OMDA Logo Photo: 40th Anniversery Cake

Awards Night 2011

Photo: For Desert, a 40th Anniversery Cake

This year's Awards Night Dinner was held on November 12 at the Mimico Cruising Club. This year we were celebrating OMDA's 40th anniversery, so we'd made an effort to invite many former OMDA members, many of whome showed up. It was a fun night of socializing and remoniscing for everyone.

There was even a home baked anniversery cake in honor of the occaison!

With so many members and former members attending, name tags were a good idea.

Photo: Ineke Handed Out Name Tags

Mike Coombes and John McCulloch entertained the crowd with some interesting stories from the past.

Photo: Our MCs for the Night: Mike, John, Shelley and Marika

Aart Vandermeer was unable to attend, but his son Derek read his father's recollections of the beggining of OMDA.

A Sailing Dinghy Out Of A Box

Aart Vandermeer

I brought home, to Mississauga, a box 6 ft. x 4 ft. x 4 inches deep. The box contained all but the spars of my Mirror Dinghy kit. I transported it on top of my Volkswagen Beetle.

I bought the kit from Mr. Sampson of Seagull Sales in Weston Ontario in early April 1971. My objective was to finish the Mirror by June to participate in the first Ontario Mirror regatta, on Kelso Lake in Milton Ontario as called for by Mr. Neal Macdonald.

Needless to say all had to be done very fast. I am sorry to say that I took some short cuts to meet the mid June dead line. I did end up having time for a maiden sail Mimico Creek with my crew, Mr Flek. The maiden sail was used to make sure all the parts were in place and functioned properly. Our first 15 minute sail gave us a feel for the boat and how to sail her.

At the first Ontario Mirror Regatta on Kelso Lake we were overwhelmed to see so many Mirrors at the starting line. My guess is that there were about 58. It was undoubtedly the largest Mirror start in Ontario, excluding the Word Championships in Kingston. Neal Macdonald was also surprised by the response and organized two starts five minutes apart. The standings were based upon the total elapsed time for each start.

Maureen Davis with her son as crew won. Doug Rogers with his wife, Carol, as crew came in 6th. Aart Vandermeer, with Karl Flek came in 14th.

The tremendous turn out begged for an organization. OMDA was formed a week later in John Ryell's family room. Neal Macdonald became President; John Ryell, General Administrator; Peter Verbeek, Treasurer; John Van Runt, Measurer; Ineke Vanbeusekom, Junior Sailing Camp Coordinator. The fleet captains were as follows: Mississauga, Aart Vandermeer; Cherry Beach, Hanzo Vanbeusekom; Burlington, Derek Clay; Vancouver B.C. Spencer. John Bell, an Air Canada Pilot, was our liaison to the U.K. for sails and parts.

We made many friends when we raced in St. John, New Brunswick; Vancouver, B.C; Northern Ontario, Eliot Lake, Sudbury, Killbear Provincial Pk., Fanshaw. Internationally we made even more friends in Holland, Great Briton, South Africa, Ireland, USA, Japan, Australia, and Tasmania.

It was a proud moment when the Mirror Dinghy became a Class Boat and recognized in Ottawa thereby becoming eligible for travel grants, for the Provincial Champions to travel to their competitive events.

The quality of the sailors sailing skills improved markedly through the Junior Sailing Camps. Bravo for these camps.

We built a dinghy out of a carton and received so much more; MUCH MORE!


Of course, the point of the Awards Night dinner is to give out some awards. We started with the keeper plaques for the various regattas.

The season opened with the Victoria Day weekend regatta. This was won by Don Alp (Marika accepted on his behalf), Heather Pugh came second, followed by Stephen Steel.

Photo: The Victoria Day Regatta Winners: Marika (accepting on behalf of Don), Heather and Steve Photo: Marika, Heather and Steve

Next was the Midland regatta. This was won by Heather Pugh, followed by Marika Beaumont and Aleid Brendeke.

Photo: The Midland regatta winners: Marika, Heather and Aleid

The same group of sailors dominated the Derek Clay single-handed regatta. Aleid won, followed by Heather and Marika. Aleid took the opportunity to introduce Derek Clay's son David, who was attending. It was a good chance to show off the newly remounted Derek Clay trophy.

Photo: The winners of the Derek Clay single-handed regatta, along with David Clay (son of Derek) holding the trophy

The Provincial Championship regatta was won by Aleid Brendeke, with Heather Pugh and Mat Bienczyk coming second and third.

Photo: Mat, Heather and Aleid

After the keeper plaques, the perpetual trophies were awarded. We started with the Derek Clay trophy, which was awarded to Aleid.

Photo: Shelley and Marika congratulate Aleid

Mat Bienczyk was awarded the Hands Across the Sea trophy for the highest ranking sailor under 25.

Photo: Mat Bienczyk accepting the Hands Across the Sea trophy

Heather Pugh won the Cherry Beach Challenge trophy for the best combined results in the first and last events of the season.

Photo: Heather accepting the Cherry Beach Challenge trophy

Les Bienczyk won the B-Fleet Ranking trophy.

Photo: Les Accepts the B-Fleet Ranking trophy

Heather Pugh won the A-Fleet Ranking trophy.

Photo: Description

Marika Beaumont was awarded the Vulcan Fireproof trophy.

Photo: Marika accepting the Vulcan Fireproof trophy

And finally, the Bill Olmstead Award was given Hanzo vanBeusekom to recognize his contributions to OMDA (sorry, no photo yet).


There was lots of socializing before and after the awards.

Photo: rb_aw11-23.jpg Photo: The Bellamys and the Walkers Photo: Nellie, Maureen, Richard, Doug and Carol Photo: Showing off the Baby to Admirers Photo: Greg and his Parents Photo: Janet Shows off her Fresh from Emergency Cast Photo: Jane, Danny, ?, Gwenda and Jim Photo: ?, Carl, Kathy, Henk and Joanna Photo: Kevin and Ryan Photo: Olga, Bill and ?

Photo: Wim Shows off his Stylish Rubber Ducky Tie

Photo: Ryan has his Bottle Photo: Peter, Derek, Debbie, ? and ? Photo: Carol Draws a Raffle Ticket Photo: Mary, Ineke and Maureen Look at Some Photos Photo: Mike, Derek and Margaret

We ended the night with champagne and cake to toast 40 years of sailing in those peculiar boats with the red sails.

Photo Credits

Thanks to all those who provided photos:

And of course, many thanks to Terry Loffree and her helpers for organizing such a successful evening, and to the Mimico Cruising Club for the use of their facilities.