GROWING UP ON THE WATER
Lorraine Bader Shares Her Story
From sailing up North to locally on Lake Ontario, Lorraine Bader has a true passion for the sport. She shares her sailing story and advice for those just getting into it.
How did you get involved in sailing?
I had the very good fortune to grow up spending entire summers at a family cottage in the Kawarthas. I spent many happy days swimming and boating with my siblings; my father taught me how to drive a small outboard and go off on my own when I was about 9 years old. At about that same age, we had a very small wooden sailboat (we’re talking 8 feet long here) in which I learned the very basics of sailing. That was short lived when the mast toppled off the boat and was lost in a very deep part of the lake.
About 10 years ago, when I became an “empty nester”, I visited the Toronto Boat Show and came upon Humber College’s Sailing Club booth. The College offered sailing lessons, and an opportunity to use their fleet to learn how to sail. I joined the Club and very quickly got hooked on learning the sport, plus I discovered that it was a great opportunity to make lots of sailing friends---many of whom I count as close friends today.
Tell us about your first impression of the sailing world.
First impressions: thrilling, scary, wet, fast-paced. It became obvious very early on that one had to be ready to “bite the bullet” and get involved in learning or you would forever be just a passenger. Because I learned in a “shared boat” environment, it was a great opportunity to learn all positions on a sailboat.
What have been your biggest obstacles to overcome?
To believe in myself and not get frustrated in listening to competing opinions on how to maneuver on the water. I have discovered over the years that there are many ways to arrive at the same destination!!
What are your favourite things about sailing? What keeps you coming back for more?
I love to be on the water. Since I learned how to sail, and then got involved in racing, I have had such great experiences with a lot of other sailors. Although my boat competes in white sail categories, I have learned so much about handling the boat and sail trim by racing in the LOSHRS lake races, Club racing, GHYRA week, and the Susan Hood. Actually won a few trophies as well! And then there’s cruising; what a perfect way to spend a weekend or vacation.
Where would you like to see the sailing world in 3-5 years when it comes to women's involvement in the sport?
There are a tremendous number of very accomplished female sailors out there. I find that they can be very encouraging to other women sailors as well. It would be great to see more women participants in the sport.
What is your advice for women looking to get involved in the sailing?
Get on the helm. Be in charge of the boat for a day. Learn how to dock. Once you’ve become more comfortable doing those things, the rest comes easy. And there’s nothing wrong with using as many fenders as you have on board to make it a safe landing!
Learn about more women on the water
in our local community.