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Profile 2 - John Curtis

By Ann-Maureen Owens with photography by Bernard Clark

Gene O'ReillyWhen John Curtis first competed in the 1985 Canadian Olympic-training Regatta, Kingston (CORK), he realized this was the place for him. He was still a high school student, deciding where to apply for university, and sailing was his passion. The ideal conditions that make Kingston the epicentre of dinghy sailing in Canada drew him to apply to Queen’s University and to stay on to make this city his home. “It’s a beautiful city, but the water and what you can do on it here is what attracted me,” he says, noting that Kingston has the best freshwater sailing in the world.

That is also what currently attracts him to volunteer his expertise to help establish the International Sailing Centre of Excellence at Kingston, part of the Hatter’s Bay Project to sustainably develop the Kingston Penitentiary site.

Born and raised in Barrie, Ontario, John was introduced to sailing at age five at his family’s cottage on Georgian Bay, though he notes that his first experience with his father in their Laser almost put him off the sport. “I still remember being scared of the hum of the daggerboard when the boat got up on a plane.” Growing up, he spent every summer on the water . . .

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