UT Sailing Club headed to France for international raceWritten by Ashley McMahon | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After besting some of the best sailing clubs in the country last fall, the University of Toledo Sailing Club is headed across the sea this week for a global race.
The club received an invitation to the 47th EDHEC Sailing Cup held in La Rochelle, France, in October after winning the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) held at Larchmont Yacht Club in New York against some heavy hitters in the sailing sport, including Harvard University, defending champion Georgetown University and the United States Coast Guard Academy.
Luke Gossman, 22, commodore of the club, said he is thrilled to participate in the race with his six teammates: Andrew Logan, 29, Hans Guentert, 22, Drew Blackburn, 20, Colin Mackay, 20, Evon DePrey, 20, and Garrett Altenberger, 19.
“This is the first time most of us are actually leaving the country,” Gossman said. “I’m excited to see a different point of view. It’s fun to get around people that have similar interests with different backgrounds.”
Gossman said the team’s goal for the EDHEC, a six-day, intercollegiate race, is to make it to the finals, which means placing in the top 20. The UT Sailing Club will compete against more than 150 fellow college teams from across the globe.
The students raised money for their trip through fundraisers and campus events. They are scheduled to leave for France on April 22. In addition, they received support from UT’s alumni association, which is planning to throw the team a celebration on the last night of the event and have invited UT alumni currently living across Europe.
Nicolas Degroote, a representative of the EDHEC Sailing Cup who attended the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, told race organizers he was impressed by UT’s team.
“[University of Toledo Sailing Club] has proven to have a really good level of sailing; they defeated some varsity teams that were favorites to win the IOR,” Degroote said in a news release after the race. “It is with pleasure that we will host Toledo during the 47th EDHEC Sailing Cup.”
The news release also described conditions during the IOR race, noting sailors faced “nasty short, steep chop” on the first day, which “gave fits to some, but did not slow the Toledo team.”
“The chop was an advantage for us since we sail in those conditions all the time on western Lake Erie,” team member Mackay explained in the release.
In addition participating on UT’s team, Gossman is a member of North Cape Yacht Club in La Salle, Michigan. Gossman’s father, Chip, is also a member of the club and sparked his son’s passion for sailing.
“I’ve been sailing my entire life and I started racing when I was 10 or 12 years old,” he said.
Besides his excitement to compete, Gossman said he is also thrilled to raise awareness for the sport through the trip. In the past year, the team expanded from three members to 15 through campus awareness.
“The great thing about sailing is it’s just as exciting to do well as it is to bring people into the sport,” Gossman said.
The EDHEC Sailing Cup will be held April 24 to May 2. Those interested can follow the club’s journey online at Facebook.com/sail.utoledo, where they will post GoPro videos, blog posts and photos from France.
Tags: Andrew Logan, Colin Mackay, Drew Blackburn, EDHEC, Evon DePrey, Garrett Altenberger, Hans Guentert, Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, Luke Gossman, North Cape Yacht Club, Sailing Club, University of Toledo, UT