Lorna Bennett & Sheliah Tulloch
The demographics of sailing are changing and more women are getting involved and are often rooted in sibling bonds. That is the case of Lorna Bennett and her sister Sheliah Tulloch who currently call the Bedford Basin Yacht Club (BBYC) their home base. From a young age, Lorna and Sheliah were introduced to sailing by their father who in the late 70’s when he was commodore of the Dobson Yacht Club. During Henry’s tenure, the DYC membership took on the project of building a fleet of sailing prams for the local children. His daughters took to sailing immediately despite their fear of falling into Sydney Harbour and attained all of their White Sail badges.
As time progressed the girls had their own pram “212” which was often seen plying the waters of the Bras d’Or Lakes on many summer vacations. As their skill progressed a Flying Junior joined the family and often became an unofficial entrant for racing in Baddeck. It was in this vessel that Lorna received her first lesson in “Set and Drift” as on one occasion she took the boat to relieve some stress and sailed triumphantly from her home port only to find that she couldn’t sail against the current to get home. Unknowing to Lorna, Dad “the stress-er” was watching the misadventure unfold and called his friend to tow her home. To make matters worse for an embarrassed a frustrated Lorna, dad had a great laugh as he gave her the “I told you so” speech. On one occasion a sibling rivalry broke out while painting the boat and ended with a full-on paint fight. The sisters painted each other rather than the boat and dad was in a mad rush to clean them up before mom got home.
Great family memories were made traversing the Bras d’Or Lakes with favourite anchorages in Maskells Harbour and Washabuck. The sisters were often paid to dive for Oysters providing many superb meals on the boat for their proud parents. “I have a lot of special memories sailing around the Bras d’Or lakes as a family” recalls Sheliah
On reaching adulthood both sisters have become the quintessential sailing moms with summers filled with sailing lessons, regattas and Wednesday Night Series at BBYC.
“Sailing has brought many great memories to our family and we’re looking forward to making more with the next generation”
written by: Rob Dunbar