This past weekend, the University of Ottawa Racing team got the opportunity to compete in the World’s Largest College Sailing competition. The Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta was held at the Larchmont Yacht Club in New York with the Storm Trysail Foundation. There were over 400 college students, 47 offshore boats ranging from 35 to 44 feet. There were some very competitive fleets, such as the one-designs J105’s, J109’s and J44’s, as well as an IRC 40 and IRC 35 fleet.
This regatta would not be possible without the 47 boat owners who donated their boats and their time for the weekend. They offered coaching and the opportunity to helm and crew for an offshore boat. The University of Ottawa was lucky enough to have Dave Betts offer his J109, Instant Karma, for the weekend. Dave was only allowed to coach us on our boat handling skills. Driving and tactics were completely left to the team. The team from UofO have never sailed together before and some had never even stepped foot on a keelboat before. With the help from Dave and Chris, our coach for the weekend, the UofO team was able to steadily climb up in the results during the 3 light wind races held on Saturday. We held an amazing team of Mark Ostapiak on the helm, Clarity Nicoll on tactics and a stellar crew including, Mathias Fricot, Antoine Pouliot, Camille Dubois, Alex St-Jacques and Anais Cousin.
Tactician Clarity on the helm, with main trimmer Antoine and skip Mark taking a break - Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta - Andrew Leslie Click Here to view large photo
Saturday night had cold beers and pork buffet dinner waiting for the racers when they got off the water. There was also a raffle thanks to the sponsors, Storm Trysail, Vineyard Vines, Gill, Rolex, Caithness Energy, Safe Flight Instruments, UK-Halsey and Heineken.
Sunday held even lighter winds with huge shifts. Racing was blown off after 1 leg. During the AP, teams were seen doing halyard swings and swimming in the water. At noon the racers were sent in for pizza and awards.
It was an amazing opportunity for all the teams attending the regatta, Maine Maritime captured first overall and the University finished sixth in the J109 fleet. For full results http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=562