This starts a week-long series previewing the 2010 Victoria Beach Yacht Club racing season . . .
Rarely has crewing been quite so ice-cold. Mr. Ritsema famously brings a degree of menacing nonchalance and blue-eyed aloofness to 2 Victoria Street (where the venerable Yacht Club gazes out onto the steely water). Mr. Ritsema spent the winter training at the University of Winnipeg’s elite Nautical Centre under master skip and former federal Minister for Water Sports, Dr. Lloydington P. Axworthy. In January, Mr. Ritsema led a much-publicized research expedition to the frozen edge of the Elk Island World Heritage Site. An account of the expedition was published in Science but was questioned on the veracity of some of its more surreal assertions - piles of frozen fish heads and lone wolfs loping out into the frigid horizon? Yeah, right Rog. Known for his seriousness and dedication to craft, the North End born legacy of seafarer Kronald Ritsema was spotted last week crooning at a hip Village speak-easy. You can bet the song was from Top Gun because this young guy is a true Iceman.
This Beach Cat has sired more rumours than Bruce Fuckin’ Willis (that's a pun on Rumer Willis for you losers who haven't torn the roof off with her and L.Lo at the Manning's formerly annual Gin Bash). Is this the year Tom gets back on a boat with his father, Chris ‘Adult Dance’ Aldridge? We honestly have no clue - but we did see his picture in the paper one day, which may or may not have been planted by the Aldridge’s PR people in advance of a high-profile comeback. Good thing he works for Canadian Linen, because if this fearsome pro is back on a boat this summer, his opponents are going to be wiping away a lot of tears.
Schootsie has more nicknames than the Wu put together. That’s the way this elusive cat rolls. Does he live at VB? Calgary? On Victoria Island? Bermuda? In February he was photographed sipping a Mulberry (believe me it’s a cocktail, it's just that people here aren’t cool enough to know about it yet) with Joe Biden, Chloe Sevigny, and the world’s foremost Grace Kelly impersonator at a hotel bar in Ibiza. Yeah, that Ibiza. So what does summer 2010 have in store for Za Muff? - You think we'd know? Speculation abounds that he has finally combined his one-seat hovercraft and 18 foot Hobie into a well-lacquered superboat. Don’t bet on it. Speculation abounds that he’s finally going to open his under-Shack lair-slash-windsurfing museum to his friends and the interested public. Don’t bet on it. Speculation abounds that he will replace his brother with Obama’s latest nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Caveman Kagan, as his crew in high wind races. But you know, don’t bet on it.
- Compiled from briefing notes kept by Allen Willoughby