Sail To Prevail in action.   (photo credit Media Pro/Jan Harley)

Sail To Prevail in action.
(photo © Media Pro/Jan Harley)

NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND (September 29, 2016) – A three-year pilot program at Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) has culminated in a formal partnership between the University’s sailing team and Rhode Island-based Sail To Prevail, the not-for-profit organization that has pioneered overcoming adversity through the sport of sailing.

Michael O’Connor (Foxboro, Mass.), the Crimson’s Head Sailing Coach, felt that not only should his student-athletes share their skill sets with others who likely would never have their same opportunities but also that his sailors should be encouraged to contribute to society as part of their overall education. In collaborating with Sail To Prevail CEO Paul Callahan (Newport, R.I./Cape Coral, Fla.), a Harvard graduate and accomplished sailor, O’Connor has brought a new dimension to the Cambridge campus, as well as the local community.

O’Connor dedicates at least 15% of his overall practice time to allowing members of the sailing team to work with specially trained instructors from Sail To Prevail; the student-athletes then put those techniques into action with children and adults with disabilities from Allston, Brighton, Cambridge and the greater Boston community. The program, which runs during the fall season (roughly twice a week, weather permitting) from the Harvard Sailing Center in Cambridge, allows the Sail To Prevail participants and instructors to sail on the Charles River in a specially-equipped Catalina 20 right alongside members of the varsity sailing team. With O’Connor integrating the program into regular practices, the disabled participants are able to feel that they are part of the team and the Harvard sailors learn firsthand how to teach sailing to people with disabilities.

The mission of Sail To Prevail is to utilize sailing to teach people with disabilities how to use the acquired sailing skills – including teamwork and leadership – in their daily lives to overcome adversity and gain self-confidence. Recently, Sail To Prevail has found that the program has a similar effect on the able-bodied people who have come in contact with the organization.

“Michael O’Connor has designed a program that results in maximum outcomes for both the Harvard sailors and the disabled participants alike,” said Callahan who explained that the new program is allowing Sail To Prevail to expand into another geographic area and offer its model to more people. “People with disabilities who drive along the Charles River and wish they could somehow get out on it, we provide that opportunity for them.”
Sail To Prevail has helped over 18,000 individuals since the organization was founded in 1982. From its base in Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., the organization coordinates a wide variety of sailing opportunities including daily sailing sessions and competitive racing on Wednesday nights throughout the summer; sailing clinics for veterans in cooperation with the Boston Veteran’s Administration for rehab patients and their families; the Confidence is Cool summer day camps for children aged seven to 17; and out-of-hospital therapeutic sailing experiences provided to pediatric cancer patients, their physicians and parents through Sail Away From Cancer. Additionally, a satellite program runs in Nantucket, Mass., also during the summer. For more information, please visit:  sailtoprevail.org

 

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GC 32 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

By James on 17 May. 2016

The GC32’s first ever match racing event, the GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee concluded on Austria’s breathtaking Lake Traunsee on Sunday with a clear victory for the French team, NORAUTO, helmed by New Zealand’s Adam Minoprio.

“It was great to go racing on Lake Traunsee again,” commented Team ENGIE skipper Sébastien Rogues. “It was good practice and an opportunity to see how the other teams are sailing before we start the GC32 Racing Tour.”

Match racing GC32s received the thumbs up from competitors and organisers alike.

“The format was interesting with fleet racing and match racing,” said Flavio Marazzi. “And there was a good mix of teams. It was the first time we’d raced with this crew and with a new boat we’d only sailed for three or four days.”

Christian Scherrer, Manager of the GC32 Class Association was also positive: “It turned out to be a really good idea. The matches have been intense, exciting, with some great pre-starts and many lead changes. I was very positively surprised. It’s certainly a format we’ll consider using more in the future.”

 

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

Four teams competed in the four day event, which started with two days of fleet racing. The winner from this got to choose his opponent for day three’s match racing, leaving the remaining pair of boats to fight it out. The winners and losers respectively from these matches then went on to line up in the final and petit final on the last day.

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Organised by Austrian sports marketers PROFS Consulting GmbH in association with the GC32 Racing Tour, the GC32 Alps Challenge Traunsee was the fourth occasion the foiling one design catamarans have begun their season on scenic Lake Traunsee, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Austria’s ‘mini Lake Garda’ has delivered erratic conditions for GC32 racing previously, but this year there was enough wind not only to complete the full racing schedule, but also for the foiling GC32s to show off their flying ability.

Practice makes perfect and throughout the four day event, NORAUTO was in a class of her own, Adam Minoprio and his crew benefitting from ‘two boat training’ their GC32s in Brittany. Minoprio, a former Match Racing World Champion, has a good track record on Lake Traunsee, winning there in the class’ first ever regatta in 2013 and again with Luna Rossa in 2014.

 

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Having won all but two of Thursday and Friday’s fleet races, Minoprio picked PROFS I Youth America’s Cup – Team Austria, skippered by Max Trippolt, to race in Saturday’s match racing semi-finals. Against the less experienced Austrian youth team, NORAUTO won decisively, 3-0.

Less decisive was the match between the more seasoned GC32 crews: Sebastien Rogues’ Team ENGIE and GC32 class president Flavio Marazzi’s ARMIN STROM Sailing Team. Marazzi, the Swiss former Olympic Star sailor, got the upper hand initially, taking the score-line to 2-0. Then Rogues, the former Class40 offshore racing champion, fought back to level the score at 2-2 at the end of day three.

On the last day ARMIN STROM Sailing Team won the decider, to gain a berth in the final against NORAUTO.

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

Winning skipper Adam Minoprio commented: “Traunsee was good fun – colder than before, but with good breeze for racing most of the time. We had some good racing and good success. We were definitely were manoeuvring the boat a lot smoother than the other teams. But like all lake sailing, no matter how good your manoeuvres are, getting the right puff is more important and during both the fleet racing and the match racing, we ended up on the right side of every wind shift which gave us the race wins.”

 

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

With winds gusting to 15 knots, but still patchy, NORAUTO was once again unbeaten in the first-to-four final.

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

In the petit final, to determine third and fourth places, Team ENGIE prevailed, dropping just one race to PROFS I Youth America’s Cup – Team Austria.

“It was great to go racing on Lake Traunsee again,” commented Team ENGIE skipper Sébastien Rogues. “It was good practice and an opportunity to see how the other teams are sailing before we start the GC32 Racing Tour.”

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GC 32 racing Day 3 (Photo by Max Ranchi)

 

There was also attractive prize money, with NORAUTO heading back to France 15,000 € better off, while ARMIN STROM Sailing Team won 10,000 € for coming second and third placed Team ENGIE 5,000 €.

Teams are now gearing up for the start of the GC32 Racing Tour proper. This kicks off on 26-29 May with the GC32 Riva Cup, held at Riva del Garda on Italy’s Lake Garda, where nine GC32 teams will compete..

Results

Finals (match racing, best-of-seven):
NORAUTO v ARMIN STROM Sailing Team: 4:0

Petit finals (match racing, best-of-seven):
Team ENGIE v PROFS I Youth America’s Cup Team Austria: 4:1

Semi finals (match racing, best-of-five):
NORAUTO v PROFS I Youth America’s Cup Team Austria: 3:0
Team ENGIE v ARMIN STROM Sailing Team: 2:3