50th Anniversary C&C Corvette Rendezvous
Royal Hamilton Yacht Club – August 1st and 2nd, 2015K
Twenty-two boats were represented at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Belleville Marine built Corvette on the August 1st Long weekend. There were twelve 31′ Corvettes and two 36′ Frigates in attendance, as well as crews representing a further eight boats who drove in to Hamilton to be part of this weekend event.
After arrival and registration on Friday evening and Saturday morning, 26 members of the Corvette association toured Dundurn Castle, the home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab on the heights overlooking Burlington Bay, as well as taking a quick tour of the Military Museum on site. Socializing continued into the evening with a barbecue on Saturday evening, during which RHYC Commodore Michael Cox presented the Corvette Association with a framed print of the Corvette Elektra sailing to 2nd place the 1968 Lipton Cup racing at SORC with Bruce Kirby at the helm, superimposed with a photo of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Corvette HMCS Sackville preserved in Halifax.
Sunday opened with a two hour Annual General meeting of the class during which the new executive was installed, then followed by the highlight of the weekend – the “Around the Bay” “sail” (not race!). This year a new wrinkle was introduced to benefit the less race oriented fleet members. A list of questions was distributed at the skippers meeting that the crews had to answer with regard to things visible around the Bay during the race. The results of this “scavenger hunt” would count equally with the race results to determine the trophy winners. The wind continued to build out of the south-west as the day progressed, resulting in a downwind start and a search for the drifting downwind mark off the Canadian Center for Inland Waters, then a long upwind slog to the finish with some specular knockdowns in the shifty breeze. The race was won by Peter and Wilma Cohrs from Kingston Yacht Club in their Frigate La Galouine, with Rick & Lise Cartmel of Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club second in their Corvette Varuna, followed by Paul and Carol Boleantu of the host club in Strange Magic. However, these results would change substantially for the awarding of the Cuthbertson and Morch trophies once the scores of the scavenger hunt had been compiled. After the Around the Bay Sail (it wasn`t a race!), the fleet rafted off Carol Point under the Royal Botanical Gardens, within sight of Dundurn Castle, to inspect boats and relax with snacks and libations after a gruelling sail.
The banquet on Sunday night at RHYC was the culmination of the weekend with special guests George and Helen Cuthbertson, and John Burn. George Cuthbertson, of course, with George Cassian of Cuthbertson & Cassian was designer of the Corvette in 1965, while John Burn, who had just joined Cuthbertson & Cassian that same year to head up Sales and Marketing, as well as to contribute his considerable expertise in Fiberglas construction, was the person responsible for naming the class “Corvette”, based on the WWII Naval Vessel on which builder Ian Morch served. George Cuthbertson gave an excellent dissertation on the early history of the Corvette and the subsequent founding of C&C Yachts. Rob Mazza then followed with a slide show giving a more detailed Pre-History of C&C Yachts leading to the creation of Belleville Marine and the Corvette and Frigate.
The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Corvette Class Association President Paul Helford, who with George Cuthbertson and incoming President Peter Frost, presented the Cuthbertson Trophy to Peter and Wilma Cohrs from Kingston Yacht Club for their 1st place finish in the Around the Bay sail, and their excellent results in the Scavenger Hunt. However, the Morch Trophy went to Ross McKee and Escapade V of RCYC, who more than made up for their race results with a strong finish in the Scavenger Hunt. Frazer McKee, Ross’ father, who raced with Ross, served with Ian Morch in the RCN during the 2nd World War, and remembered him well, so the win was very appropriate.
The long running Corvette Rendezvous takes place every 2nd year with the next Rendezvous scheduled for 2017, most likely at the Eastern end of Lake Ontario or the Thousand Islands to celebrate the 52nd year of this remarkable little boat.
Written by: Rob Mazza – August 31st, 2015