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Lessons Learned – The 2023 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta

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Buttons Padin | McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers

Photo Credit: Steve Cloutier 

One of the stated objectives of the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) is to demonstrate to college sailors that the sport of sailboat racing is more than just racing 420s...big boat sailing and racing can be an exciting lifelong pursuit. This year’s IOR delivered that message in spades.

Thirty-six collegiate teams sailed borrowed racer cruisers loaned to the regatta by their owners; either owners or designated safety officers raced with the sailors. The event continues to be co-hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club as it has for the past fifteen years.

This year the student sailors were treated to a weekend of big-breeze racing. Saturday’s opening race was in a southerly blowing high teens with puffs in the mid-to-high-twenties by the time the last boats in Class 6 finished. After one race, PRO and long-time Tuffs Sailing Coach Ken Legler went into postponement hoping the approaching cold front would move through quickly, but it didn’t. Most of the collegiate sailors delt well with pouring rains, winds in the high 20s, and temperatures in the low 60s. Jibs were rolled, mains were furled, and they all continued to smile as if they weren’t going to let the weather beat them. In the end, however, the fleet was sent in to get out of the ongoing squall.

On Sunday, the sun was out but the wind was still there, now out of the west. Three races were sailed with winds ranging from 17-25 knots. In a nod to safety and protecting the borrowed boats, no spinnakers were allowed. This led to some interesting jib-only match racing tactics as teams vied for their respective leads.

In the end, it was one of the two teams from the U.S. Naval Academy sailing on Kurt and Ann Locher’s J/42 ATALANTA that took top honors with four first-place finishes. They were presented the Paul Hoffmann Trophy for best overall performance. In second place overall was last year’s Hoffmann Trophy winners, the University of Wisconsin Badgers who again won the J/109 division with a 1-2-1-1 record. They were awarded the Puff Trophy presented to the IOR in memory of our own Howard McMichael, former LYC Commodore and 50+ year STC member. These two wins were particularly gratifying for McMichael as that the Lochers are long-time McMichael customers and McMichael marketing team member Buttons Padin again was the Wisco coach and safety officer.

McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers has been a supporter of the IOR since LYC and STC took over the regatta from The Corinthians in 2008. McMichael continues our involvement because these collegiate sailors represent the future of our sport. Congratulations to the Midshipmen and the Badgers. We look forward to your return in 2024.

Find the full results here.

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