NEW LONDON, Conn - This past weekend, the Bears Offshore Sailing team hosted the Pine Trophy, the team season opener. Seven teams from the New England area joined the Bears to compete in J-70's to qualify for the New England Sloop Championship. The Bears rotated eight members of the varsity team throughout racing Saturday and Sunday. The skippers for the weekend were: 2/c Riely Brande, 2/c Andrew Goetz, and 2/c William Colomb. "Everyone got reps, it was a good opportunity to reinforce what we've been practicing," (2/c Gigantelli, Trimmer).
A strong fleet showed the Bears the necessity of disciplined tactics for consistency in results. The team's biggest challenge was wanting to act on every instinct, when simplicity was necessary. The Bears finished sixth at the end of Saturday and looked to improve for Sunday. Sunday's heavy breeze conditions resulted in the Bears ending the regatta in seventh place. "I found that managing a crowded leeward gate in heavy air requires an immense amount of focus and precision, which comes with years of practice" (2/c Riely Brande, Skipper).
The Bears showed good speed off the line and solid boat handling around the course, but can improve on simplicity of tactics and mental toughness. "I'm pleased with the progress made this weekend and I'm looking forward to big improvements next weekend at the Shields Trophy" (1/c Reeve, Team Captain).