Tropical Storm Tammy Challenges Trysail College Regatta

text and photos by Marcy Trenholm

(October 11, 2005) The tail end of Tropical Storm Tammy blew out the first day’s racing but did not prevent Storm Trysail Club (STC) from holding its largest-ever Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta at Larchmont Yacht Club over the Columbus Day weekend on October 8 and 9. The two-day event included nearly 250 sailors, who took a break from college dinghy sailing to compete aboard ocean-going boats ranging in size from 34 to 44 feet.

This is the fifth year that the club has hosted the college regatta, and in that time the number of participants has grown from only a handful to 32 teams from 24 schools this year.

"The Storm Trysail Club runs the regatta to expose college dinghy sailors to the fun and team work of offshore racing," said Regatta Chair Adam Loory, of Mamaroneck,"as well as to give big boat sailors in college a venue to participate against each other.“ This year, the college sailors also got to experience handling the boats in the same "storm trysail" conditions that the club is known for.

RegattaWith winds reaching 30 knots and gusts blasting into the mid-40s, Principal Race Officer Butch Ulmer sent the fleet back to the harbor on Saturday. “Even though we didn’t get to race, I think the kids got a great opportunity to sail in the extreme conditions,” said Mr. Ulmer. "Some old sails ripped and others got laid over in the bigger blasts, but no one was hurt, and everyone was smiling back at the dock."

"The owners were very brave to allow their boats to be sailed in those conditions," observed STC Commodore Rich du Moulin.

The second day dawned with much calmer conditions. Windward-leeward courses were sailed in 3 1/2 hours, the sailors challenged by the shifty easterly that started out at 15 knots and died throughout the races. “Looking across the water, it was easy to tell which teams had big-boat experience and which ones were just being introduced to big boats,” said Mr. Loory. “I saw the leaders going around marks stacked up bow-to-stern."

Four teams, Northwestern, Miami of Ohio, Michigan and Western Michigan, traveled from the Midwest to participate; Duke came up from the south; and St. Mary’s, American, Georgetown and the Naval Academy came from the Chesapeake Bay area. The rest of the teams hailed from New York and New England.

Teams from Georgetown University won two of the four classes. For the third year in a row, Larchmont’s Ed du Moulin, now at Georgetown, skippered an Express 37 to victory in the Level 72 class, while Dan Esdorn, from Rye, steered to win in the 10-boat J/105 one-design class. The two other class winners were the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, sailing a J/109 in the eight-boat level class for J/109s and J/120s, and St. Mary’s, which won the five-boat J/44 one-design class.

Lora Ann
The Georgetown Team aboard the du Moulin's Lora Ann headed upwind after rounding the leeward mark.

Sponsorship from Prestige Toyota, Vineyard Vines, Rolex, J/Boats, Douglas Gill, T2P.TV and UK-Halsey Sail makers made this a fee-free regatta for the sailors and boat owners. “Only Larchmont Yacht Club could handle an event this size," said Commodore du Moulin. “What other club could provide 30 guest moorings as well as provide a space for a sit- down dinner for 250, without using the club’s dining room?”

Marcy Trenholm is with the Storm Trysail Club. For more information and complete race results, visit