Reviving a classic

The last regatta between LCS and RLC coincided with the Apollo missions. Last fall, they met again.

By Steve Salt

Rosseau Lake College and Lakefield College School have a history of competition in sailing, and the rebirth of the programs at both schools is at the forefront. This history extends to a trophy made from an old rudder that has been rediscovered in our HOEC outdoor education building. The competition for this trophy, dubbed more recently as The Rudder Classic, was an annual regatta between RLC and LCS, and was last contested in 1973. With the arrival of new equipment, new sailors, an impending 50-year anniversary of the last event—and new enthusiasm into sailing at Rosseau Lake College—we look forward to dusting off the trophy and once again presenting it as early as this Spring.

The Rudder Classic Challenge Trophy

But why wait?

On Wednesday, October 19th, our fledgling but strong sailing team, reduced in numbers only by some untimely illness, travelled to Lakefield for a sailing regatta with the hosts and a high school from Brockville. Zoe Mascarin and Olsen Adams led the charge, teaming up for the first time to sail the two-person 420 sailboats, with Mason Robertson providing support as our Team Manager. 

The competition was intense. There were 8 boats racing in each of the 5 heats, with RLC taking one boat, Brockville sailing two, and LCS competing in the remainder. One of the Brockville boats was impressively dominant: in all but one of the heats they crossed the line first with 10 or more boat lengths to spare. The other seven boats competed valiantly, consistently crossing the line in a relatively close huddle. In a sport where crew chemistry is pivotal, Zoe and Olsen demonstrated a quick connection in their first races together. They placed a respectable 6th on the day, with both sailors taking turns at the helm across the heats.

There is something about sailing

The connection with the earth in being propelled by nature herself, cutting through life-giving waters and feeling the spray. The science of it all: using Newton's guidance to conquer an upwind leg, balancing the boat, the minute adjustments to give yourself that extra inch forward. And in competition, the thrill! Boats jockeying and jostling for position before the airhorn sounds, timing the perfect start, and watching the final positions solidify coming down the final downwind stretch.

As our community has rallied around a highly successful and encouraging fundraising push to rekindle our sailing program at RLC, that energy has manifested in real ways with our students. We've inventoried parts, we've rebuilt boats and we've sailed our bay this Fall as we anticipate the fruits of the fundraising efforts coming this Spring.

Most importantly, along with nurturing our young competitive sailors, we can't wait to introduce sailing to a new generation of students from around the world, so that they too can be propelled by the wind, feel the spray, and sail the bay.