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Shells and Sails has Returned from the North!

“This northern trip has been especially fun to plan and participate in because of the novelty it presented for the communities. Our mobile team contributed to the momentum that will build two new rowing clubs in the province. We are very excited to see where things can go from here!”

“It was amazing to see absolute beginners being comfortable and confident that they knew what to do in the boats. That speaks to the coaches’ ability to convey the required information and to inspire confidence.”’
-Donna Speigel (Sudbury Rowing Club)

“We were thrilled to be able to give our students the opportunity to try their indoor erg training out on the water. Our teachers enjoyed the experience as well and we all have a greater appreciation for how difficult a skill it must be to row in tandem, or even 4’s and 8’s; it looks so easy on TV”
-Carol Hunt- Ford (Central Algoma Secondary School/Desberats)

“The program was great and you guys are positive ambassadors for the program…if only we could have this happen here more often.”
-Pat O’Gorman, Recreation Coordinator, Township of Johnson

“We are a new club and have many challenges as we build our club. Shells and Sails made this event easy to organize and we had great turnout with new interest in our club membership!”
-Nadine Jensen (North Bay Rowing Club)

The Shells and Sails Mobile Unit has returned from their week-long excursion through Northern Ontario, promoting rowing and sailing in the communities of Johnson, Sudbury, and North Bay. The team of Matthew Wortley, and Victoria Restivo worked with incredible volunteers from Desberats, Central Algoma Secondary School, Sudbury Rowing Club and North Bay Rowing Club in their 1,400km round trip journey.
The Shells and Sails unit is a dedicated team of coaches that teach rowing and sailing. They are in charge of free try-it-days that anyone can register for and they travel across Ontario, working with local rowing and sailing clubs. A try-it-day consists of 90 minute sessions that introduce a participant to the sport, the safety procedures, and going on the water to sail and/or row.
This was the first time that the Shells and Sails Mobile Unit travelled north. There was much excitement preparing for this trip and there is even more excitement afterwards. Working with RowOntario, Ontario Sailing, the Get Out On The Water Campaign and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Shells and Sails makes it their goal to promote sailing and rowing, and the north trip was a great opportunity to help.
The first stop brought the team to the small town of Desberats with a population of 400 people on June 10 and 11. Working with Carol Hunt-Ford of Central Algoma Secondary School and Pat O’Gorman of Johnson Township, as well as many volunteers, the team had a successful first day of sailing and rowing. The second day in Desberats saw the team host the local high school for a rowing only session, providing the opportunity to try a new sport and put their erging skills to practice on the water.
Sudbury Rowing Club hosted the Shells and Sails Team for the next two days. Working with Liz Huffman and members of the rowing club, and alongside the canoe and kayak club, and the Sudbury Yacht Club, the Shells and Sails team helped a lot of people try rowing and sailing. It was a tremendous success to provide a drop-in day and accommodate every one of all ages and skill ability.
Finally, Trout Lake in North Bay, the team worked with Nadine Jensen and enthusiastic members of the North Bay Rowing Club; a club in its beginnings. The sessions were very busy and everyone had a great time on a beautiful lake. There was a lot of interest from the community for moving onto the next steps for establishing a rowing club.
Above all else, the Shells and Sails Mobile Unit cannot express their excitement enough about the enthusiasm and opportunity for sailing and rowing to grow in Northern Ontario!

If you wish to sign up for these events, please go to
For Shells & Sails questions, please visit or email
Stayed tuned for our fun Shells & Sails video recapping this trip and check in with the team by following us on Facebook (Shells&Sails), twitter (@ShellsSails)

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