by Amy Reynolds
Last weekend, the Youngstown Yacht Club hosted the CanAm Challenge, a one-design and pursuit class event that emphasizes a friendly rivalry between the United States and Canada, with each country vying for bragging rights. 92 boats registered for this Inaugural event; split between 12 One Design divisions as well as two Pursuit classes, spinnaker and non-spinnaker. Beginning on Friday evening, boats descended upon Youngstown, NY from as far away as San Diego in the U.S. and Ottawa, Ontario in Canada.
canam challenge logo
While the Regatta was sailed in winds on the lighter sides, the Regatta PRO’s did an exceptional job with most courses sailing six good races with great competition. Competitors from both the US and Canada had impressive results in the various classes which included: 8 meters, J70, J88, J24, J22, Beneteau 36.7, Shark, Laser 28,Tripp 26, C&C 29, Melges 24, Kirby 25 as well as spinnaker and non-spinnaker Pursuit classes.
To determine the winner of the CanAm Challenge, the racing was so close that there was only a one point spread between US and Canada to determine the winning country. In the end, the 2014 CanAm perpetual trophy winner goes to Team Canada. The CanAm Challenge also served as the first ever J88 Great Lakes Championships, with five competitors and Seaweed/Skipper Jim Egloff winning the honor.
The week leading up to the actual racing was highlighted with clinics and a 'Junior CanAm Challenge' sailed in Lasers, 420s and Optis. Quantum Sail Design group had representatives hold J70 and J88 clinic’s focusing on rig tuning, on the water practice starts, and debriefs. The Junior CanAm ran on Tuesday and Wednesday with crews representing Yacht Clubs from Western and Central NY as well as Southern Ontario. Racing for this junior regatta was light and shifty on the first day, and windy and wavy on the second day. A great test of the young sailors skills!
The Can Am Challenge was an all-inclusive event that helped build camaraderie amongst the crews, as well as helped to keep costs down for the sailors. The entry fee included on-grounds wristband for skipper and their crew and provided breakfast treat and coffee on Saturday and Sunday mornings before racing, a chicken dinner on Saturday night, and pizza before the awards ceremony. This on top of already discounted beer and rum drinks!
While this event is new to YYC, hosting great regatta’s is not and many of the friendships that began at past events like the Level Regatta were rekindled, as well as many new traditions. In addition to great music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the event also hosted a Street Hockey Tournament to continue the friendly rivalry between the US and Canada! Multiple teams competed for their country but in the end, just like on the water, Canada came out on top! This is sure to become a tradition that you will not want to miss.
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