Congratulations to Graham Toews who is the recipient of the 2019 Travis McGregor Seamanship Award!

Graham joined the Sail Nelson family in May of 2018 when he took his Basic Cruising course with his wife Pauline. He was so enthused with his sailing experience with us that he purchased his boat Ringo in the middle of the course!

Following his course, Graham tore Ringo apart and overhauled everything including building a new rudder, refinishing her decks with kiwi grip, polishing the hull and replacing many pieces of hardware. Talk about a crash-course in boat repair seamanship skills! 😉

Since Graham could not sail Ringo, he joined the Kootenay Lake Sailing Association (KLSA) where he joined a team for weekly beer can races. His sail trimming skills were increasing with each race and he also went to the Giant’s Head Regatta held at the Summerland Yacht Club in 2018.

In 2019, Graham launched Ringo and spent many an evening and weekend sailing with Pauline and getting to know his refurbished boat! He completed his VHF Marine Radio course and is currently working towards completing his Coastal Navigation course in an effort to move up to the Intermediate Cruising level. He also raced in the Father’s Day Regatta, the Nelson Regatta and the Grey Creek Regatta. All fun, and challenging, local KLSA sailing events.

Graham also volunteered many hours to help create informative booths for the Nelson Safe Boating Event held in May 2019. Graham took particular interest in researching accidents and hazards on Kootenay Lake and was an invaluable member to the Safe Boating Team.

Prior to moving to Nelson, Graham served with the Canadian Forces with the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light infantry. He was deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009 and completed his tour in May 2010. In the future, Graham hopes to create a sailing group for any first responders and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a venture that Sail Nelson looks forward to assisting with and supporting.

Thank you Graham for your service to your country and congratulations on being the recipient of the 2019 Travis McGregor Seamanship Award!

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