As students prepare to head back to school, the Irish Collegiate Sailing Team is celebrating recent success in one of it’s first U.S. regattas of the season; the Laser Performance Collegiate Cup, sailed in 420 dinghies last week.
The regatta, which kicked off on the 25th of August on Long Island Sound in Connecticut, USA, consisted of eight teams from around the world who all came to attend what is considered the first collegiate level international regatta with both team and fleet racing components. The regatta, organised by LaserPerformance and sponsored by FitAid and Redbull, was generously hosted by the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, who provided the boats.
The first two days of the event were set aside as coached clinics so that the sailors could get used to the new boats and practice their team racing skills, a sector of competitive sailing that several of the sailors were experiencing for the first time. Among these coaches was Anna Tunnicliffe, four time U.S. Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year and 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist in the Laser Radial Class, among other titles. Irish sailor Caoimhe Tyndall commented, “Anna's professional instruction proved to be extremely beneficial, as each sailor noticeably improved as the regatta progressed…Anna provided the competitors with an immense amount of sailing knowledge.”
Both clinic days started out with 5-7 knots from the west and eventually shifted around to the south, building to 10-15 knots. The Irish Team felt that this was the perfect wind for team racing and were able to get some good quality races off, especially against the ever competitive Italians.