The small village of Chester lies at the northern end of Mahone Bay and has been a popular summer vacation destination for nearly two hundred years, particularly for wealthy Americans from Boston, Pittsburgh and Baltimore. The Chester yacht Club was incorporated in 1902 and since that time has annually hosted the largest keel boat race in Canada. The club house sits right on the water with docks out front and numerous moorings for the fleet beyond. We watched as a fleet of Bluenose class yachts raced around Front Harbour on a sunny, nearly windless day. Approximately 98 of these wooden sail boats were made between 1946 and 2002. They are a small, tender yacht at 23 feet 5 inches LOA and a narrow 6 foot 3 inch beam. The long overhangs leave a short 16 foot waterline length but at a displacement of 2,050 pounds these light sloops can move quickly.
While we were visiting the area, the Chester Yacht Club was hosting a send off party for two of their members that had been selected to represent Canada as the 470 division racing team in the upcoming Olympics. This small club was justifiably proud to be able to put forth the strongest team in Canada and the speeches by the Member of Parliament, Legislature, Village Warden, Commodore and coaches reflected that pride. Graeme and Jacob Saunders were so well supported financially by the community that they are now saving for the next international competition. Two other Canadian athletes came to the ceremony from Halifax, the woman's 49er FX team. Both teams had recently returned from Rio and were thrilled to be heading back to start the serious competition next week.
We were very honoured to be invited to the send off party and wish all of Canada's athletes the very best in the upcoming Olympic Games.