October 21, 2019

Storm Trysail Club Ushers In A New Era In College Offshore Sailing

LARCHMONT, N.Y. (October 21, 2019) – The Storm Trysail Club ran the first College Offshore Sailing Circuit (COSC) Fall Regatta on Oct.12-13 featuring a new-to-the-U.S. one-design fleet of 33’ Figaro 2’s. Over the past year, The Storm Trysail Foundation, The Storm Trysail Club and multi-Vendeé Globe finisher Rich Wilson, and his close friend and accomplished offshore sailor - Pierre Jean, raised nearly $1 million to purchase 10 identical, pre-owned Figaro 2’s to be provided to select colleges with well-established sailing programs. Five of the ten have already been delivered, with two going to the Webb Institute, two to Mass Maritime one, and one to SUNY Maritime.

The 33’ offshore racing yachts have been actively raced all over Europe by the world’s top offshore sailors before being supplanted by a newer generation of Figaro 3’s. Rich du Moulin, Chairman of the Storm Trysail Foundation stated; “Along with the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, the COSC effort provides a bridge from dinghy sailing to offshore sailing for collegiate sailors that is critical to the health of the sport. Providing avenues that give younger sailors access to offshore experiences is one of the main objectives of both the Storm Trysail Club and the Foundation. This was the first-ever COSC one-design start with the Figaro 2’s and it represents – literally – the start of a new era in college sailing.”

Approximately 120 of the high-performance twin-rudder Figaro 2’s were built by Beneteau, and Storm Trysail plans on raising enough funds to bring at least 20 more across the Atlantic to U.S. colleges. Each of the boats is being completely refurbished in Portland, ME before being provided to a college for the express purpose of offshore training. Ownership of the boats remains with COSC, while the colleges are responsible for maintenance. Du Moulin and Storm Trysail Club Vice- Commodore Ed Cesare enjoyed a delivery with some of SUNY Maritime cadets. Cesare reports: "The Figaro 2s are perfect for the mission. They are cool enough to get the attention of young sailors but forgiving enough to keep them out of real trouble. Although small, they are proper race boats with lots of interior space, and comfortable for being offshore. And, they have a proper nav table at which to teach those skills." In addition, the Figaro 2’s are an ideal training platform for the new Olympics mixed double-handed event.

Webb Institute brought both of their Figaro 2’s for the first-ever COSC one-design start. Zane Tinnell, Captain of the winning Webb Institute - Team Blue, explained just how new the boat is to them: ‘The only time we sailed before Saturday’s start was Tuesday, and for only about an hour. We had about 13 knots of breeze, but that thing goes! Most of the crew hadn’t even been aboard before the regatta, so the hardest part was getting everyone coordinated and on the same page.”
Ben Hunt, captain of third place Webb Institute - Team Red said; “Our first impression when we saw it was very exciting. We’ve already gotten it up on plane with 12-13 knots of boatspeed! We can’t wait to do some distance racing with it. I’ve done the Vineyard on our Custom 40 Desperado, and I love the teamwork and camaraderie of the distance stuff.”

The College of Charleston took Second for the weekend, with SUNY Maritime rounding out the fleet in Fourth. It is anticipated that next year’s COSC Fall Regatta will have at least twice as many entries, and possibly more. A full schedule of COSC regattas is currently being worked out.

The strategic relationship between STC and COSC clearly advances the Mission of the Club and provides real member value through the opportunities to volunteer as coaches and safety officers at the individually participating schools, as well as accompanying crews offshore. The COSC partnership is an excellent opportunity for the Storm Trysail Foundation to continue to execute its mission to support the Storm Trysail Club in its educational outreach goals above and beyond supporting the Club’s well-established Safety-at-Sea Programs and Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta.

The Club and Program could really use a volunteer to act as coordinator for Members who want to participate as coaches and safety officers. For more information on how to participate in supporting the STF and COSC, please feel free to contact Rich du Moulin, Rich Wilson, or Ed Cesare.

For more information on the COSC program visit the website https://cosc-usa.org