Winter Wonders

In the last few days of run up before the end of 2017, it is a good time to reflect on the good times of the past year and look ahead to 2018. Feet up, hot beverage in hand, watching out the window as the inevitable winter freeze takes a hold of the landscape, the mind goes back to the warm water and steady breeze of the summer.

It is easy to forget the days of rain in the spring, the stifling heat of July, the air choking smoke from the forest fires, and the endless hours sitting on the beach or on your boat waiting for the wind to blow at some regatta. Ah, but remember that big blow at Osoyoos in ’07 when, as you sailed downwind, the spray from crashing into the waves soaked everything on the boat all the way to the top of the mast as you hiked off the rear doghouse, toes barely hooked in the straps, rudders singing, and how the bow tube would smash into the back of the odd wave bringing everything to a momentary, screeching halt only to release and begin the whole sequence again?


Race start just before the big blow in ’07

Maybe the pirate battle comes to mind, a giant water fight with the junior sailors at Lake Newell in ’13 as we waited for wind in the heat of that July day. Cooled everyone off and kept the adults away from John’s wine.


Pirate battle of ’13

Around these parts, winter has slowly arrived with ski hills now open but eagerly awaiting the “big dump” of snow in order to really get going in time for Christmas break.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy holiday season and have a Happy New Year.



Fall Newsletter

Traveling to a regatta

Perhaps next year is the year to get to one or two regattas.  It takes a big effort to attend sailing events and to help make it more enjoyable, why not plan a side trip or plan to visit some people you know along the way.  Try to book accommodations in the same campground or hotel with other competitors and plan to get together after the racing is done for some socializing.
Break up a long trip with some stops of interest and to change drivers.  Work on your boat trailers to double the boats up so that two competitors can travel with one vehicle and one trailer — this can save expense, alleviate driving fatigue and boredom.
If you attend a non SeaSpray regatta and sail in X-class don’t forget to brag up your boat.  SeaSprays still have a lot of appeal and are a low cost competitive boat compared to many other classes.  Thinking about a new laser anyone?  $10,000 to buy one now.

Fall Project Anyone?  

No it’s not a foiling project yet…..

A few pictures may help better than words.  Fairly rustic work but gets the job done.  Removing the foam, putting rudder blade downhaul tubes for line, and converting to boom end sheeting are three very good improvements.

Removing all the foam could be done in stages starting with the area behind the rear doghouse to the transom.

Tip-after removing the foam, cutting through the bottom of the reinforcing fiberglass tubes can be done easily with a 1″ spade bit on a cordless drill using the bottom of the hull to help guide the drill bit through the fiberglass tube.  These holes will allow water to drain easily.  CLICK ON FIRST PHOTO TO  SEE SLIDESHOW.

Items needed besides those pictured include fiberglass cloth, polyester resin or to keep the fumes down if working inside, use epoxy resin,carbon fiber (if you have it) to reinforce any joints or deck undersides, bondo with short strand glass fiber (if using polyester resin, if using epoxy get some microballoons or some easily sanding filler to make epoxy thick for finishing work), sand paper, clothespins or other suitable clamps, gloves (latex or plastic and work gloves, throw away paint brushes to apply the resin, acetone, scissors to cut cloth, dust mask etc. probably forgot some stuff too.  Wear your dust mask when digging out the foam as there will be a lot of glass fibers floating in the air and wear long sleeved clothing as the fiberglass is very irritating.Don’t forget to reinforce with fiberglass the aluminum plate and carriage bolt heads that you spent time to square the holes with a small file to fit properly through the plate and the gudgeon on the outside of the transom.  The plate should also be fitted in place with a layer of bondo between the plate and the transom.  Use layers of glass to reinforce the transom and run the glass along the hull sides to the corners and over to the plate as well.   

Snell Wins 5th North American Title

It was a smokey start to the 2017 N.A. Championship in Osoyoos, BC. Most of the west, from California to BC was plagued with wild fires in their forests which had filled the air in the Okanagan Valley with thick smoke.

The first day of racing was in smokey and generally calm conditions and only one race was completed, however a strong breeze arrived in the early evening. Day two started with a sprinkling of rain, building wind as well as almost smoke free conditions, this  allowed for 5 races to be run. Day three returned to calm conditions which kept sailor on shore — fire fighting water bombers took over the lake as they made pass after pass scooping water from the area in the race course.

Full results have not been received, however the top three places are:

1st – Don Snell (Newell Sailing Club)
2nd – Hamish Ferguson (Newell Sailing Club)
3rd – Mike Sonnie (Newell Sailing Club)


L-R Hamish Ferguson, Dave Mills, Don Snell, Kieran Mill, Mike Sonnie

Notice the water bomber in the background.

Snell Wins 2017 Nationals

The results of the 48th Canadian Nationals: 2017 Seaspray Nationals

We had 8 Seasprays out with a couple of new participants, Jesse Kittleson from St. Mary’s Sailing Club (Lethbridge, Alberta) and Aaron Neifer from LNR, Alberta were able to come and take part in the racing.  Both participants will be on the Seaspray Association membership  and hopefully will consider attending the North Americans in September in Osoyoos.

Don Snell defended his title again with Hamish Ferguson placing second and Mike Sonnie in third spot.

A total of 10 races were sailed over the 3 days.  Temperatures were in the mid 30’s on Friday and Sunday so with lighter winds on those days made for challenging conditions for hydration. Saturday served up some ideal Seaspray wind conditions and more moderate temperatures where four longer races were completed.

Hope to see you all in Osoyoos in September.

In Memoriam – John Zupan

We just learned that one of the true characters in the Sea Spray Fleet passed away earlier this year.  We have included a couple of photos and the write up from the Osoyoos Times.

John and some of Zupan's Revenge

John with a glass of his favorite wine after supper at North American Championships at LOSC

John Z

John after a long day racing


Members of the Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club – and large segments of the Osoyoos community at large – are in mourning following the recent passing of longtime resident John Zupan.

Zupan passed away Jan. 15, just 11 days short of reaching age 90.

A memorial service was held Monday afternoon at the Elk’s Hall in Osoyoos and a large contingent of members with the Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club were on hand to say goodbye to a man who loved the sport of sailing with a passion.

Longtime commodore Jurgen Reinharts said Zupan was a wonderful man who is going to be missed by all who knew him well.

“John was a good friend and a mentor who taught me much of what I know about sailing,” he said. “He was always pleasant to be around and just a really friendly guy.

“At the sailing club, he was also a doer … he didn’t just talk about getting things done, he actually got involved and made sure things got done.

“He was very popular with all of the members at the sailing club and his presence is going to be deeply missed at our annual regatta.”

Zupan “lived quite the life” and worked in several countries throughout his working career before settling in Osoyoos almost 50 years ago in 1970, said Reinharts.

“He worked in several countries and spoke several languages and I got to know quite a bit about his life from talking to him and becoming a good friend,” he said. “He was just a very good guy who loved life and I’m really glad I got to know him well.”

Zupan’s friendly nature and love of wine won’t also be forgotten any time soon, he said.

“John loved making his homemade wine and it was very strong,” he said smiling. “He was very liberal with his wine at our events making sure everyone’s glass was full.

“At one particular regatta, we had a large group that indulged in far too much of John’s wine and almost all of them didn’t make the races the next morning. After that, we started calling his wine Zupan’s revenge.”

Current Lake Osoyoos Sailing Club commodore Garry Ford said Zupan won’t soon be forgotten by anyone who knew him well.

“John was a very friendly gentleman who I got to know very well the past four or five years,” he said. “Even though his hearing was quite impaired later in life, he was always at our regattas cheering people on and enjoying the races.”

Zupan competed in sailing regattas well into his 80s and loved the sport with a passion, said Ford.

“One of my fondest memories from all our regattas was one event where our youngest sailor was age eight and we had competitors all the way to age 80, with John being that 80 year old,” he said. “He loved sailing and seldom missed a regatta.”

When Zupan and his wife Erika first moved to Osoyoos he was hired at the Town’s building inspector and his wife landed a job with the Town as well, said Ford.

When they heard the Town was going to sell the old CN Rail station, they convinced members of the sailing club to purchase the building for $1 instead of having it burned down and destroyed, he said.

Zupan’s career in construction came in very handy as he organized the effort to move that building 600 metres from the current parking lot of The Owl Pub to its current home on Spartan Drive, he said.

“If it wasn’t for John and his wife, we wouldn’t have this place that has been home for the sailing club all these years,” he said.

Zupan not only excelled as a sailor, but he loved to ski, bowl and play pool, said Ford. Zupan attended the sailing club’s annual general meeting in early December, despite poor health, and many members got to talk to him one final time, said Ford.

Zupan is predeceased by his daughter Evelyn and sister Fani.

His obituary in the Osoyoos Times read that he would be fondly remembered by his loving family including spouse Erika, son John (Helene), granddaughters Alphie, Jessica, Allison and Amy and grandsons Peter and Shawn.

A Second World War veteran and long-time resident of Osoyoos, Zupan was born in Cemsenik, Slovenia on January 26, 1927. He met his beloved wife Erika in Austria, from where they immigrated to Canada in 1951.

As a project superintendent and senior structural inspector for Perini Corporation, Kaiser Engineering, Bechtel Engineering and Casico, he managed the construction of various hydroelectric dams, underground facilities and bridges in British Columbia, Labrador, Quebec, Ontario and Columbia, South America.

Moving to Osoyoos in 1970, he established Arch and Angle Building Construction, through which he designed, constructed and renovated a number of notable buildings and structures in Osoyoos. For the last 15 years before his retirement, he was the Building Inspector for the Town of Osoyoos.

Besides his sporting ventures, Zupan had a love of knowledge and learning and was always seeking perfection in his endeavours. He was a life-long volunteer in countless projects for the betterment of the community.
Generous, energetic, and always good-humoured, he lived life to the fullest right to the end. All those who love and know him will sadly miss him.

KEITH LACEY (Osoyoos Times)

America’s Cup Hype Begins

As much as I marvel at how fast these BIG cats go as well as the advancements in design, it just doesn’t seem to be sailing. I’m not sure how many remember the first on board, live feed in the 12 meter monohulls, but hearing the creaking and groaning the boat was making as they headed up wind in heavy seas was real racing and it left you with a sense of how hard it was.

Nationals NoR & Other News

SeaSpray Trophy Design

Michael Butler is asking if anyone has a line drawing of a SeaSpray he can use to make trophies.  If you have one please send it to Michael at
Picture shows an example of a line drawing trophy.  Looks nice

Notice of Race

Attached is the Notice of Race for the SeaSpray Canadian Nationals July 7, 8 and 9th.  Nationals will be part of a bigger regatta – the  annual Prairie Wind Regatta.  Nationals  will start on Friday and continue until Sunday.

CLICK HERE for Seaspray 2017 NOR & PWR

Window To The World

Sometimes the hardest part of racing a SeaSpray is being able to see where the other boats are because the sail window isn’t big enough or your eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. Your eyes are hard to improve but sail windows can be made larger — how about this for a sail window?