RYE, NY – Sporty conditions greeted competitors for the start of last weekend's J/44 one-design event at the American Yacht Club's Fall Series.
Nine J/44 teams, including the Offshore Bears aboard Coast Guards own J/44 'Glory', hit the starting line Saturday to begin the first of two weekends of competition on Western Long Island Sound. The J/44 is a heavyweight one-design ocean racer crewed by a maximum of 13 sailors.
The crew lineup for the Offshore Bears included Helmsman Andrew Goetz '18, Tactician Riely Brande '18, Upwind Trimmer Peter Reeve '17, Downwind Trimmer Erin Wright '18, Pitperson Sulli Edwards '17, Mastperson Megan Koch '16, and Foredeck Will Colomb '18.
Offshore Coach Kevin Dooley praised the team, "The miles we completed together in Summer Ocean Racing played to our strength today. The breeze and waves we're at the upper limit, even for the J/44's. The team handled the fresh conditions with confidence".
The Bears finished 3rd and 2nd in the first two races of the regatta. The consistent finishes gave the team a lead heading into race three.
After a hard fought battle with the teams aboard Vamp, Gold Digger, and Maxine, it appeared that Glory had won the day as she crossed the finish line in 3rd place. However, the team quickly realized they had been posted OCS for an early start and their place atop the podium would have to wait.
"Heartbreaking to say the least, we knew we were pushing the line. It's a tough lesson learned." Teams will be able to discard their worst score after the completion of race five.
Editors Note: The approach of Hurricane Joaquin has cancelled all racing on Western Long Island Sound for next two weeks. Coast Guard was credited with sixth place for this season's abbreviated AYC Fall Series.