Canadian military team has impressive regatta showing

Sailors competed in the Admiral’s Cup Regatta, Dec. 7 to 10 in Kerala State, India.

Sailors competed in the Admiral’s Cup Regatta, Dec. 7 to 10 in Kerala State, India.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Two sailors from Esquimalt’s Naval Fleet School (Pacific) joined another military member from Halifax to take part in the Admiral’s Cup Regatta Dec. 7 to 10 in India. The three-person Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) team took a 13th place overall finish.

The seventh edition of the annual all-military international sailing competition, held on the waters of Ettikulam Bay in Kerala State, was a five-day event hosted by the Indian Naval Academy. It brought together 54 participants from 24 nations.

“The overall mission was not strictly to race, it was really about encouraging international cooperation, understanding, and friendship,” says Lt(N) James Lee, an Above Water Warfare Training Officer at Naval Fleet School, and team leader. “Our team returned home having made new friends from all over the world and memories that will last a lifetime.”

It was the first time a CAF team participated in the competition. Team members were Lt(N) Lee, Lt(N) Allana Foscarini, and Lt(N) Kevin Pallard from Halifax.

Competitors used standard 14-foot radial rig laser sailing dinghies. The final team scores were determined by combining scores from individual races.

“We put our team together on rather short notice and some of the other teams were very competitive, so 13th overall is a good achievement especially for a first time participating in the event,” said Lt(N) Lee.

There was also a bronze lining for the team as Lt(N) Foscarini finished 11th overall amongst all sailors, and third in the female category, picking up a bronze medal.

“Alanna finished exceptionally well to due to her experience and individual sailing skills,” said Lt(N) Lee.

The passage to India for Lt(N) Lee and Lt(N) Foscarini was a gruelling 54 hours in duration including five flights, four layovers, and a three-hour drive from the airport on unpaved roads. In the end, says Lt(N) Lee, the journey to Kerala took up nearly as much time as the entire competition.

“But the long journey was definitely worth it,” he says. “The opening and closing ceremonies were elaborate; there were activities and tours planned for each day prior to racing, and shows and briefings every evening after the race.”

They were introduced to the culture and history of India through presentations, briefings and cultural shows during their stay at India’s Naval Academy. Lt(N) Lee felt the regatta helped contribute to a “positive international perception” of the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada to the other participating nations at the regatta.

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