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Storm Trysail Club's 2020 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta cancelled

by Storm Trysail Club 19 Sep 07:56 PDT
The Storm Trysail Club's 2020 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta © Storm Trysail Club

With so many colleges restricting organized sports and travel, the Organizing Committee of The Storm Trysail Club's 2020 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) has reluctantly been forced to cancel the almost 50 year-old event. Ann Myer, Co-Chair for the event, expressed her disappointment. " Originally 50 schools had signed up, with 56 crews ready to sail this year. We did everything we could as a committee to hold the event and to make it safe for all the participants - both the collegiate crews and the many dozens of Storm Trysail Club volunteers and the boat owners - but ultimately the uncertainty surrounding the number of teams that would actually make it to the event caused us to 'N over A' (Race Committee-speak for cancelling a race) the regatta. We had even considered a smaller event with smaller crews, but in the end we felt it best to cancel it."

Lincoln White, the Coach at the United States Coast Guard Academy - a perennial entrant, was understanding. "We have raced in the IOR for many, many years. It's always a highlight on our team's Fall racing calendar, but almost all of our varsity team sports have been curtailed, and while we're saddened that we couldn't be there, we're really looking forward to returning next year. The IOR is such a great opportunity for these crews to get real big-boat experience. It's a real stepping stone to getting into the racing community after graduation.

Rick Royce, Coach at Webb Institute and Fleet Captain of the Storm Trysail Club, expressed his feelings about the cancellation. "We have always enjoyed the IOR Regatta; the team loves racing against schools they don't normally encounter. The social aspect of this regatta, with schools coming from all over the U.S. and even Internationally, has always been special. While we were one of the very few schools that would have been able to sail in this year's IOR, we completely understand and agree that the IOR committee did the right thing in canceling. We look forward to next year and wish everyone well."

Doug Lynn, the other Co-Chair for the regatta, is also optimistic about next year. " For the 2021 Storm Trysail Club Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta we are looking forward to welcoming the usual crowd of over 400 sailors to the largest college big-boat regatta in North America. Mark your calendars, Columbus Day Weekend Oct 9-10, 2021!"

AJ Evans, Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club, told last year's crowd of over 400 that "The unique thing about this regatta is that college isn't the point. It's about the sailing after college, whetting college students' appetite for offshore and big boat sailing, and feeling that spirit of camaraderie that the Storm Trysail Club is famous for. "

While there will not be a real-life regatta, there is a contest of a different sort: To bring back great memories of past IOR's, and to inspire the next generation of offshore sailors, Storm Trysail Club is challenging IOR participants over the years to enter the #IORThenAndNow Photo Contest. "We want to know how the IOR has fit into your sailing career and we are putting up a free registration for one of our Safety at Sea Seminars for the winner," adds Evans. "Simply post two photos: one from a past IOR and another from where you sail now with the hashtag, #IORThenAndNow to be entered to win. The winner will be announced October 13th." First prize is one free admission to StormTrysail's Hand-On Safety at Sea Seminar either at SUNY in New York or in Houston.

We would like to thank our past sponsors without whom this regatta would not be possible: ShopRite of Carteret, Helly Hansen, Dimension-Polyant Sailcloth, Gifted of Larchmont, Safe Flight Instrument Corporation, Corinthians, UK Sailmakers, and Craft NY. In addition, we'd like to thank J. Paul Gilman and Doug Lynn for their personal donations. It is through the collective efforts and generosity that all of these people provide, that we've been able to give thousands of young sailors a taste for offshore racing.

Finally, Storm Trysail Club would also like to thank all the Boat Owners who have offered their boats for 2020 as in years past. We could not run this regatta without their generosity and insight that they are helping grow our sport beyond college.

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