November 1, 2023
Halifax has won the bid to host racing on Halifax Harbour front and centre between George’s Island and the MacDonald Bridge.
Thanks to the Sail NS team and various organizations in the area – Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Municipality, Build Nova Scotia, Discover Halifax, and the Port of Halifax – plus the sponsorship of ROCKWOOL, the first ever Canadian SailGP event will take place June 1-2, 2024.
It’s a surprise to many Canadian sailors but less of a surprise to Frank Dennis, the executive director of Sail NS who has been working around the clock to make this happen for 18 months.
In a recent interview, Frank told us that sailing has much more currency in Nova Scotia than almost anywhere else in Canada. “There’s a sailboat on our license plate, there are sailboats welcoming people to our places like Chester and Bedeck. Lunenburg and the Bluenose really need no introduction. Sailing in Nova Scotia is much more important to our million people than you might realize.” And it’s not just a colourful history – the sailing community has seen activity, particularly in Halifax and Chester continue to blossom with active fleets fleets and competitive regattas. The 2022 49er/49erFX/Nacra17 World Championship added to the city’s lustre and reputation. The rest of the pieces fell into place.
This success is particularly meaningful in light of the gentle decline of the founding CAN SailGP syndicate, which went darkish last summer. The boat continued to participate and Phil Robertson and the crew have developed as a worthy challenger on the racecourse with many strong showings. With the participation of a dedicated band of VERY hardworking crew, we can be very loud in support of our results. The search remains on for new syndicate players but the on-the-water aspects seem unaffected.
Btw, what is ROCKWOOL
While ROCKWOOL is not a household word in most Canadian households, the ROCKWOOL Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of stone wool insulation used extensively in the construction industry; its North American corporate headquarters are located in Milton, Ontario where the company has operated for more than 30 years.
Frank Dennis indicates that this event is already achieving its goals. There is excitement throughout the community, hotels are filling up for the dates and anticipation is growing. I have a feeling you won’t want to miss it.
-John Morris, Editor Sailing in Canada