In the few days right before Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, 5 freshmen took the 12 hour car ride out to the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. 24 hours of driving for a weekend regatta isn't ideal, but I'd say the ride was definitely worth it. Nachiketa Tiwari was nice enough to let us stay at his place 15 minutes from the academy, even though he wasn't in town. Friday night was uneventful, we got to the area around midnight and everyone passed out as soon as we got there.
Saturday morning we got to Coast Guard at 9. Though the academy's campus is tiny compared to ours, they are situated right on a river and their sailing facility has 25 FJs and 25 420s, along with at least 20 keelboats. It was a little intimidating at the skippers meeting to see some of the big name freshmen from the varsity east coast teams, but we knew that it was going to be a very competitive weekend. We were postponed in the morning waiting for the wind to fill in, but we had great conditions by 11. We sailed from 11 to 5 on Saturday in 5-10 knots of breeze from the east. It was surprisingly warm out, I spent the entire day in board shorts and a T-shirt on. Our results were just around where we expected: midfleet. Sophie Lucente and Chris Cyr sailed a 420 in B fleet and we had some top 5's and some not so top 5's and ended up in 8th after the first day. Tom Etheridge and Taylor Landeryou sailed the FJ in A fleet and were consistently beating 6-8 boats, ending up in 14th out of the 19 teams.
Sunday morning we started to get some of the breeze from Hurricane Sandy. We had a good 15 knots of breeze with rogue puffs hitting 20. Though, the breeze was coming from the unnatural direction of Northeast and caused some pretty shifty conditions, even shiftier than Baseline. Despite the frustrating conditions our team sailed the same as the first day. Tom switched crews for Evan Vowell to allow everyone that came a chance to sail.
Our team ended up in 14th, which isn't bad considering the varsity teams that we were up against. We knew coming into this regatta that it would be a learning experience. Tom and I had new crews to train and we got some great practice in with them. We have some great potential crews and we're looking forward to improving.
-Chris Cyr '16