NEW LONDON, Conn -- The Offshore Bears hosted eight teams from five schools at their spring sportboat season wrap-up.
The Thames River lived up to its reputation as a challenging venue with an up and down northerly breeze and strong ebb current in place for most of the day.
The morning started out poorly for the Bears 1 crew with a pair of late starts and penalty turns at the windward mark. Despite their problems the team rallied back from last place to finish sixth and fourth in the opening two races. Colomb's team settled down in the afternoon session taking control of the tactically favored left side of the course and winning races six and seven.
Coast Guard led the series over Brown by one point and Tufts by four points as the wind shifted 180 degrees to the south prior to the start of the final race. As the race started Brown pinned Coast Guard to the now disadvantaged left side and the pair rounded the windward mark trailing the fleet. Coast Guard set up a blanket cover on the downwind leg and Brown's spinnaker hour glassed as they jibed for clear air.
Colomb rounded the left gate in third and quickly tacked to cover the right hand side for the last lap of the course. Bears 1 powered through one last light patch on the final downwind leg to maintain their position and win the series.
"We had a mix of nearly every condition today", commented Offshore Coach Kevin Dooley. "Our focus for much of the spring was building strength on boat speed. Everyone is pretty even in steady breeze, but our top crews excel at shifting gears in variable conditions. As the day progressed, that skill set put us in position to win."
This event concludes the spring season for the Offshore Bears. A majority of the team has been selected to participate in CGA's Summer Ocean Racing Program and will spend the next several weeks preparing for the 50th Annual Newport to Bermuda Race.