Lifelong Lessons at The Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta

In the August, 2012 issue, you might have read a story about my first time flying a spinnaker in a college regatta.  I returned to the same offshore regatta in Larchmont, New York, this year, excited to perfect the craft of downwind speed.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

In the August, 2012 issue, you might have read a story about my first time flying a spinnaker in a college regatta. I returned to the same offshore regatta in Larchmont, New York, this year, excited to perfect the craft of downwind speed.

For a club team like mine, opportunities to sail on boats like Sunny Side Up, the J-105 out of Huguenot Yacht Club in New Rochelle are few and far between. The Storm Trysail Foundation, which coordinates the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta in Larchmont every fall, is one of few organizations of its kind that actually make that possible. Owners lend—yes, you read that right—their beautiful boats to college kids for the weekend, putting their faith and their financial investments into our hands. It’s a pretty big leap of faith, but what Storm Trysail has proven is that by giving students the chance to race like the big kids, they’re more likely to stay involved and interested in the sport.

Storm Trysail’s mission is “To effect, promote and enhance the education of young sailors in safety at sea, safe boat handling in all conditions, and safe blue water racing and passage making, through the hosting of seminars, regattas, and other on the water training, and through the making of grants to other institutions to foster similar training.”

This organization is created around the idea of securing a future for the sport of sailing. By training young sailors on “big boats,” organizations like Storm Trysail help bridge that large gap between dinghy and blue water racing. This year’s collegiate regatta hosted a record 425 college sailors from 38 schools racing 45 boats—not only Js, but Benteaus, Expresses, Farrs, and C&Cs, to name a few. The level of participation made the IOR the largest collegiate regatta in the world.

We didn’t place as well as we had hoped this year at the IOR. But that’s part of the sailing world that can only be learned through experience. We all have poor takedowns, bad wraps in our kites, sloppy gybes, and cranky crewmates. But, without the Storm Trysail Foundation many college sailors, like me, would have never had the chance to practice and learn those lessons. I will graduate from college in just a few short months, and I have no idea where I’ll be working or what city I’ll be living in. But what I do know is that I will be sailing—on lakes, rivers, or oceans, on boats big, small, or in between—until I’m as old as my salty Dad.

The Storm Trysail Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c) 3 organization. To find out more, or to donate, visit stormtrysailfoundation.org

Related

Vendee

VENDEÉ UPDATE: Macron Calls Le Cam, Escoffier

To activate English subtitles in the above video, click the button “CC After this week’s dramatic rescue, French President Emmanuel Macron called Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam!) and Kevin Escoffier (PRB) to wish them well and congratulate them on their effort. Escoffier was slammed by ...read more

VG2048x

Vendeé Update: Escoffier Rescued in Southern Ocean

Around 1345 UTC on Monday afternoon, Vendee Globe competitor Kevin Escoffier (PRB) activated his EPIRB 840 miles southeast of The Cape of Good Hope, in the heart of the Southern Ocean amid some of the most violent water anywhere on Earth. Shortly after, he managed to get a ...read more

Shelly-forward-last-day

Charter Advice for First-Timers

Never chartered? No worries. A vacation under sail can be the most memorable time of your life. That said, it also pays to be prepared by doing some reading, building your skills and listening to what the experts say. First and foremost, not all charter grounds are created ...read more

HugoBoss

Video: Vendeé Update

Last week Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) led the fleet across the equator. As one of the class' top sailors who's been on the Vendeé Podium twice, it seemed possible that Thomson was going to grab an early lead and hold on to it all the way around the world. But early on Saturday, he ...read more

AdobeStock_229409051

Chartering Again for the First Time

It’s been a rocky road of late for the charter industry, especially here in the Western Hemisphere. First came hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean followed by Dorian in the Bahamas. There has also, of course, been the coronavirus, which burst into global prominence ...read more

01 LEAD cedaryachtclub_onedesign18_hike

An Interview with Ayme Sinclair

In recent months, US Sailing, like many organizations, has been taking a closer look at diversity to ensure it’s doing the best job it can of introducing people from all backgrounds and ethnicities to the sport. As part of this effort, this past summer it organized an online ...read more

125768940_10222759720523627_5373654001582879638_n

US Sailing Presents Adaptive Sailing Panel

On Tuesday, November 24, US Sailing’s Leadership Forum will present the latest panel discussion in their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion series. This event will focus on adaptive sailing and provide practical recommendations for organizations looking to expand their adaptive ...read more

02-IMG_5971

A Carbon Neutral Circumnav with Jimmy Cornell

Historic anniversaries have always held a special fascination for me, especially if they mark a significant nautical achievement. In 1992, on the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ would-be voyage to India, I organized a transatlantic rally that followed the historic route of the ...read more