4 November 2013

Queen's Sailing Wins Two National Titles

Canadian Champions Again


Nick Schwenger, Flurry Hogg, Greg Clunies, David Kagan, Zac Baum, and Sam Thompson representing Queen's at the 2013 CICSA Team Racing Championship
Nick Schwenger, Flurry Hogg, Greg Clunies, David Kagan, Zac Baum, and Sam Thompson representing Queen's at the 2013 CICSA Team Racing Championship

As a member of the Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing Association (CICSA), the Queen’s Sailing Team competed in and won two national championships this year. The first event was the CICSA Fleet Racing Championship on October 19th-20th here in Kingston, and the following week the team traveled to Montreal for the CICSA Team Racing Championship on October 26th-27th. These two victories further solidified the team’s dominant position in Canadian Collegiate sailing and proved to be a fitting reward for the sailor’s hard work this season.

This year’s Fleet Racing National Championship kicked off bright and early Saturday October 19th at the Kingston Yacht Club. Despite the cool conditions the turnout for this year’s regatta was very good, including even the University of British Columbia. Other attending Universities included McGill, University of Ottawa, The Royal Military College, and McMaster. PRO Ross Cameron, assisted by Mark Dams, and several volunteers from the Queen’s Sailing Team worked hard throughout the weekend to deliver a successful regatta.

Saturday began with a nice breeze of 12 knots that steadily built throughout the day. Racing began at 10:30am and Queen’s came off the starting line in a very strong way. At the end of the first day Queen’s was leading, with UBC and McGill in a close battle for 2nd place. Following the resolution of a protest Ottawa and RMC were also within one point of each other leading to very tight standings.

Sunday was forecasted for very heavy winds, but the event staff continued running races as they needed only 2 more rotations to complete the regatta. High wind speeds held through the first rotation but later dropped for the final rotation, providing for a challenging change of gears on all teams. At the close of racing Queen’s was in first with 31 points, UBC held onto second with 66 points, and McGill ranked third with 70 points. Full results can be seen online at http://luff.ca/2013/CICSA-Fleet-Nationals.html.

The following weekend the team traveled to the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in Montreal for the Team Racing National Championship, hosted by McGill University. Nick Schwenger, Zac Baum, Sam Thompson, David Kagan, Flurry Hogg, and Greg Clunies were tasked with maintaining Queen’s undefeated record at this event for the third year in a row.

Team racing faces three boats from each school against one other school at a time and traditionally follows a round robin or bracket format. As a less common form of racing at the Canadain Collegiate level, this provided a level playing field for all the schools in attendance. Early on Saturday Queen’s raced and won two races against RMC and McMaster, before receiving a bye for the third round of racing. After a long and cold wait ashore, racing was called off for the day due to inclement weather.

Sunday brought equally cold weather, yet the organizing authority pushed on with determination. Queen’s confidently won their first race of the day against McGill and ranked in the top three teams for the next rounds, along with Dalhousie and McGill. Queen’s confidently won a start against Dalhousie, and never let them catch up. After eliminating Dalhousie, it was time for the final against McGill. The final race remained close throughout, but some stellar tactics allowed the Queen’s sailors into positions 1-2-3 around the leeward mark and into the final leg. McGill fought back on the last beat, but the Gaels succesfully defended their leads and finished first, second, and third to win the championship.