everyone else for submitting your fabulous stories and photos of your first time at CORK!  We look forward to sharing them over the coming weeks.

If you have story that you would like to share with others tag us in a story on social media or reach out to events@cork.org

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

The CORK Team

 

 

 

CORK website: www.cork.org

CORK Regatta Office: (613)-545-1322

Email: info@cork.org

Address: Portsmouth Olympic Harbour 53 Yonge Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CORKSailKingston

Twitter: www.twitter.com/corkkingston

Instagram: www.instagram.com/corkkingston

 

CORK Fall Regatta Decision

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORK Fall Regatta Decision

Over the past month, the CORK team has been carefully monitoring the COVID 19 situation and working on the question of whether The CORK Fall Regatta could be held this September.  A plan was developed that could comply with the COVID-19 rules and it was clear that there was a strong desire among sailors and coaches to see racing resume.  However, the CORK Board of Directors had to balance that against the continuing uncertainty of how the virus is developing and the fact that a September regatta would occur just as students had returned to school with the mixing and uncertainty involved.  Those students would then convene in Kingston as regatta sailors.  The risks outweighed the other factors for the Board, and as a result, it has been decided not to host Fall CORK this year.  It is regrettable that the pandemic has forced such a decision, but much as we would all like to be back racing, the safety of all involved remains the key element.

The CORK team has the planning for the 2021 regatta season already underway with the hope that we will host our usual events in July, August and September.

Jamie Fraser on behalf of the CORK Board of directors

 

 

 

CORK website: www.cork.org

CORK Regatta Office: (613)-545-1322

Email: info@cork.org

Address: Portsmouth Olympic Harbour 53 Yonge Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CORKSailKingston

Twitter: www.twitter.com/corkkingston

Instagram: www.instagram.com/corkkingston

First time at CORK-Mark Lammens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos and story submitted by Mark Lammens

Thank you for the opportunity to share CORK stories.

Our family went to CORK in 1974 and 1975 to watch the pre-olympic sailing on our family boat. I still recall the Flying Dutchman -FD’s coming into the finish,  the top boats were a D (West Germany, the Diesch brothers) , a K (GBR, skippered by Pattisson) and a KC (Canada, Hans Fogh and Evert Bastett). They finished 1st and 2nd at the 1976 Olympics. Hans and Evert finished 4th.  We tried to race the Solings back to the harbour.

The year of the Olympics, 1976 the Olympic flame went right through our junior club sailing class on the St. Lawrence river in Brockville, the flame going from Montreal to Kingston. It was on the back of a rowing shell. My Dad said it would have been even better to be on a sailboat since it was going to the Olympic Sailing venue.

The first time racing at CORK was 1979 on a Tanzer 22. The 1978 Laser fleet misbehaved with many general recalls and cancelled days of sailing ( this was before black flags and split fleets). We could not race our lasers because it was not one of the CORK fleets. Laser would not be back until 1983. (It has been in the CORK mix every year since).

We were 16 and 17 years old and really wanted to sail at CORK. Chris Roode, Andres Pugi and I were the team, KC-41, Andres family had the boat. We were keen but a little inexperienced and did not know some of the class rules such as no hiking or leave the engine on the transom when racing.

 

I also sailed 1980-1987, 1990, 1992-1994 in Finn.

(photo of Hank and I sailing the Finn in CORK 1987, Hank’s first CORK in a Finn. We had just finished sailing at the Pan Am games in Michigan City, Hank in Laser and me in Soling with Hans Fogh and Steve Calder.)

 

 

 

I coached at CORK 1991, 1995-1996, 2008 and 2016.

Very fond memories of CORK. My brother and sister also sailed many CORK’s.

 

Thank you Mark for sharing your memories with us all!    A big thank you to everyone else for submitting your fabulous stories of your first time at CORK!  We look forward to sharing them over the coming weeks.

If you have story that you would like to share with others online or on social media please reach out by emailing events@cork.org

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

The CORK Team

 

 

 

CORK website: www.cork.org

CORK Regatta Office: (613)-545-1322

Email: info@cork.org

Address: Portsmouth Olympic Harbour 53 Yonge Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CORKSailKingston

Twitter: www.twitter.com/corkkingston

Instagram: www.instagram.com/corkkingston

 

1st CORK 1969-Sailing Soling KC 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos and story submitted by Ron Gilkie

Soling KC18 taken at the 1969 CORK.

From left to right are: Graeme Duffus, John Vines and Ron Gilkie.

In 1969, at the Bedford Yacht Club in Nova Scotia, we were starting our sailing season with our 14 new Solings built by Bill Abbott.  This was also the first year for the CORK regatta.   So several owners decided to trail their boats to Kingston and participate.  Since we didn’t have a trailer for our boat, KC23, I decided to crew with John Vines in KC 18 as his foredeck crew, along with Graeme Duffus.  This was my first taste of “big time” racing.  John Dane was the winner of the Soling fleet, which may have been the North American Championships, if my memory serves me well.  We launched our boats at RMC and brought them around to the Municipal Marina for docking.  Courses were held in the inner harbour, and the winds were quite light for Kingston.

 

(photo of us in the last Soling race of the 1970 CORK.  This was taken as we were about to round  the leeward mark, dousing the spinnaker to proceed to the finish line.  We were in 10th place at the time.  From left to right you can see: my arm under the boom, Dick Shaw, and Alan McLean partly obscured by the jib.  Dick Shaw had been Canadian Snipe Champion and had competed in the Snipe Western Hemispheres at one time.  All three of us were professional engineers. )

I so enjoyed the experience that we trailed KC23 to Kingston for the 1970 CORK.

Our Soling was a three-way partnership and it was my year to be skipper.  We launched at the grain elevators, tied up at the new Portsmouth Harbour and bunked in the Queen’s dorms.  This time we raced in the outer harbour, some six miles out from Portsmouth.  It was a great regatta, lots of wind, and all races were won by Buddy Melges.  There were 60+ Solings on the line, and a lot of learning going on for someone who had been sailing in a fleet of 14 boats.  Going into the last race, and sitting in about 45th position, we decided to sail for clean air, since we obviously were not able to duke it out with the “pros”.  Our strategy paid off as we hit the windward mark in 10th place, and held it until we rounded the last mark for the beat home.  With 9 boats in line ahead of us, and with 50+ boats coming down on us under spinnaker, our options for free air were limited.  At this point I made a fatal error.  I bore off to get under the wind shadow of the lead boats and, after getting stuck trying to cross a line of boats which were on starboard tack, ended crossing the line in 20th position.  It was blowing about 30 – 40 knots that day and as we rounded the outer line marker, we hoisted the spinnaker and went into a full plane.  In no time at all we were passing many of the 19 boats we had followed over the line.  We arrived at Portsmouth Harbour as the third Soling to dock.  As a result, all our family followers thought we had come 3rd.  We basked in the false glory until it became obvious that this was not the case.

My next trip to CORK was in 1973, but this time as Deputy Measurer under Chief Measurer Sam Lazier, in charge of sail measurement.  I also had the wonderful experience of being a part of the Jury under Lynn Watters.  This process was repeated in ‘74 and ‘75 leading up to the Olympics in 1976, at which time I had the grand title of Deputy Chief Measurer for Sailing, again under Chief Measurer, Sam Lazier.  There were many memorable moments in 1976;  showing Prince Philip, Gov. General Roland Mitchner, and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau around the Measuring Hall, and explaining the processes being used to certify the boats and sails for racing.  And there was the time I caught Valeri Menkin checking the measurement of a fitting on a competitor’s spar.  But the highlight was meeting Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the site.

So now, at the age of 82, I often think back to those great days in Kingston and wish I could relive some of the good times with several of the people who are no longer with us.  I kept KC 23 for 35 years, and had the pleasure of winning the last race I competed in at the Armdale Yacht Club.  She is still sailing down in Mahone Bay.  That Bill Abbott sure built a solid Soling.

Ron Gilkie, Ph.D., P.Eng., FCSCE, FEC, FCSSE, FCAE, FRSA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo of Ron Gilkie and Mary Barker taken in 2018.  Ron is wearing his blazer from the 1976 Olympics.  Mary was the Tornado Class clerk in the ‘76 Olympics)

 

Thank you Ron for sharing your memories with us all!    A big thank you to everyone else for submitting your fabulous stories of your first time at CORK!  We look forward to sharing them over the coming weeks.

If you have story that you would like to share with others online or on social media please reach out by emailing events@cork.org

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

The CORK Team

 

 

 

CORK website: www.cork.org

CORK Regatta Office: (613)-545-1322

Email: info@cork.org

Address: Portsmouth Olympic Harbour 53 Yonge Street, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CORKSailKingston

Twitter: www.twitter.com/corkkingston

Instagram: www.instagram.com/corkkingston