Gimli Yacht Club owes its beginnings to a unique set of circumstances. In 1967 Winnipeg was chosen as the site for the Pan Am Games and the most suitable location for the yachting competition was Gimli. Even before the Games were held, negotiations were initiated by the Manitoba Sailing Association regarding the acquisition of the site. However, the property was turned over to the Town following the Games.
After two more years of negotiations between MSA and the Town, Gimli Yacht Club became a reality in July, 1969, when its first organizational meeting was held. Unlike most yacht clubs, GYC started out well equipped with a building (donated to the Pan Am Games by Camp Shilo), land (leased from the Town) and a wharf and finger docks (build by the Pan Am Games Society), but only a handful of members. Until the airforce base at the airport closed in 1971, the CFB Sailing Club was an important member of this group in its first few years, providing some of the basic necessities, such as furniture, boats and rescue craft.
The Lake of the Woods International Sailing Association invites you to sail on one of the most astounding sailing adventure vacations available. The lake itself straddles the international border and extends about 100 kilometers (60 miles) in each direction leading to numerous areas of the lake that hold excellent sailing opportunities. There are sailing classes for all types of boats and levels of ability.
There are divisions for competitive racers on state of the art boats. There is also provision for those who sail on less competitive designs who desire only an initiation to racing. LOWISA even allows sailors to opt for a division with pursuit style starts in order to avoid the stress of Olympic style starts. For those who don''t wish to race at all, there is a cruising fleet to allow for sailors who want only the beauty of the lake and camaraderie of other sailors. This provides an avenue for family cruisers to participate in a non threatening atmosphere.
The Pelican Yacht Club provides a sheltered harbor for its members and offers sailing instruction throughout the summer for sailors of all ages and abilities. The clubhouse provides accessible washrooms and showers and boasts an excellent kitchen, the social center of the Club.
The West Hawk Lake Yacht Club, established in 1959, was one of the original clubs in Manitoba. During the 1960s and into the mid 1970s, the club was extremely active and produced a number of top level competitors. Older racers will remember names like Dr. Max Demarais, Bill Benson Sr and Cam McCulloch. West Hawk Lake was a hot bed for Y-flyers, Fireballs and Albacores.
It had an active Learn-to-Sail program and a member of WHLYC served as Chair of the CYA National LTS Committee in the mid 80s. Although the club is virtual it has a website but no club house plans for 2010 are to continue on the success of the last four summers. The sailing program has been expanded to include an advanced program and an adult program. All the old club trophies have been located and there is serious talk of holding races to compete for them (tentatively Aug.15/10). The main focus, however, will continue to be on trying to get people out on the water sailing