2019 CORK OCR / SAIL CANADA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

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2019 CORK OCR / SAIL CANADA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Getting a good start. In the center of the photo here - 215019.

Getting a good start. In the center of the photo here - 215019.

I finished up the summer regatta season with a 9th place finish at CORK OCR / Sail Canada Senior Championships. I was ecstatic to be sailing back in Canada on fresh water and in reasonable temperatures. A trying 4 days saw all sorts of conditions from light to heavy winds. While I was disappointed with my finish due to my inconsistency in results I managed to have another regatta with consistently strong starts. While unsatisfied I recognize my improvement from 12th place last year and have identified more areas for improvement on my journey to the top.

I am really grateful for the support from everyone to pursue my lofty goals, especially my parents who were on the water watching and mum managed to get some great photos as always!

Keeping good company upwind. Just to leeward of me in this shot is fellow Canadian Sailing Development Squad teammate and winner of the regatta Luke Ruitenberg (214514).

Keeping good company upwind. Just to leeward of me in this shot is fellow Canadian Sailing Development Squad teammate and winner of the regatta Luke Ruitenberg (214514).

Next up I’m staying in Kingston while I prepare for U21 Worlds this fall.

2019 CORK OCR RESULTS
PHOTOS




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APPOINTMENT TO THE CANADIAN SAILING DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

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APPOINTMENT TO THE CANADIAN SAILING DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

It is with great pleasure that I share Sail Canada’s recent announcement.

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Friday, July 26th, 2019 - Kingston, ON

Sail Canada is proud to announce that Noah Collinson and Liam Bruce have been named to the 2019 Canadian Sailing Development Squad.

Liam and Noah have been identified by Sail Canada as athletes with potential for success for the 2024 Olympic Quad and their recent results at the International Kiel Regatta and the 2019 Laser North American Championships have qualified them to the Development Squad.
— SAIL CANADA

As a member of the Canadian Sailing Development Squad I will now have access to additional coaching and training partners. Joining the national sailing team is another key step in my continuing progress towards the goal of representing Canada at the 2024 Olympics. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow Ontario Sailing teammates, my coach Chris Cowan, my parents and my loyal supporters for their help in achieving this milestone!

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The 2019 Laser Under 21 Regatta in Split Croatia - October 26 - November 2nd is my next peak event. If you are considering making a contribution - know that any amount towards covering off my expenses to get to Croatia would be greatly appreciated. Click the link below to see my fundraising efforts to date.

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2019 ILCA / COLIE SAILS LASER NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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2019 ILCA / COLIE SAILS LASER NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Third from the boat in this photo of one of the starts. PHOTO: Pete Buoy

Third from the boat in this photo of one of the starts.
PHOTO: Pete Buoy

I just finished up my first Laser North American Championships in Brant Beach, New Jersey. I finished up 8th out of 40 competitors in the sweltering conditions on Manahawkin Bay. I think I could have done better with a more acute focus on managing my heat better through hydration and fuelling. I will make this a focus point for my next regatta, CORK OCR and Sail Canada Senior Championships in Kingston, Ontario. In the meantime I am taking some time off and competing in the Kingston Triathlon before getting back on the water next week.

Perhaps the haze on the horizon hints at just how steamy the conditions were.  PHOTO: Pete Buoy

Perhaps the haze on the horizon hints at just how steamy the conditions were.
PHOTO: Pete Buoy

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2019 KIEL WEEK

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2019 KIEL WEEK

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

I’m happy to report that Kiel week went very well this year! I kept up my building momentum from both Canadians and Europeans. My focus goal for this event was to have solid starts, and I managed that in 7/9 races leading to good results. The other two races I had a little too good of a start and received a BFD (scored as DNC by the race committee) and the other I got rolled quickly. After two days of heavy wind and two days of light wind, I finished the regatta in 18th place out of 60 sailors. I am proud of my result, as I met my goal of finishing in the top half. I think with a stronger 2nd day when it was windy with chop from all directions I could have made the medal race. I am keen to focus on improving my boat speed in those conditions so that next time there is a similar level fleet I ensure my participation in the race on the final day which is often broadcasted so everyone at home can watch.

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

PHOTO CREDIT: Chris Cowan

Next up I’m off to the Laser North American Championships in Brant Beach, New Jersey where I hope to represent Port Credit Yacht Club and Canada near the top of the podium.


2019 KIEL WEEK RESULTS

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2019 ILCA LASER CANADIANS / IAN BRUCE MEMORIAL REGATTA

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2019 ILCA LASER CANADIANS / IAN BRUCE MEMORIAL REGATTA

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PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

I just got back to Kingston from the Laser Canadian Championships in Beaconsfield, Quebec. We didn’t manage to get off any races yesterday (Sunday) due to a lack of wind caused by rain. This did however leave me to win the regatta! After 2 days, 6 races and 8 points in mostly light conditions I was tied with Canadian Sailing Development Squad (CSDS) member Hugh Macrae. However I held the tie breaker since I had the last bullet and we had an identical scoreline of 1, 1, 1, 2, 3. I am ecstatic to be able to call myself Canadian champion for the next year. Congratulations to Hugh, and CSDS member Matti Muru for rounding out the podium in 3rd.

RESULTS

PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

PHOTO CREDIT: Ken Dool

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2019 LASER SENIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

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2019 LASER SENIOR EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP

Duro Marina - host for the 2019 Laser European Championship

Duro Marina - host for the 2019 Laser European Championship

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I have just returned from the hardest and longest event I’ve ever competed in. The Laser Senior European Championships just wrapped up in Porto, Portugal this past Saturday. Six days of racing against the best in the world was an incredible learning experience. From frustration in light winds over the first couple days to gruelling 23-minute upwinds in 20 knots in the last few the event offered every challenge imaginable.

I finished 127 out of 162 competitors and 5th Canadian. I was very pleased to have my best races come on the last two days in the heaviest winds of the event. This gave me confidence in my ability in the conditions I don’t generally favour. This event made me realize how much stronger these European fleets are and how much more time I need to spend starting next to the best to beat them.

RESULTS

Good starts were my goal and they were key to doing well. This photograph captures one of my starts in the qualifying races. (middle of photo - sail #215019)

Good starts were my goal and they were key to doing well. This photograph captures one of my starts in the qualifying races. (middle of photo - sail #215019)

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THE ROLE CYCLING PLAYS IN MY SAILING

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THE ROLE CYCLING PLAYS IN MY SAILING

Aerobic fitness is the physical foundation to all sailing; the better your aerobic fitness the greater your ability is to sail at your best. As soon as you become tired, and your body can’t keep up with the physical demands being placed on it, your performance level inevitably drops and mental function takes a big hit as fatigue takes its toll.
— Staying in Sailing Shape by RYA
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Cardiovascular proficiency is a very underrated part of sailing. Last summer I bought my first road bike and was hooked instantly on the opportunity to change up how I train my cardio. Instead of long dreary hours on the spin bike or the erg I now am out on the open road. Cycling has long been touted as a very strong training mechanism for sailing especially laser sailing. It is great training for leg strength and hiking.

Look me up on Strava if you want to keep up with my training or check out some of these articles on cycling below:

Cycling for Hiking Cross Training
Justin Norton for ISA

Staying in Sailing Shape

Cycling and the British Sailing Team - with Olympic Medallist Bryony Shaw - Winter training

Fortunately many of my fellow Canadian Laser sailors share my interest in making cycling a key component the training program so I rarely have trouble finding others to ride with.  L to R: Liam, Luke Ruitenberg and James Juhasz

Fortunately many of my fellow Canadian Laser sailors share my interest in making cycling a key component the training program so I rarely have trouble finding others to ride with.
L to R: Liam, Luke Ruitenberg and James Juhasz

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2019 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST

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2019 LASER MIDWINTERS EAST

Over Reading Week I continued the longstanding tradition of going down to Clearwater, Florida for the Laser Midwinter East Championships.

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Overall I had a really positive event finishing in 11th place, my best finish ever by a significant margin. I improved on my finish of 24th (24/45) last year; however, the fleet was stronger last year. I had great starts all regatta and had the opportunity to duke it out at the front of the pack on numerous occasions. I had multiple top 5 finishes and feel with some better consistency in game planning and speed I could have moved up the tight leaderboard. I leave this regatta with a great motivation to improve my fitness over the next couple of months in the gym and prepare myself for my next event, the Senior European Championships in May.

In the lead coming into the second windward mark - crossing just behind me on port is Chris Barnard (USA 210780) US Sailing Team member and winner of the regatta.

In the lead coming into the second windward mark - crossing just behind me on port is Chris Barnard (USA 210780) US Sailing Team member and winner of the regatta.

A link to results can be found below, shoutout to my mom for taking some great pics!

RESULTS
PHOTOS

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2019 HEMPEL WORLD CUP SERIES MIAMI

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2019 HEMPEL WORLD CUP SERIES MIAMI

Last week I had the opportunity to represent Port Credit Yacht Club, the Ontario Sailing Team and Canada on the world stage at the Hempel Sailing World Cup Series - Miami. This was an incredible experience to line up beside some of the best in the world relatively close to home.

Liam Bruce (CAN 215019), Josh Armit (NZL 212259) and Rob Davis (CAN 211542)

Liam Bruce (CAN 215019), Josh Armit (NZL 212259) and Rob Davis (CAN 211542)

The regatta brought forth numerous challenges from long 7 hour days in the grueling heat to tricky light winds that were often affected by clouds. With such a high caliber fleet, I was well aware that the qualifying series was going to be a challenge. Being my first world cup event, I dealt with some serious nerves that lead to a few poor nights of sleep resulting in me making some big mistakes in the qualifying races. I ended up deep in the silver fleet after a trying qualifying series.

Laser fleet downwind leg. My Ontario Sailing Teammate James Juhasz visible in the center of the photo.

Laser fleet downwind leg. My Ontario Sailing Teammate James Juhasz visible in the center of the photo.

However, for the rest of the event, I found a good relaxed groove that allowed me to leave the experience very positive and excited for what the future holds. I finished up 76th of 101 boats and I am looking forward to getting back out there again at Laser Midwinters East in Clearwater at the end of the month. In the meantime, I’m back at school in Kingston training hard in the gym.

RESULTS

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2019 LAUDERDALE OCR/ US NATIONALS/ CANADIAN PAN AM QUALIFIER

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2019 LAUDERDALE OCR/ US NATIONALS/ CANADIAN PAN AM QUALIFIER

Leeward mark rounding (new sail number 215019) with fellow Canadian and 2016 Canadian Olympian Lee Parkhill (sail number 208869). Photo Credit: Coach Chris Cowan

Leeward mark rounding (new sail number 215019) with fellow Canadian and 2016 Canadian Olympian Lee Parkhill (sail number 208869).
Photo Credit: Coach Chris Cowan

Lauderdale OCR and US nationals was a very competitive event this year in the lead up to Sailing World Cup Miami. Additionally, it was the Canadian qualifier for the Pan-Am Games. This means that the top finishing Canadian would go to Lima, Peru this summer and represent Canada. This brought an added pressure to the event and 15 Canadian sailors.

Photo Credit: David Sloan

Photo Credit: David Sloan

I was proud of my consistency throughout the regatta however every time I was in a good position to finish well I would make a mistake that was easily capitalized on by the strong sailors around me. I finished 26th out of 54 sailors, improving on my 36th place finish from last year and 4th junior (under 21). I think my big takeaways from this regatta have to do with simplifying my decision making when around more experienced sailors. Instead of trying to outsmart them I need to stay with them and trust my own speed and my ability to not to make boat handling mistakes.

Congratulations to Canadian Sailing Team athletes Robert Davis in laser and Sarah Douglas in radial for winning the spots for Pan-Ams this summer.

You can check out the results at the link below.

RESULTS

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WRAP UP 2018 - WELCOME 2019

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WRAP UP 2018 - WELCOME 2019

WRAPPED 2018 UP WITH ONE LAST REGATTA AND KEY LEARNING

At the beginning of December, I trained and raced leading up to the District-13 championships. Unfortunately, I got sick on the second day and was hampered by a bad cold for the entire camp. This limited the amount of time I was able to function at a high capacity on the water but I made the most of it and had a really productive camp working on starting and boat-on-boat battles. For next time I know I need to be more diligent about protecting my health. Doing a 24-hour straight through drive (with someone still on antibiotics for pneumonia) followed by a hard double session in the gym and then on the bike on the first day took its toll. The racing was held out of St. Petersburg Yacht Club and we had a great steady breeze each day in the 10-14 knot range with no shifts. Strong downwind speed carried me to 3rd place however I definitely feel that I could have been more competitive had I been at full strength.

2018 D13 RESULTS

DISTRICT 13 - On the start line and taking advantage of a mid-line sag. (Sail Number - CAN 206038)

DISTRICT 13 - On the start line and taking advantage of a mid-line sag. (Sail Number - CAN 206038)

TWO BIG REGATTAS TO KICK OFF 2019
I would like to wish everyone a happy new year and thank everyone for their continued support of me pursuing my dream. 2019 marks a year of opportunity for me and it is beginning this January with the biggest regattas of my sailing career with Lauderdale OCR which serves as the 2019 Pan-Am Games country trial and Sailing World Cup Miami. Later in the year, I will be working towards the U-21 World Championships as this is my last year of eligibility and I hope to make my mark.

If you don’t already subscribe to my quarterly updates hit the button below to get all the news.

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SAIL CANADA TRAINING CAMP - OAKCLIFF SAILING CENTER

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SAIL CANADA TRAINING CAMP - OAKCLIFF SAILING CENTER

Earlier this month I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join the Sail Canada Team camp at the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, New York. We spent 4 days in close quarters with dorm style living for 40 people. This was an awesome opportunity to be around more senior athletes who are years ahead of me in terms of experience. Getting an up close look at what they are doing day in, day out and their advice was invaluable. One piece that really stuck with me is that you need to put in work at the next level above where you currently are, not where you are now. At this camp we spent 3 days sailing and had a fitness test. I was disappointed with my scores in comparison to my previous tests but did finally break the 7 min mark on the 2k row test. I set a personal best of 6:59 but I know there is still significant room for improvement.

Lots of support from the team! Photo credit: Ken Dool

Lots of support from the team!
Photo credit: Ken Dool

I will be continuing to increase my training load and focusing on my fitness in the lead up to my important winter events in Florida this January. In the meantime I am currently in Clearwater, Florida for a short training camp and then on to St. Petersburg, Florida to compete in the District 13 Laser Championships December 1-2.  

Results for D13’s should be available here once racing starts.



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2018 FALL CORK

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2018 FALL CORK

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Another year, another fall cork. It was great to supplement our fall training program with some racing. This year we got 2 days of light winds. On saturday the breeze was cold and came from the north bringing lots of puffs and shifts. It often would die off during races and required extra focus to stay racing the whole time. Sunday brought a light sea breeze after we waited a couple of hours for wind. I sailed consistently and finished up in 3rd place. I’m unhappy I was unable to defend my title but I was still within a shot of winning going into the last race so I was pleased with that.

Third place this year at Fall CORK. Congratulations to my fellow competitors Matti Muru (center) - 1st place, Justin Norton (right) - 2nd place.

Third place this year at Fall CORK. Congratulations to my fellow competitors Matti Muru (center) - 1st place, Justin Norton (right) - 2nd place.

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CORK OCR

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CORK OCR

I competed in my first Sail Canada Senior Championships from August 18 - 21 in the laser class. From a performance perspective I was unhappy with how I finished - 12th place overall. I opened the regatta with a 10, 4, 13, 1 on the first day leaving me in 4th place so my drop from there was tough. On the other hand I had a great regatta from a focus standpoint. I felt that I was on my game for the whole regatta even though the results don’t reflect that.

A line squall came through on the final day and when the visibility dropped the Race Committee sent us in. It was a quick if wet reach back to the harbour.  (#206038)

A line squall came through on the final day and when the visibility dropped the Race Committee sent us in. It was a quick if wet reach back to the harbour.  (#206038)

I’m looking forward to getting back to school this fall and putting in a strong training block before the winter regatta season. The next key event for me will be Lauderdale Yacht Club OCR in January 2019 which is the selection event for Canada’s spot at the Pan Am Games.

2018 CORK OCR RESULTS
EVENT PHOTOS

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2018 LASER U21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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2018 LASER U21 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

I have recently returned from a very beneficial trip to Europe for my peak event of the season Laser Under 21 Worlds.

On the start line. (206038 - left side of photo)  Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

On the start line. (206038 - left side of photo)
Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

In the week leading up to the regatta, we trained in steady winds from the north ranging from 8 to 20 knots each day. This changed drastically for the event itself as the first 4 days consisted of shifty offshore conditions from the west. Only on the last 2 days did we see excellent conditions from the north. It was a challenging regatta, and after 6 days and 12 races, I finished 67th out of 133 boats. While not as good an overall result as I wanted, I was pleased to achieve a top 10 finish in the qualifiers, and I happily achieved the first part of my goal by making gold fleet. Once there I learned how small the margin for error was in a trying finals series.

Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

Photo credit: Robert Hajduk

This event was a good experience and a significant first step on a long journey. I look forward to returning to U21 ’s next year to improve on my first worlds in a laser standard.

2018 U21 LASER WORLDS RESULTS
EVENT PHOTOS

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2018 KIEL WEEK

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2018 KIEL WEEK

Kiel week lived up to its reputation with heavy wind and cold weather. This event threw everything it could at me from big breeze and a strong fleet to unpredictable racing schedules (delaying us all day then launching us at 7 pm). My results might suggest that I didn’t have a good event but in fact, it was a great learning experience for where I need to be in order to be successful competing in these types of fleets and at world-class events. Not only do you need to have a complete sailing skill set but you also need to be in the right spot mentally to compete at 100%. In the case of this event I was not prepared fully in either category. I did however spend the regatta focused on my starting and saw positive results in this aspect towards the end of the event. I plan to carry this onto u21 worlds in Gdynia! Overall Kiel Week was a great event, a fantastic learning experience and I’m sure I will be back in the future.

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A FATHER'S DAY THANK YOU TO THE PERSON WHO INSPIRED ME TO SAIL

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A FATHER'S DAY THANK YOU TO THE PERSON WHO INSPIRED ME TO SAIL

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Today is Father's Day and I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to the man who got me into this sport. From the first day I stepped on a keelboat when I was very young to my trip to class youth worlds last year he has been there for every part of the journey as a coach, mentor, and inspiration. I’m super grateful to have him in my life and to be serving as a guide on my path to the top.

Thanks Dad!

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Canadian Olympic Team Campaign for KC297 - Flying Dutchman team Mike Wolfs (l) and Stuart Bruce (r).  Summer 1991

Canadian Olympic Team Campaign for KC297 - Flying Dutchman team Mike Wolfs (l) and Stuart Bruce (r).
Summer 1991

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2018 LILAC REGATTA

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2018 LILAC REGATTA

Laser fleet start

Laser fleet start

Chilling at the coach boat with OST Coach Chris Cowan.

Chilling at the coach boat with OST Coach Chris Cowan.

Another local regatta is in the books! Royal Hamilton Yacht Club was our host for the Lilac Regatta.  After no racing on Saturday due to no wind, we sailed five races in marginal hiking to light wind on Sunday. Racing was extremely close, and consistency was the name of the game. I managed to secure the win after finishing in the top 4 every race. I stayed focused on my starts and upwind technique, and this placed me consistently in a good place at the first windward and allowed me to stay in the game every race. Racing in such a small fleet has its own unique challenges but I consider it good practice for the future when I look forward to racing in some medal races.

Honoured to share the Haida Cup Award with fellow Ontario Sailing Teammate Clara Gravely.

Honoured to share the Haida Cup Award with fellow Ontario Sailing Teammate Clara Gravely.

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2018 ICE BREAKER REGATTA

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2018 ICE BREAKER REGATTA

The local regatta season kicked off on the May long weekend with the Ice Breaker Regatta at Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club. We sailed for two days on Humber Bay in varying conditions. The first day brought plenty of wind from the east at around 12-17 knots and waves. I focused on my downwinds and starts in more breeze. I was happy with how I executed these and sailed very well. I sat in 2nd out of a fleet of 12 after the first day.

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The second day brought fluctuating wind strength and direction from the north-west. These unsettled conditions lead to exciting racing with such a small fleet. I fell to 4th place and one point off the podium after a difficult second day. Big thanks to everyone who braved the cold to make this regatta happen. And my mom (Elle Bruce) who was out and took some great photos!

2018 ICE BREAKER RESULTS
REGATTA PHOTOS
 

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