The University of Toledo Sailing Club beat more than 50 other schools to take home the Paul Hoffman Perpetual Trophy at the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta in Larchmont, N.Y., earlier this month.UT beat teams from the U.S. Naval Academy, Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Sailing the Express 37 Troubador, UT competed in five races, each about 1.2 miles long, placing first in three of them and second in the other two.
“The competition was very challenging, but we had a lot of fun competing against the best schools in the country and winning,” said Drew Blackburn, a sophomore.
“One thing that worked to our advantage was the short chop we experienced while sailing,” said Colin Mackay, a sophomore. “We are used to sailing on Lake Erie and the chop we experienced during the competition was similar to that; most of the other schools are familiar with ocean chop, so it definitely helped us.”
The Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta is one of the largest collegiate sailing events held in the country and hosts an extensive lineup of university sailing programs.
Blackburn and Mackay have been sailing much of their lives, but a few team members had never competed in such an event.
“We had three team members that had never raced on a boat more than 15 feet long before, so we are very proud of the fact that we did so well and worked as a team,” Blackburn said.
As a result of winning the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, the team has been chosen to participate in the 47th EDHEC Sailing Cup in La Rochelle, France, in April.
The EDHEC Sailing Cup is the largest student offshore regatta in the world. Currently, the crew is trying to raise funds for the trip.
“We want to thank our families for helping us and especially the DelBello family, who housed us in New York during the competition,” Blackburn said.
For more information or to donate to the UT Sailing Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org.