Olivia’s Team Racing Invitational 2015
Published on August 27th, 2015
The Severn Sailing Association, in cooperation with Annapolis Yacht Club and the US Naval Academy, hosted the third annual Olivia’s Team Racing Invitational on August 22-23, 2015 in Collegiate 420s. The regatta was created in the memory of Olivia Constants, a sailor who tragically lost her life in a sailing accident at age 14. Her love of life, friends, fun and sailing inspired the Olivia Constants Foundation to create one of the most unique team racing regattas in the sport of sailing.
There were no structured teams. Rather, each skipper/crew team was randomly placed on a different team for every single race. Fifty-four teams participated in more than 130 races over two days. Competitors ranged from expert team racers to first-time sailors. Ages ranged from 6 to76.
The evening before the regatta, Naval Academy intercollegiate sailing coach Ian Burman led a chalk talk discussion on the basic tenets of team racing. It was great info for those who are still gaining needed experience, and a great refresher for those who already had some.
The learning process continued throughout the event, with each competitor taking something away from mistakes and gains made in every race. There was plenty of opportunity for situational discussions immediately after racing while waiting for the next rotation.
Saturday’s team racing used a 2X2 format, where two boats raced against two other boats. Whichever team finished last lost the race. On the water, more than 104 races were completed thanks to the work of a fantastic race committee, great support boats and a few very vocal folks driving the rotation, and beautiful weather.
On land, competitors played games, ate great food and generally had a fantastic time making new friends. Racing was followed by entertainment from a local band, more good food and a few adult beverages, where appropriate.
Sunday racing transitioned to the more traditional 3X3 racing format. Reorganizing the 54 teams into random but fair three-boat teams. By taking boats from the top, middle and bottom tiers to create teams, racing was amazingly balanced and exciting.
The weather didn’t cooperate as much as on Saturday, with light air and some heavy Annapolis chop in the harbor. The 3X3 races concluded with the top six boats sailing in a single championship race to establish the winning team, the second 6 boats raced for third and fourth place.
It is clear that everyone loved the format of this regatta – 36 club-supplied boats, no pre-set teams, lots of races and plenty of time to hang out with friends old and new. In the spirit of Olivia, the regatta focused on fun. And fun was had by all.