From Pampas to Prairies, Sailing in Manitoba

Not everyone remembers how they got brought into sailing, but I’m pretty sure that everyone remembers their first day on a sailboat. Mine was a cloudy cold, windy day, in Buenos Aires (Argentina). I was nine and jumped on a Cadet to fill in for a crew. From the moment we left the ramp it felt like such a foreign experience. To be moving on the water in a tiny dinghy, propelled by wind and skills that I couldn’t yet understand. I didn’t have much more than a rain jacket and a PFD, so I got soaked, and I learned that lesson too. It was a frightening and fascinating experience at the same time.

About seven years ago I moved to Canada. I was travelling, and not really planning to stay, but looks like I found a home in the Canadian prairies. It took a while to reconnect with sailing, mostly because it takes a while to get adjusted to a new country.

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Last year I visited Falcon Yacht Club for the first time. It was like nothing I’ve been before: Falcon Lake is a gorgeous lake in the Canadian Shield, about an hour and forty-five minutes from Winnipeg. Surrounded by forest, its waters are friendly, you can attest that by the number of cottages on the shores. But it can be challenging as well: strong winds aren’t unusual, and the lake makes you constantly revise your wind strategy. Yet, the most impressive feature of the club is its members. This club was founded in 1963 and is since then cared by the efforts of members who turned sailing into a broader experience. Not just about the skills but about the human connection and the care for our club. Yes, I know: we aren’t by the ocean and winter season precludes us from enjoying sailing year-round. But these limitations turned sailing into a very special seasonal ritual.

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I’m thrilled that I reconnected with sailing and, once again, it became part of who I am. If you happen to be driving on Hwy 1 and you see signs for Falcon Lake, maybe stop by FYC and enjoy the breeze of this lake surrounded by boreal forest.

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Post Submitted by: Gonzalo Agrimbau

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