Sailing club celebrates its 50th with a new dock

CONESTOGO LAKE — For more than 50 years, the Conestoga Sailing Club has provided avid boaters with a welcoming and cost-effective way to pursue their sport.

Counting about 50 families as members, the club celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a pledge to replace its aging dock.

Thanks to about $18,000 in donations and hours of labour supplied by club members, the old dock has been replaced by a 44-metre dock that offers a safe landing spot, past club commodore Jan d’Ailly said.

“(The old docks) had to be rebuilt every single year, and they were becoming unstable as well,” he said.

On Saturday, club officials held a ribbon cutting for the dock and its new Nacra catamaran, and thanked key donors for their contributions.

Based on Conestogo Lake northwest of Elmira, the club hosts a number of regattas and races throughout the season, and offers weekly activities on and off the water for members. Its sailing school offers instruction to about 200 adults and children each year, d’Ailly said.

A family club membership costs $350 and provides access to the club’s boats and facilities.

“We do provide low-cost, alternate outdoor recreation, especially for those who love the water,” d’Ailly said. “It’s a great opportunity to really go out and enjoy the water and respect nature.”

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