Latest CORK event a dry-run for 2026 world championships – Kingston |

Summer sailing in Kingston is starting to wrap up but before it does, the city is hosting the international-14 North American championships this weekend. Another weekend and another regatta was hosted out of the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site.

“I think it makes for some really interesting races. It’s a really high-level competition,” CORK’s Sarah Donaldson said of the event.

More than a dozen boats are in town for the ‘international 14s North American championship.

Racing began Thursday with three short circuit runs, Friday the sailors were in for the long haul with the race reaching 11 nautical miles around nearby Milton Island on the St. Lawrence River.

“The stronger sailors will stay upright mostly, and not end up dumping their boats. They’ll have a bit of an easier time,” Donaldson said.

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“It is a long distance though and they’ll finish quite a bit further ahead. The more inexperienced sailors will definitely have a tougher time. They’ll be pretty exhausted by the end and will have to fight it out to make it all the way back.”

Click to play video: 'Former NHLers take part in Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament'

Former NHLers take part in Gord Brown Memorial Golf Tournament

“Yeah, I think I’m going to be working,” regatta participant, Marco Koechli said. “If you come and talk to me after the race I think I’m going to be a bit knackered.”

Koechli races out of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto but understands the fight he’s in for on the choppy waters with winds reaching up to 20 knots.

“Always keeping the boat upright, if a puff hits you and you don’t anticipate it and you capsize then there’s always a bunch of maneuvers that have to happen,” Koechli said. “Time is wasted and unfortunately, your friends pass you.”

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But he’s thrilled to be taking part in this regatta as it’s a dry-run to help CORK host an even bigger event in just a few years.

“It’s an experiment, it’s a test event for the worlds that will be here in 2026. So, we’re making sure that all of the venue is ready for us and you know some of the social things and other fun things that the sailors like to come and do,” he said.

Ironing out the kinks before the real deal in 2026 when the eyes of the sailing world will be fixated on the Limestone City.