Looking Back by Alan Slater
reprinted from TMCC Newsletter April 1, 1991.

The Club’s twentieth anniversary is coming up, so I think some members may appreciate informal anecdotes about earlier years in the club’s history. Once or twice over the years, members have suggested that the official history should be written. Perhaps it should, if we can agree about what it says. meanwhile, here are the first memoirs, dealing with events leading to the formation of the Club. Perhaps others who were there will fill in the blanks or correct me if I am wrong. (“He’s been at the aluminium pans again!”)

B.C. (Before the Club)
In the summer of 1970, a young man called Lorne Smith bough the Piver Victress trimaran Caravelle. This had belonged to the Carlisles, who sailed it to the Med. and back with their family. Their book is well worth reading by the way.

Lorne decided that it would be a good idea to have a race event for the local multihulls. So he got some trophies and a case of liquor from somewhere, and persuaded the Toronto Island Marina to host the event (They were more open minded then).

Eleven or twelve multihulls took part in the two races. I only recall some of them - our Wharram Tane, (the first Wharram on the lake I think), Arno’s 24 ft. Newman, Walter Skol’s Lollipop and Pat McGrath’s 24 ft. Buccaneer painted with a material resembling silver tar which didn’t catch on in the marketplace. There was Karl Uthoff’s 25 ft. Crowther painted with pink primer (“it’s good enough”) and a 32 ft. (I think) trimaran called Pussycat. Does anyone remember the others?

I don’t remember who won, partly no doubt because it wasn’t me. But I do remember that it was many years before we had as many multis in a race. I believe they even put to rest many absurd claims for excessive performance. I also remember that all the booze disappeared mysteriously.

I said that the T.I.M. was more friendly then. We stayed there for several seasons, with the Wharram and later with our own design, Pandemonium. It suited us to have a dock when the boys were small, and it became our cottage. They were not so friendly later, when Bob Perkins brought his Wharram Pinafore, later Brat. He registered it as 29 ft. by 12 ft. without saying it was a catamaran. When they saw, the manager nearly had a fit, but had to let him in.

Back to B.C. Bob and I often ate lunch in the Acadian Court at Simpsons, designing catamarans on place mats, and eating shrimps and scallops. At one such lunch, after the aforementioned sail-in, I suggested to Bob, that we could start a multihull club, and he said “Of course”. So, Bob rented a room at the King Edward and I wrote to everyone we knew, and the Club was formed in November 1971, with myself as Commodore, Pat McGrath as Vice-Commodore, Kathy Jacques as Secretary and Bob as Treasurer.

Talking of the marina brings back many memorable moments. Like the time Ellenor’s sister-in-law fell off their tri twice in two minutes. Their cruising tri I recall as eight feet long, but I think it was probably nineteen feet. Then there was the time Robin fell out of the dinghy. I was enjoying the spectacle, glass in hand, while Linda went to the rescue (very likely also with a glass). Someone gave David a dime one day and he was so excited that he jumped off the boat, clear over the dock, and came up for air with the dime in his hand. Of course, a dime went further twenty years ago. Then there was the time Pat McGrath sailed into Basin A, rounded up and threw out the anchor. Unfortunately, the line was only 10 feet long and he needed eleven. One of the very best entertainments was provided by two elderly gentlemen, who motored a Lightning dinghy across Humber Bay to the marina on a windy day. They were o.k. without the board down until they tried to maneuver in the basin. I think the resulting antics must have lasted half and hour, as they hit every boat at least once. I’m here to tell you that you can’t die of laughing.
More to come...

Toronto Multihull Cruising Club  •  16 Regatta Road, Toronto ON  •  416-461-0028  (note: no mail delivery to this address)

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