Saturday, December 24, 2011

The seventh annual team banquet was held the weekend of December 3rd.  Thank you to all of the parents who supported the team and participated in the silent auction.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Collegiate Match Race National Championship 2011

The Match Race Team, consisting of Matt Graham (skipper), Kirsten Corneliussen (cockpit and spinnaker), and David Oliver (bow and jib trim), qualified for the Collegiate Match Race Nationals in San Francisco from November 17th through the 20th in J22s.  A total of 10 universities were invited to this event.  The first day of racing was chilly with winds at a steady 15-20 mph.  Since the three were 100 pounds under the weight limit, they had to work harder than the other teams to keep their boat flat and finished out the day in eighth place.  On Saturday, alumni Dan Morris and Alex Bogatko, now San Francisco residents, coached the three from the water.  The wind calmed down and the lighter boats suddenly had an advantage.  They progressed to the Top Eight round and finished the day in seventh place.  On the final day of racing, after a long morning of wind delays and sitting in cold rain, they lost to both Tufts and St. Mary's, putting them in eighth place for the regatta.  Overall, it was an amazing opportunity seeing as match racing is new to college sailing.   Being invited to the second annual collegiate Match Race National Championship was an excellent learning opportunity and great way to promote our team and our district.  A special thanks to the cheering section from Kansas, Mike and Lori Graham (Matt's parents), who flew out to watch the races live and support our team. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Kennedy Cup 2011

The weekend of November 4-6 the team traveled to Annapolis, Maryland to compete in the Kennedy Cup at the U.S. Naval Academy. This is technically the collegiate big boat national championship event, with the winner earning a spot in the Student Yachting World Cup in France the following fall.

Friday was windy, with breeze in the mid 20s through the morning, settling to high teens by the afternoon and steady chop. We started off with a practice spinnaker run and surfed down the bay at 12 knots, before getting into the racing. For the first 3 races of the day everyone sailed without a spinnaker due to the breeze as well as a #3 jib and reefed main. We were slow to start, getting used to the boats, but by race 3 we got a third and finally finished the day under spinnakers with a fourth.

Conditions on Saturday were still settling all day from the high to low teens and we sailed 5 races, starting and ending the day with second place finishes. Race 4 of the day however saw us involved in a protest with Navy, after they fouled us while trying to clear themselves of an early start. After a late evening in the protest room, we had some authentic Maryland crab for dinner and got some rest for Sunday.

When we arrived, there was no wind, but we went out anyway to try and get 1 more race in for the series. The race committee started a race, and we led around 2 legs before they abandoned and sent us in. We finished the regatta in fifth place overall; definitely an impressive result for our first time on the Navy 44s against almost all maritime academy teams.

The team was Matt Graham, David Oliver, Liz Smith, Tanner DePriest, Ryan Seago, Kirsten Corneliussen, Amanda Baker, Mike Vittorio, Chris Oliver, and Sammy Barbour, with a special thanks to Riley Moran and his family who hosted all of us for a 3 day weekend.

Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta 2011 in Larchmont, NY

The 2011 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta in Larchmont, NY, featured 47 teams from 39 schools making this regatta the largest collegiate regatta in the world! The Michigan Sailing Team sent 9 sailors (Amanda Baker, Sammy Barbour, Liz Smith, David Oliver, Chris Oliver, Tanner Depriest, Kirsten Corneliussen, Mike Vittorio and Matt Graham) to represent the block M at this incredible regatta.  We were given the opportunity to sail Roger Widdman's Swan 42, Quintessence. We went for a practice day on Friday to get the feel for the boat and positions, and we were off racing on Saturday morning. Saturday was a great day, the wind started of decent, died a little but picked back up at the end of the day. (Typical for Long Island Sound, I'm told). Although we had line honors on two of the three races on Saturday, we ended with 4, 3, 5 for the day. Sunday we were greeted with glassy waters and no wind. They started us regardless and we took the lead, about to finish, they abandoned the race. We did not do any further racing on Sunday and finished 4th for the weekend! I'm really proud of our team and how well we raced, we really impressed everyone out there! GO BLUE!