Commodore Al Woolnough

I moved to Collingwood and began work, fresh out of school, for a young engineering company in Collingwood in May 1968. I was employee # 20. 

I had never sailed before but was introduced to it by one of the engineers, John Mc Gavin, who sailed out of Thornbury. This began a love affair which has lasted over 55 years.

At that time there were only two sailboats in the Collingwood Harbour, one, a Thunderbird, owned by Matt Kloos, one of the owners of the Arlington Hotel and the second, a Hughes 24 owned by Hugh Thompson, a mechanic at Hanna Ford. Joe Draper, who worked at a local grocery store, dry-sailed an Albacore which he launched from a trailer each time he sailed. One would often see Joe, who became one of the original 6 members of CYC, rigging the boat, immediately after work, at the launch ramp while still wearing his white shirt and tie. 

I soon purchased an old 21-foot wooden centre board Arrow Head Sloop from Noni Harris who later also became one of the original 6 members of CYC. 

A fleet of sail boats began to build in the Collingwood Harbour.