Rumors and speculation have been swirling from the highest mast post down to the lowest sun starved sand beneath the yacht club deck of a possible election showdown between friends Alexander James Tooley and Jamie Thomas for the VBYC commodore position in 2012.
Thomas a long time VBYC member and sailing advocate is considered a rising star in Provincial politics in Manitoba. Thomas’ political prowess has not gone unnoticed as the Provincial New Democrat Party have taken more than a cursory glance at the young man, perhaps looking to groom him for a post in the future. An unnamed party official agreed that a commodore title at his age would do well to raise a few eyebrows among the party elite. Many hours spent contemplating in reserved silence under the dome of the legislative building is said to be building what most pundits believe to be a steely level headed resolve that could be the mark of a great leader.
While Thomas‘ racing history at the club is less than complete or spectacular, it is believed his father, both VBYC and VB community pillar Greg “Big Cat”Thomas is more than willing to dole out sound advice about the finer technical points of yacht racing, appealing to the pro-racing voters who have historically held sway within the club.
Tooley, also a long standing member at the VBCY and executive of the VBYC expansion committee is a burgeoning player among the commodity exchanges around the world famous Portage and Main financial capital of Manitoba. Renown for being well dressed for all occasions and delighting more than a few with his wit and charm at social gatherings, the man seems poised for a quick rise toward the elite of Winnipeg. His future vision and steadfastness to “make things happen” align Tooley with the younger more untamed members of the club.
Tooley, a onetime junior sailing champion and respected instructor of monohull sailing fundamentals and racing, more recently seems to have turned his back on his roots in favor of the less structured and more carefree class of windsurfing, surely not boding well to win over voting purists of the sport. When asked of his famously quick exits from commitments and social situations when the leaves in the trees begin to rustle the unflappable and brazenly honest Tooley delivers the famous Moitessier refrain: You do not ask a tame seagull why it needs to disappear from time to time toward the open sea, it goes, that’s all”
A potential Sunset backyard seasonal windup on the Tooley estate has many members openly discussing their party attire and in what range of quality and temperature the beer would served, harkening back to decades ago when only the finest landscapes and chilled beer that VB had to offer would be acceptable to the yachting members.
While Tooley has the backing of the venerable and influential “Sunset strip” crowd, Thomas’ working class roots and “middle of the avenues” common sense approach to issues is likely to appeal to undecided voters. It has been conjectured that renowned party planner and generally well organized yacht club member Ryan Van Berkel has been approached quietly by both sides to gauge interest in a said to be lofty campaign post. Van Berkel refused to comment when reached. Thomas also would not confirm what has oft been rumored would be his campaign slogan: “Chames you can believe in”.
- VBYC Insider