July 5, 2023
As all ABYC members know who have raced in the last 30 odd years, Paul McDonald served Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club on the Sailing Committee as PHRF Rep and as Chair of the committee. It is hard to imagine a volunteer position that elicits more complaints than the guy handing out PHRF ratings. Before moving to ABYC, Paul was an active racer and member of Toronto Hydroplane & Sailing Club.
Paul handled the complaints well, never getting angry or upset. He had a wonderful sense of humour and reminded people that maybe if they bought a new sail from time to time, or worked on their boat making the bottom and rudder perfect, they might be able to beat some other boats. Last summer, he told me he received more complaints from members about the ratings of other people’s boats rather than their own. His line after last year’s Coastal Race as part of the Open Regatta was “When you can beat the Thunderbirds on elapsed time, we’ll discuss ratings”.
Paul and his wife Karen Albert loved racing Vertigone, their Frers 30, ad they raced her well over the years, winning more than their fair share of races. On beautiful summer evenings, they would not rush back to the dock, but would enjoy the evening by sailing around with the crew after the race.
Left: The Orrefors Crystal Flying Sails Trophy
Right: The Jib/Main Trophy bears Paul’s photo as well as logos of the two clubs
When friends of Paul wanted to do something special after his sudden passing, the Sailing Committee unanimously agreed to name the last unnamed bellbuoy race after Paul, and his friends donated trophies. Friends from Sweden had a work of art made by Orefors Crystal which represents a cresting wave that will be awarded in the Flying Sails division. Another stunning custom trophy has been created for the NFS class.
These trophies will be awarded to the overall winners of each of the Spinnaker and No Flying Sails divisions regardless of club affiliation, as this will be the first race where members of both clubs are invited to participate. We are hoping to award these trophies after the race, and perhaps have a toast to Paul.
Please join us on the re-scheduled date, Sunday July 16. Competitors Meeting at 11, warning at 12. Please register at www.abyc.ca/racing and scroll down to the Paul McDonald Race.
– Wendy Loat, friend of Paul missing him dearly.