The Foundry Community Sailing & Rowing Center will host the 2018 U.S. Sailing Team Racing Championship at the Old Coast Guard Station in September.
Nearly 100 sailors from across the country will compete for the George R. Hinman Trophy and the chance to enter the 2019 World Sailing Team Racing Championship.
“This is like my absolute dream event to host. When we started the whole sailing center, this was in the 2020 road map,” said Foundry sailing director Sam Patterson.
Instead, it’s coming in the first full year of the Foundry’s sailing program at the Coast Guard station.
The event is a team race. That’s different than a traditional fleet race, where a mass of sailboats race a course together, and lower key than a match race, like the America’s Cup.
U.S. Sailing’s first national team racing championship was held in 1981. Today the organization calls it “the hottest event in the country for the post-collegiate group of sailors.”
Teams of six sailors — two on each boat — will apply to race in the event, Sept. 27-30. Between 12 and 16 teams will be accepted, made up mostly of nonprofessional sailors in their late 20s and early 30s.
At the championships, teams will race head-to-head, three boats against three boats, using the Foundry’s small 420E dinghies. The first boat to finish each race will receive 1 point, the second 2 points, etc. The lowest score at the end of the round robin tournament wins.
Because of the team scores, boats will help their teammates out by sailing backwards and trying to force fouls, almost like a combination of a sailing race and soccer, Patterson said.
“It’s really busy, it’s really fast paced; boats are missing each other by millimeters,” Patterson said.
Because the race takes place in the harbor between the Coast Guard Station and Wendy Park, spectators can see the action up close. The Foundry’s high school and college sailors will serve as volunteers, helping the race run smoothly.