Competitive Clubs

Stormy season makes for good and bad results

While it still competes against club teams, the University of Ottawa Sailing Club currently only has club status with the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO)—something it’s looking to change.

The University of Ottawa sailing club sails as part of two separate associations. The first is the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, which consists of a number of schools from the eastern United States and Canada. The club also sails as a member of the Canadian Intercollegiate Sailing Association (CICSA) that includes 13 other Canadian universities.

“Over the past years, we have been developing a racing team,” said club vice-president and fourth-year political science student Jacob Thornhill. “[We] have proven to be competitive enough to place in many regattas. What we seek now is recognition as a competitive club from the University of Ottawa.”

Changing their status would give them extra funding. Currently, money raised from donations and the cost of membership fees pays for the costs associated with running the club.

“Extra funding would help us realize our full potential,” says Thornhill. “By hiring a part time coach and helping us get to regattas where we can proudly represent the University of Ottawa.”

The club has taken to the water for another season. Founded in 2010, the club has travelled all over Canada and the eastern United States to sail in various regattas at other universities, from April to June and then from September through October.

With the September to October portion well under way, the club has attended a number of events. One of the best showings this year was at the McMaster University Invitational Regatta Sept. 28–29. The boat was manned by first-year political science students James Trougakos and Alexandre Gareau finished second in the highly competitive A fleet category.

“The highlight of my season was the fact that I got to attend my first-ever regatta,” said Trougakos.

On Oct. 4–5, the Club split up in two to attend two separate meets, the Queen’s Open in Kingston and the Colgate Fall Open in Hamilton, N.Y. At the Queen’s Open, the university cumulatively scored a fourth place finish, ahead of the University of Toronto and the Royal Military College (RMC). Things didn’t go as well at the Colgate Open, where thunder and lack of wind plagued the event. In the limited sailing, the university finished sixth out of seven competing teams.

“Our goal is to excel and do our best at every regatta to convince the university that we are worthy of becoming a competitive club,” said Trougakos. “It would also likely increase our opportunities to go out and compete.”

The team’s next regatta will be the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta on Oct. 12–13, in Larchmont, N.Y.

Sports_Sailing2_Ellen Whitehouse