Why MBSS

THE SAILING SCHOOL

The sailing school was established in 1972. The Midland Bay Sailing Club, led by Commodore John Leitch, felt strongly that giving back to the youth of the community was an important initiative, both for the future of the Club and for sailing in the area generally. That year, instruction was undertaken by some of the more proficient racing sailors in the Club, notably Ed McGrath, and the boats used were those owned by club members and made available on loan for use in the new sailing school. There were 63 participants that year, a good start for the sailing school and an indication of its popularity that has been experienced through the years. The main focus was on youth but adult instruction was included.

The land that MBSC enjoys today was not yet a reality or even a possibility and these early beginnings were hosted by Harvey and Marg Payne on their beachfront property in Portage Park. As the school grew, the nearby park area known as Gawley’s Beach was used. Our present location was made available to the Club by the Midland Parks Board in 1974 and thereafter the school has been run from this location.

We operate a vibrant, popular sailing school open to all youths, accommodating more than 100 students every summer in four sessions, and we donate several places to worthy youth through local service agencies. Our Able Sail program is the only recreational sailing opportunity for people with physical and developmental disabilities between Toronto and Thunder Bay, and is available both to individual participants and clients of local service agencies and treatment centres.