Winter Speaker Series

The Speaker Series for 2020 was suspended on March 18, and then cancelled due to Covid-19 precautions and regulations

NSC Speakers Series – 2020 Season

January 15 – April 22, 2020

Events are open to members and non-members alike!

Members of local sailing clubs obtain a discount on food purchases by showing a valid club membership card

The bar and kitchen open at 5:00 pm, with a Wednesday night special soup, salad and side available for just $12 less member discount – plus the regular menu of course

Talks start at 7:30 pm, and are held in Harbourview Hall

Nepean Sailing Club, 3259 Carling Avenue, Ottawa

updated as of May 27,2020

This series of talks is open to the entire sailing and boating community of Ottawa, is volunteer run and is donations-based. Donations support the NSC Legacy Fund. This is one of the best kept secrets of winter for sailors and boaters!

The following schedule is subject to change. Please check back regularly in case a speaker has to reschedule


March 18 Expert Advice on Boat Maintenance!  ****Cancelled

NSC is pleased to have three local experts; Scott Hayley, The Yachtsman; Peter Huszcz, The Mobile Mechanic, and Denis Pouliot, Backwind Sewing Services, present and take your questions on maintaining and preparing your boat for the season.

This is a great opportunity to get practical, expert advice on preparing boats for the season, keeping them in good condition during the season, and then making sure that all the important things are done when it is time to put the boat to bed for the winter.

David Neasmith, the Harbour Master, will also be there to briefly review some of the harbour and yard policies that are pertinent to boat maintenance.

March 25 Advantage Boating  Sailing The Windward Islands ****Cancelled

Advantage Boating has just returned from another great adventure in the Windward Islands.  This February we covered over 600 nm in the Caribbean Windward Islands.

This year’s trip included both a 12-day island hopping sailing Flotilla in the Grenadines, and two 7-day Mileage Builder trips between Martinique and Grenada that included overnight sailing passages.   We like getting off the beaten track.  Over 4 weeks, we explored the National Geographic famed and Instagram worthy islands & anchorages of Martinique, St. Lucia, Bequia, Tobago Cays, Mayreau, Union Island, Carraicou, Petit St Vincent, Grenada and more!

April 1  Dr. Cathy Duchesne  Concussion in Sailing: How to recognize it and What to Do ****Cancelled

Boats have wet surfaces that bounce and tilt. Sailing boats have a boom that flies around. Docks and ramps can be slippery. Injuries happen in our sport.  Ontario is rolling out Rowan’s Law, in response to concussion injuries in sports. It’s the right time to learn:

  • how to recognize concussion in yourself or your team-mates
  • what to do if you suspect a concussion
  • how to achieve a return to sports
  • special responsibilities of coaches and event organizers

The main part of the talk will be given by NSC member Dr. Cathy Duchesne. Cathy is a physician with training in Emergency Medicine. She is co-owner of “Corrie Doon”, an Ontario-32 keelboat at NSC. For the last section of the talk, the NSC Fleet Captain will outline responsibilities of organizers.

The Government of Ontario has developed concussion awareness resources , which will be the basis for this presentation. Ontario Sailing has provided codes of conduct and procedures. These can all be found at Ontario Sailing .

For those that participate in racing or sail training at NSC, regardless of age: every season, you will need to acknowledge that you have studied the concussion awareness material. So start now, by attending this talk.

April 8 Sandra Hawkins  Sailing the Top of the World ****Cancelled

Sandra Hawkins, a BYC sailor and multimedia artist,  was selected to participate in an international expedition to the  Svalbard Archipelago, (79 deg N, 12 deg E): the Arctic Circle 2019 Arts & Sciences Expedition, for which she was awarded an artist residency.

Her presentation (previously given at BYC), “Sailing The Top of The World & Climate Warming Impacts” is visually driven, where she shares her first-hand observations and anecdotal stories, reinforced by scientific data.

According to the Guardian, The Svalbard Archipelago, administered by Norway, is the fast warming region of the planet. “Since 1971, temperatures here have risen by 4 degrees C, five times faster than the global average. In the winter, when the changes are more marked, it has gone up by an astonishing 7 degrees C. These are increases that the rest of the world is not expected to experience until the 22nd century.”

The Antigua is a 3-mast tall ship, 165 feet, with 16 cabins and 7 crew. Just like famous historical Arctic expeditions, they did get stuck in pack ice…  Read more at Sandra’s Homepage

April 15 David Neasmith, Dominic Goodwill Getting In the Water and Fun On the Water****Cancelled

Bring on the Bay Swim, the Mobility Cup, Baskins Beach & Regattas

April 22 Greg Johnson  Foiling with Nacra F18′****Cancelled

Greg Johnson, proud winner of the ‘Dunker of the Year 2018’ award, is known to those on the river as one to avoid. Regularly out of control, he possesses an indefatigable appetite for adrenalin, exceeded only by his ignorance of his ignorance.

Trained as an electrical engineer but unpractising, he runs a small company called RBR that makes oceanographic instrumentation. The RBR “research vessels” are a pair of foiling 18’ catamarans. This talk will highlight some of the learnings those in the RBR Flight School have had while attempting to get these beasts into the air, along with opportunities for the community at large to learn to foil in the summer of 2020.

The following speakers presented earlier in the season

January 15  Irene Tomaszewski & Anthony Keith: The Voyage of the Yacht, Dal

Voyage of the Dal – Andre Bohomolec was successively a soldier, sailor, writer, diplomat, commando, artist & a rancher in the foothills of the Rockies. At 19, he fought for Poland’s independence in the First World War. In 1933, he demonstrated the new nation of Poland’s sailing skills & inspired a generation of young sailors by his trans-Atlantic crossing in a 28 foot wooden sailboat from Poland arriving finally in Chicago for the World fair. In 1940, he fought again in France, Tobruk & later as a commando. Finding himself a persona non grata in the Moscow-imposed Communist regime, he emigrated to the Calgary area & finished his career as a rancher. Tonight we are going to hear of his trans-Atlantic crossing & adventures.

The next two weeks can be seen as 2 installments in a series on getting to and then sailing on Georgian Bay:

January 22 Matthew Bastian  Part 1-Traversing the Trent Severn Waterway

This past summer Matthew and his wife Judy spent 6 weeks transitioning the boat from Kingston to Little Current on Manitoulin Island via the Trent-Severn water way and Georgian Bay. As Part 1 of this 2 Part series, tonight he will be sharing his experiences on traversing the Trent-Severn system with us.

Matthew sailed his Bayfield 25 for five years out of NSC. For three of those, he hauled his Bayfield 25 to the North Channel for multi week vacations. Four years ago he purchased a 37′ Hunter Cheribini which he sailed out of Collins Bay marina in Kingston on Lake Ontario.

January 29 David Enstrom Part 2 -Exploring Georgian Bay in ZIGZAG

In 2010, David Enstrom moved his boat ZIGZAG from Kingston to Penetang through the Trent Severn System. David explored Georgian Bay and the North Channel on ZIGZAG for 3 years, making it as far as Sault St Marie. ZIGZAG is now back in Iroquois, having returned via Lake Huron and the Welland Canal during the summer of 2018. As Part 2 of this series, David’s talk will centre on his experiences in Georgian Bay.

February 5 Dave Bradly “Go Fast. Don’t Die!” – A talk about sailboat foiling

Foiling is the new “black” of sailing. The Americas Cup yachts do it. Little moths piloted by rubber Cirque du Soleil athletes do it. But, can YOU do it?

This is the question Dave will endeavor to answer in this short, very personal story of foiling in sailboats. Of course, we will cover technology, as it is such a pivotal piece of this puzzle, but we will also delve into the question: “Is foiling for you and me?” Dave will cover his own journey from standing start to the World Championship participation that he is now committed to, with more than a slight dose of self deprecation and humour. Pics and videos to support all things that happened. Allegedly.

Come. Ask questions. Laugh. Enjoy. Maybe even be persuaded to “go like hell” yourself. Dave will just be back from another 9 days foiling in Florida!!

February 12 Scott Mackinnon 3 Weeks in the Windward Islands 

(It is not all beaches, beer and bikinis). A PowerPoint presentation on the realities of a bare boat charter anywhere but particularly in the Caribbean with emphasis on the Grenadines. How to charter, organize and enjoy your vacation. What to realistically expect, how to cope with problems and what it costs.

Scott is an NSC member who has cruised and raced a variety of boats for almost 50 years with voyages on the Ottawa, Great Lakes, Baltic, Mexico, BVI and The Windward Islands (Grenadines). A Mechanical Technologist, he has worked in heavy industry, construction and sailboat rigging, repair and fabrication.

February 19 Linda Schmalz and Chris Walmsley Sailing the Eastern Great Circle in 2019

Linda and Chris completed a nearly 3,000 nautical mile trip in 2019. They started in Kingston and sailed up the St Lawrence. The journey took them around the maritime provinces, and along the Atlantic coast of the US to New York City. To complete the great circle, they then headed up the waterways of New York State to arrive back in Kingston. They will share photos and stories of this adventure, and how they spent two years prepping the boat and themselves for the voyage.

February 26 Cancelled by winter storm; Presentation moved to March 11

March 4  Richard Trainor “A survey: What to expect”, and “When Sailboats Collide”

Richard will explain the  types of surveys (purchase, insurance, etc.), certifications and standards compliance required by insurance companies. He will answer questions about the  rules (e.g. what standards exist for a boat’s electrical, propulsion, fire suppression, etc. systems), how they are applied and how “grandfathering” might apply.

Richard has been a marine surveyor for the past 15 years. He started his career in a small marina in 1976 & after training as a motorship engineer, and became a steamship captain in 1985 after attending St Lawrence, Niagara and Georgian Colleges.

In 1989, he started building aluminum multi-hulled passenger vessels in Gananoque and operated ferries there until 2005 when he became a marine surveyor. He is certified as an ABYC master marine technician, Transport Canada approved commercial vessel consultant, and an Appointed Tonnage measurer. He is also endorsed as an expert in marine surveying by the Royal Institute Of Naval Architects. He’s volunteered on several tall ships in Ontario & has completed inspections of the Caledonia and the Fair Jeanne.

March 11   Ottawa Fire Service Safety and Rescue on the Ottawa River

The Ottawa Fire Service Ice/Water rescue team has specialized equipment and training, and are designated first responders on the Ottawa River, and other bodies of water within the city boundaries. They have been involved in numerous rescues of all kinds, whether it be a capsized sailboat, watercraft caught on the rapids,  or people in distress spotted in the water or fallen through the ice.  Members of the team will explain how best to interact with them if you find yourself in an emergency situation on the water, or spot someone else in distress. They will walk through some recent examples of rescues to illustrate. They will emphasize prevention: the importance of good safety practices. You will often see them out on the water, training with their equipment. This is a great opportunity to meet them and ask questions.


2020 Speakers Coordinators: Parke Davis, Tony Wright, James Kelly.
Web page updates by: Tony Wright.

Check out the Speaker Series from previous years: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 (missing), 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, & 2009.

Page updated: 2020-01-14.

Update log
22 Jan: HM: Page created.
23 Jan: HM: Speakers added.
22 Jan: HM: Page purged for 2017.
02 Feb: TW: Added 2017 program. (HM copied content from
17 Dec: HM: Removed 2017 content and added first talk of 2018. Added links to previous speaker presentations.
10 Jan: HM: Changed “2017 Speakers Coordinator” to “2018 Speakers Coordinator”.
16 Jan: TW: Added the speaker list for 2018 (some changes still expected)
8 March: Added April 4 presentation and deleted April 11; changed title to reflect series shortened to April 4
15 Jan: TW: Updated for 2019 season.
18 Jan: HM: Updated this update log and revision date.
20 Jan: TW: Updates to Barry Lovett, Dave Neasmith, Art the Ropeman
29 Jan: HM: Minor editorial updates.
30 Jan: Added confirmed date for Art the Ropeman
07 Jan: TW Purged 2019 and added 2020 season.
14 Jan: HM: Minor editorial updates. Corrected formatting of update log. Changed “Page updated” date which still said 2019-01-29.
Note: need to correct date for Splicing Workshop”; May 26 is not a Saturday.
15 Jan Art ropeman removed, pending confirmation. Dave Bradly spelling fixed
20 Jan Changed topic for Advantage Boating to windward isles
4 Mar  TW  Update schedule for March 11, April 1 and 8, and added April 22
11 Mar TW updated Mar 18 presentation with new text. Reordered to put expired talks at end of list
15 Mar TW Cancelled events until Apr 5 due to Covid-19 risks

Page maintained by Speaker Coordinator.