Thursday, April 13, 2006

2 Montreal-area Sailors in the Princess Sofia

Montreal Sailing is cheering for two locals racing in one of the international “big show” regattas right now.

Stéphane Locas and Oliver Bone are competing in the XXXVII HRH Princess Sofia Trophy – XXXI Palma International Week being held in Bay of Palma, Spain. Sailing in the 470 class, they have been training and competing actively in an effort to make the Beijing Olympic games in 2008. After 10 races, they have fought to come up through mid-fleet, but did pick up a third placing in the 8th race. An ISAF Class II event, this is one of the stiffest competitions in the world. Top sailors from many different countries are competing there as they work towards Olympic goals. Following the new ISAF rules for Olympic scoring, the top 10 finalists will square off for a final race to decide the winners.

Helmsman Locas a St-Eustache resident, first started racing at age 15 in the Laser II. He has been associated with the Baie D’Urfe and Beaconsfield YCs. His best result was C.O.R.K. in 2001, when he bagged 2nd overall.

Most recently, this year the duo took 12th at the Rolex Miami OCR. At the U.S. 470 Nationals in Santa Cruz they took an impressive 7th overall, against class champions and olympic medalists, and did so despite equipment problems.

Both Bone and Locas have been based in Nova Scotia, for a number of years now, part of their A Team. They have also trained out of San Franciso where they were able to enjoy some of the ‘Surfer-dude” type of culture.

Rob Fox, a top CSA National Coach has been their mentor. Recently, they were also able to hone their skills for 6 days under the tutelage of American Morgan Reeser, an Olympic silver medalist in the ’92 Games who coached the Greek women’s 470 team to gold at the ’04 Games. Bone says “The Reeser effect improved our heavy air sailing. Also our speed.” To which Locas added, “Also our speed.”

Two Quebecers, but clearly Bone and Locas are plying the international stages now to improve their game. Our wishes of best luck guys!