It was an all-Quebec amateur crew that surprised everyone during the St. Jean-Baptiste weekend in Mississauga, Ontario, during the TAHR (Toronto area Hospice Regatta) Canadian Sailing Championship category J70. A second place that earned them a pass for the world championships, scheduled in 2018 in Marble Head, Boston area.
The crew consisted of helmsman Louis Donahue (Orford), navigator Thomas E. Barbeau (Quebec) and sail adjuster Yannick Richard (Quebec) and Sherbrooke’s Matthieu Cardinal.
The Quebecers who drove the boat Nirvana 7, finished second behind the crew of professional Mark Wolff on Hotwater, but first among the amateurs.
“Two of the three World Championship passes were awarded at this championship and we were able to win one. Everything was played during the last of the five races, disputed on Sunday. A storm broke out towards the end of the course, and we were able to pass second place at the turn of the last buoy before the finish, ie during the last six minutes of the round, “Matthieu Cardinal said.
“We knew the two professional crews that were in contention and quite honestly, we did not think we could go ahead, especially towards the end of this windward buoy. The adrenaline was at maximum! ”
The Nirvana 7 was the only Quebec crew on the nine registrations in J70.
The final ranking resulted from the cumulative of the heats played on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday night, Quebeckers clung to their second place.
“It’s a class that attracts a lot of professional crews; That is to say that a shipowner pays one or several crew members who earn their living by sailing. The caliber is therefore very competitive. It is a more or less popular sport in Quebec, where we do not sail much. ”
Each leg represents a loop of about four miles, punctuated with buoys that the crews have to bypass.
The departure of the inscribed boats is done in motion.
Nirvana 7 will also compete in the North American championship this fall at the end of October at the New York American yach club before heading to Marble Head, Massachusetts by the end of September 2018.
” The key to success? Hours and hours spent on the water and unparalleled teamwork. It is a very tactical sport; Maximize wind management, position well in relation to the fleet. The navigator steers the boat, while the helmsman must bring the boat to its highest speed, with the help of the adjusters, “Cardinal said.
“Sailing requires extraordinary concentration and attention. I feel a great sense of freedom when I sail, like a plane. It is a control sport, very intellectual, where one has to manage, control the adrenaline, with perfect teamwork. ”