College Sailing's Biggest Regatta—Sailing News from the U.S and Beyond
Maine Martime Academy takes first overall in the 2011 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta. Carter Williams
This past weekend, The Storm Trysail Foundation and the Larchmont Yacht Club teamed up to put on the world's largest college regatta, 2011 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta. 400 college sailors descended on Long Island Sound to race aboard 47 different borrowed boats that ranged in size and complexity from 35-footers to J/44s.
While the psyche was high, the wind velocities were low, with only three light-air races completed, despite the RC's best efforts at getting in more starts. Maine Maritime Academy emerged as the overall event winners, with U.S. Naval Academy winning the IRC 40 class and the J/44 class; Tufts University, won the IRC 35 class, and the University of Southern California won the J/105 class. 'I had very little experience on big boats before this event,' said Purdue's Matt Steiner. 'After this weekend, though, I'm looking forward to getting into more races. This event definitely opened my eyes to the world of big boats, and I like what I see!' Get the full report, inside.
WingNuts - just as stable when 'turned turtle' as when upright .. .
On a more somber note, for anyone following the tragic deaths of Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel in this past summer's Chicago-Mackinac Race, the Charlevoix County, Michigan sheriff's office recently released their official investigation report. Morley and Bickel, it will be remembered, died when a supercell exploded onto the racecourse, unleashing sustained 80-90-100-knot winds and capsizing WingNuts, Morley's Kiwi 35 sportboat; according to the autopsy report, both Morley' and Bickel's primary cause of death was blunt trauma to their heads, which was sustained during the capsize.
The report has turned up some eye-raising findings about tethers, and the role they might have played in this tragedy. ‘If you've got a self-inflating PFD, and you find yourself upside down in the boat, under the boat, that self-inflating PFD could cause your death, because it could keep you under the boat', said Sherriff Don Schneider. 'That tether, particularly in a sailboat where you've got all the sails, obviously, from our investigation, were all getting entangled from all the obstruction under there.'
Check out this issue for the full report, in this issue, and stand by US SAILING's independent investigation, which is due out later this month.
Offshore, the Global Ocean Race fleet is enduring the Doldrums, with teams desperately trying to find more pressure. 'It has been real busy on board getting through these damn Doldrums,' reported Kiwi racer Ross Field, who's sailing this double-handed event with his dad, Campbell Field. 'We have had nearly no sleep for the past 36 hours and very little food because we have been concentrating on getting every ounce of speed out of this old tub that hates light winds.' More, inside.
And in Volvo Ocean Racing (VOR) circles, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has agreed to sail an additional 111 miles as a penalty for starting their engine during this past weekend's qualifying race. The point of the qualifying race was to execute a series of emergency procedures, which Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing had completed; rather than sweating out a becalming, the team fired up their iron Jenny. 'We had strong reasons for our decision to motor part of the remaining 110 miles of the qualification course and immediately notified the committee of our intentions,' said skipper Ian Walker. 'Sailing these extra miles will give the team a chance to refine some of our data for Mediterranean conditions and look at our new sails away from the prying eyes in Alicante. This will also give another opportunity to refine the offshore communication systems with the race committee. We plan to complete the trip next week.' Get the full scoop, inside.
Also inside this issue, get the full regatta report from the Argo Group's Gold Cup, the latest from the Clipper Around The World Race, and the wrap-up report from the Viper 640 North Americans.
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