Canadian military team competes in regatta in India

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Navy News / February 16, 2017

By Peter Mallett

Two sailors from the Naval Fleet School (Pacific) in Esquimalt, B.C., joined another military member from Halifax to take part in the Admiral’s Cup Regatta from December 7 to 10, 2016 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 Lieutenant (Navy) James Lee, an Above Water Warfare Training Officer at the 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 included Lt(N) Lee, Lt(N) Alana 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,” says Lt(N) Lee.

There was also a bronze lining for the team as Lt(N) Foscarini finished 11th overall among 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,” says 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 feels the regatta helped contribute to a “positive international perception” of the CAF and Canada to other participating nations.

Article courtesy of Lookout Newspaper