Friday, October 5, 2018

J/Class Intercollegiate Offshore Preview

College sailors on J/44 (Larchmont, NY)- The I.O.R. for college sailors wishing to experience offshore racing has been run by Storm Trysail Foundation, in conjunction with the Larchmont Yacht Club, since 2004. The event has grown every year and last year was able to accommodate almost 400 college sailors. Thanks to sponsors, private donations, and the generosity of participating boat owners, Storm Trysail Foundation and Larchmont Yacht Club are able to run this regatta at no cost to the schools' sailing teams!

This year’s event will run from October 6th to 7th sailing on the waters of western Long Island Sound.  Included are one-design fleets of J/105s (12 teams), J/109s (9 crews), & J/44s (5 crews), as well as PHRF handicap fleets.  What has been significant about this event is the extraordinary generosity of J/Boats owners that have given their boats to college teams for free to sail in the event- the only caveat being that an owner-representative is onboard.

Perhaps what is most remarkable is the overwhelming majority of sailboat owners donating their time (and the boat) are J/Boat owners.  The simple breakdown shows that of 49 boats participating, the majority by far are the 35 J/Boats owners (about 71.4% of the fleet).

In the wild conditions of 2017, ranging from moderate winds to pea-soup fog and rain and 20 kts-plus winds on the final day, Boston University took home the overall honors and the “Paul Hoffmann Trophy” in the hotly contested J/105 class on “Young American,” with four bullets and a second place in the second largest class in the regatta. Will they repeat that command performance?  Time will tell.

Perhaps the experience alone is the principal take-away from the event. Erica Vandeveer, Captain of the victorious Virginia Tech squad, is a Behavioral Psychology Major and sees the relevance of big-boat sailing; “Communication is critical to being successful on the race course. We had some challenges, but we were able to talk and work through them to win.”

Juliette Joffre, captain of the Club Voile EDHEC Business School team who came all the way from Lille, France commented, “this is a big, serious and very competitive regatta.”

Marianne Pierres, another member of the EDHEC crew, described how offshore racing is similar to business, “the starts were really exciting, and so was the broach! But, you have to manage and keep calm; you have to understand roles and do your job.”

Juliette continued, “there is a lot of pressure to perform at your best, but I know that the team is much closer now because of this experience.” This was their first time at the IOR, and they had to win an international student regatta in France for the right to come to the IOR with an all-expenses paid trip through a partnership between the Storm Trysail Foundation and the EDHEC Sailing Cup.

In the J/44s, it will again be the service academies racing for seafaring honors- SUNY Maritime, US Coast Guard Academy, Mass Maritime, US Naval Academy, and the US Army Teams.

Thanks to the following individuals for their efforts on behalf of all college sailors:
  • Charles Ulmer- Event Chairman- Intercollegiate Regatta
  • John Fisher- Chairman- Storm Trysail Foundation
  • Howie McMichael- STC IOR Official Photographer
For all STC IOR race results, click here  For more Storm Trysail Club Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.