Friday, March 19, 2010

From the Archives: August 31st, 2008

Victoria Beach - A community lost an icon last night at the Victoria Beach Yacht Club’s annual wind-up soiree when a reveler seemingly fell onto a storied white Styrofoam cooler. Details are sketchy but eyewitness accounts claim that VBYC member Ben Peterson was dancing wildly when he lost his balance and fell onto the cooler which exploded releasing water, ice and ice cold cans of beer across the club’s plywood floor. Attempts to resuscitate the cooler were made at the scene, but were unsuccessful.

The coffin-shaped Styrofoam cooler was sent to the club by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabo in the early 1980s as a threat after the VBYC Sailing School chose to buy German-built optimists over the Chinese design. It immediately became a fixture at the club’s wind-ups. Bruce Guest remembers the first wind-up with the cooler. "As we filled it up, we knew it looked like a relatively decent cooler, but when we started pulling beers out of it, we knew how special it really was," said Guest. "God those beers were so cold."

The coffin, as it was known to the club’s members, became an ironic symbol of hope during the dark years of the late 1990s and early 2000s when the decline of the monohull fleet decimated races and Commodore power struggles led to deep divisions among the sailing community. In the last few years an influx of windsurfers has powered the club’s resurgence, and the cooler, having long been half-empty, again seemed almost to burst with beers for the burgeoning community. Long time member and former Chief Safety Officer, Jeff Hughes, could only shake his when told of the news. "Through thick and thin," he said, "we always had the coffin."

Police Chief Stewart McPherson said that the incident is being treated as an accident and that there seems to have been no malice in Mr. Peterson’s actions. "Though Mr. Peterson is known to us, we have no reason to suspect this was anything other than an unfortunate set of circumstances," said Chief McPherson. Mr. Peterson is best known as the older cousin of windsurfing phenom Andreas Sudermann. He was last in the news after a widely publicized incident at a Victoria Beach reunion of his prominent family. Mr. Peterson was not available for comment.

- Herald Staff Reporter

Friday, March 12, 2010

Soft spoken, sinister, sharply dressed goateed man applies sophisticated mind control techniques, brings down expansion proposal

Flying in the face of reports on a popular wind sailing blog, members of the Victoria Beach Yacht Club (VBYC) who thought they had voted down a club expansion proposal of their own volition, it seems were sadly duped by an apparently unassuming well dressed goateed man. Appearing inconspicuous and purporting to be afraid to be a “turd in the punch bowl” a seemingly quiet, shadowy character whom afterwards VBYC members could not readily identify, went on a precise verbal barrage against the proposed plan, referencing impressive sounding architectural terms and phrases and barely masking his contempt for the plan and everyone else in the room.
In hindsight this highly intelligible sounding rant had a remarkable effect on the audience, many members began to eschew their previous thoughts about the proposal and their opinions began to strangely align with the soft spoken closely cropped goateed man. As the vote proceed to be heavily in favor of rejecting the proposal, a creepy sinister smile eased on to the man’s face and his eyes flared for a moment. It appears some members were able to keep their wits about them and vote for the obviously strong proposal, whether this was all a part of some master plan has yet to be revealed. Following the vote the man seemed to have slipped out of the room unnoticed, an area resident reported seeing a slick, confident man walking toward a vehicle mumbling in a deep powerful voice about “Phase one” being “complete”.
VBYC members questioned afterward could not readily give any strong reasons as to why they had voted down the proposal and many admitted to having a “hazy” memory of the actual vote and events preceding it. Reflecting on the bizarre circumstances one can only reasonably assume that the smartly dressed goateed fellow had implemented urbane mind control techniques in order to bow the course of the meeting and secure the vote in his regard. It can only be assumed that the mysterious man is in his lair, plodding and planning a sinister phase two for the VBYC expansion.

- VBYC Insider

Tooley-McMorris Proposal Crushed

South St. Vital - The co-chair of the Victoria Beach Yacht Club's Expansion Committee had his proposal crushed last night in an 11-3 vote. Alexander James Tooley had put forward a Ted Geddert design which would have almost doubled the size of the VBYC’s current facility. The aesthetics of the proposed plan seemed to be the sticking point. "I want to vote for this, I really do" said club member Dr. Richard Ratball, "but I just can’t get past the looks".
Many feel the expansion committee made a tactical blunder in making Mr. Tooley the meeting’s non-voting chair. Chris Aldridge, a long time Club secretary and canned beverage enthusiast suggested that had Tooley been able to cast a vote it may have stimulated a groundswell in support. "You never know," said Mr. Aldridge, "you get one more vote early and maybe guys start to want to not be seen as the stick-in-the-muds." However, after talking to members of Mr. Tooley's staff it was not clear how deeply he supported his own proposal. The evening's proceedings were marked by a strange sense of ambivalence towards the project which, to take effect, would ultimately have to receive royal assent from King Orest Dackow.
Two of the proposal's supporters, Roger Ritsema and Jamie Thomas (voting on behalf of his father, 1988 Redeye winner, Greg Thomas) were roundly criticized for not having supported the view with more enthusiasm. "Pretty weak" was the opinion of one of the meeting’s staffers who wished to remain anonymous in order to comment on internal matters, "those guys have reputations as bringing an articulate view to the table but they were just ineffective - if you don’t make a case for it, no one will vote your way." An aide to Mr. Ritsema shrugged off the criticism. "Our feeling was that the time and price was right, but having said that, I don’t think anyone in that room was comfortable with the design," he said. Ryan van Berkle, a senior member of Sailing Manitoba, was also largely quiet save for moving a motion that would have equipped the club with a direct line to the Moonlight Inn. The motion was soundly defeated. Mr. Ritsema was clearly surprised by the motion, "I’m not sure, at this point, that anyone is worrying about those kind of details."
Mr. Tooley and fellow expansion committee member Ivan McMorris left the meeting in a black town car and have not been available for comment.
After the meeting Jeremy Ritsema, who voiced the first complaint against the project's design and is widely viewed as the architect of the expansion plan’s defeat, stood under a Cactus Cove streetlight to address members of the media. "I think there are good things happening at the Club," said Mr.Ritsema, "But this plan was simply not the right route. The desire to move forward is clearly there, and that's exciting, but we cannot waste members' money on a design that is flawed conceptually and, frankly, aesthetically," he added, lighting a cigarette.

- Herald Staff Reporter

Monday, March 8, 2010

The dip gets tired after a long day on the water

Alexander James Actually Pretty Good at Windsurfing Now

VICTORIA BEACH—Four years after being blasted as an elitist for his Ivy League education, wealthy background, and hobby of windsurfing, sources say that Alexander James has in fact become quite proficient at the water-based leisure sport.

"After losing the VBYC Commodore election in such a humiliating and disgraceful manner, Alexander really threw himself into windsurfing, and I'm happy to say it paid off," said James’s longtime adviser and windsurfing coach, Gary Albl. "Everyone claimed he was too wishy-washy and didn't have a thick skin, so he said he'd show them all, and he did. His T-bones and slamjibes speak for themselves."
Albl, like many of James's friends, said the defeat at the polls may have actually been a blessing in disguise, since it allowed the Young Associate from Manitoba to spend more time on his true passion. As evidence of the incredible progress James has made in the last four years, Gary pointed out that the former Commodore candidate is now able to perform a number of freestyle moves and some light carving without hurting himself. James also reportedly knows all about tacks now, and can stay on the board a full minute longer than he could during the last Club Commodore campaign.
In addition, his water starts have matured significantly.
Besides upgrading his windsurfing board class from Freeride to Formula Windsurfing, aides said he has made strides in other areas to escape his image as an out-of-touch patrician. According to a press release from his office, James can now play eighteen holes of golf at a public course, as well as meet large groups of factory workers without wincing, and remember that his favorite Bob Dylan song is "Lay Lady Lay" without first checking with a handler.
It is not known whether Alexander James intends to use his new skills in a future presidential run. When reporters reached him for comment, he was being swept into Yacht Club Bay by a 35 mph gust of wind.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Victoria Beach, MB, Canada - In a splash heard 'round the world, local windsurfer Richard Ratball successfully aired over the Goverment Pier. One insider called the feat "the biggest thing to happen in windsurfing since Ben Peterson's alledged heroics out by Backloop Point." Ratball singlehandedly ended speculation on whether or not the six foot tall, twenty foot wide structure could be jumped. When asked if the landing was clean, witness Aaron Schott said, "Oh fuck yeah. God, he just stomped it, gybed, and cruised back towards Clubhouse Beach." Upon arrival at Clubhouse Beach, windsurfers hoping to congratulate Ratball were disappointed when they found only his gear surrounded by several empty beer cans and cigarette butts. Ratball has not been seen or heard from since; the only confirmation of his existence being a crudely scribbled application to the local yacht club found days after the historic accomplishment.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Local Commodore leads double (triple?) life

Obscure multi-hull sailor dominates regattas
Diplomat shelters Americans in secret deal between USA & Canada
He wore a shirt of violent green.