Monday, December 30, 2013

Time is Running out on our 75th Anniversary Raffle!

With less than one month until the annual Strictly Sail Boat Show in Chicago, our 75th anniversary raffle is running out of time. The drawing for this fantastic model boat will be on January 26th, the last day of the boat show on Navy Pier. 
Visit to purchase your tickets!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Team Celebrates 75th Anniversary at Annual Banquet

On Saturday, December 14th, the Michigan Sailing Team celebrated its 75th anniversary in style with the annual banquet, taking place in the Michigan Union. After over a year of planning, including America’s Cup winner Gary Jobson providing a keynote address, the night went off without a hitch, from the silent auction to the emotional senior speeches. The night offered to the parents and alumni a fantastic glimpse into the organizational aptitude possessed by the team members, in addition to highlighting achievements from the team’s season on the water. 

The attendance of the banquet was slightly hampered by a winter storm that left roads
2013 Michigan Sailing Team
into Ann Arbor slick and icy, but Mr. Jobson rewarded those who attended with an excellent presentation. Anecdotes tied to the University of Michigan and the sailing world left the audience laughing and in awe. (who knew Gary Jobson, a world class sailing commentator, was the one who initially announced Desmond Howard’s NFL draft position?) Of course, the America’s Cup was a huge topic for Mr. Jobson as well, having taken part in 5 of them and commentating for ESPN and NBC on the subsequent editions of the Cup. His culmination of the America’s Cup and personal sailing stories provided the sailors and their families with not only advice on continuing sailing careers, but offered valuable life lessons as well.

We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Mr. William C. Martin, the previous Athletic Director at the University for 10 years. His ties to the University and the sailing world made him a wonderful addition to the audience, of which he said he was “extremely happy to be a part of” (Bill had no problem giving up the mic to Gary for the night).

Gary Jobson with the team
The team deserved all of the praise regarding the success on the water this past season. A 1st place finish in an ICSA national championship at the John. F. Kennedy Cup regatta was the highlight, with 1st place finishes in the MCSA match race championship and the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta taking center stage as well. It was nice to be able to flaunt those finishes, among others, to our important guests. In addition, our individual award winners included: Most Valuable Skipper- Ryan Seago '14, Most Valuable Crew- Karinne Smolenyak '14, Most Valuable Freshman- Alex Ramos '15, Sportsmanship- Tom Etheridge '16, Most Improved- Allison Bradley '16, and the David Elwood Award- Zach Frankel '15.

The night was an impressive showcase for our capital campaign as well, with the seemingly impossible goal of $100,000 coming ever closer. As a student-run group with very little financial contribution from the University, sights were set on potential donations from the families and alumni in attendance. The banquet did not disappoint as the team earned a great deal of money from donations and the silent auction.

The 75th anniversary banquet was a special night for not only the seniors and their families, but for the team as a whole. Having Mr. Jobson and Mr. Martin in attendance and being able to share with them our fantastic finishes for the season was incredible for improving the visibility and competitive nature of our team. It was an excellent way to step back and be proud of the achievements we’ve made in the past year. Go Blue!
-Jason Doyle '14

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

75th Anniversary Michigan CR-914 Raffle

Win the 75th Anniversary Michigan Sailing fully built CR-914 valued at $1200.00

This fully built custom CR-914 is painted in University of Michigan colors and includes custom 75th Anniversary graphics on the sails. The boat was built by Chesapeake Performance Model's David Ramos in support of the Michigan Sailing team and all proceeds will go toward the support of the University of Michigan Sailing Team.

The CR-914 is a radio controlled model sailboat and one of the most popular RC model sailboats in the country. It is 36" long and 60" tall and there are over 6000 sailed and raced in the US alone, including Alaska.

Raffle tickets are $25 each and the boat will be raffled off at the Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show January 26th, 2014.

You do not be present to win and the boat will be shipped to you after the drawing.

Purchase your tickets now!!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Back-to-Back Timme Angsten Champs

Over the past weekend the Michigan Sailing Team competed in the annual Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta hosted by the Chicago Yacht Club. The event serves as the MCSA Fall Championship and is the last regatta of the MCSA season. The team left Ann Arbor Friday and arrived at the home of our host, Alice Martin, who lives near Belmont Harbor in Chicago and is an alumni. Our team was very grateful for the excellent accommodations provided by Alice for our seven sailors.
L-to-R: Seago, Sloan, Smolenyak, Wallace, Etheridge, Ramos, Ismail

On Saturday Morning the team arrived at Chicago and was greeted by 13 other MCSA teams vying for the season championship. The conditions couldn’t have been more different from last year. Temperatures were hovering around 30 degrees, a 10-20 knot northwesterly breeze and partly cloudy skies provided sailors with winter sailing conditions. The northwesterly breeze caused extremely shifty and puffy conditions because the wind was coming on an angle from the shore. This caused shifts up to 90 degrees! An even more challenging condition facing the competitors was the ice forming on the boats. Because of the below freezing temperatures, everything on the boats became coated with ice: sheets, blocks, main-sheet ratchets, sailors etc. This obviously made sailing very difficult so after 3 hours and 4 races in each division, the day was ended. After the first day Michigan was leading the regatta with 17 pts, with Wisconsin close behind with 18 pts. and Minnesota in third with 27 pts.

When the team arrived on Sunday, the temperatures were around the twenty degree mark and the forecast wasn’t calling for any increase in temperature for at least a day. Also, the boats were still covered in ice from the day before. This meant at 11 am on Sunday, the race committee and judges led by George Griswald decided to end the regatta. This meant that Michigan won the Timme Angsten for the second year in a row for the first time in the 67 year history of the event! Our A division team consisting of Alex Ramos ’15 and Karinne Smolenyak '14 ended up in 2nd place with 10 points, and our B division team of Ryan Seago '14 and Elizabeth Wallace '15 finished in 1st with 7 points. Go Blue!
-Ryan Seago '14

Match Race Team Takes on Nationals in St. Petersburg

This past weekend, the team sent its MCSA Match Race Qualifying Team to Match Race Nationals in St. Petersburg, FL. The team consisted of seasoned match racers and brothers, Will (‘14) and Chris Cyr (‘16), avid lifetime sailor and racer David Oliver (‘14), and Ansley Semack (‘14), a small-keelboat racer, but new to match racing. The team departed for Florida, Thursday afternoon, arriving that night and staying the weekend with team member Katie Ried (‘15) aunt’s house in Sarasota.
L-to-R: C. Cyr, A. Semack, D. Oliver, W. Cyr

Friday racing began in about 8 to 10 knots of breeze, lightening up all day. The light wind and choppy water made for some difficult conditions. However, the team couldn’t complain much about the 80 degree weather.  A full round robin with the 10 competing teams (1 v 1 matches) finished off Friday’s racing, with Michigan in 9th out of 10th place after beating Wisconsin and Oregon State in two of its matches. Friday evening was spent with the team enjoying a meal out with their host mom and an early bedtime.

Saturday morning brought light wind again that allowed two flights of the Stage 2 repechage to be raced, followed by a four-hour postponement on land while teams waited for the sea breeze to fill in. Finally the breeze came back, building to about 12 knots, and the team went back out to finish its third flight of the day. Michigan won all three of its races against Oregon State, Wisconsin, and Western Florida, seeding them for 7th place qualifying them for the quarterfinals. St. Petersburg Yacht Club hosted a dinner for all competitors that night, which was followed by another early turn-in for the team.
Close Match between Wisconsin and Oregon State

Sunday brought the most intense racing along with the heaviest wind of the weekend, building up to 18 knots. A knock-out series pitted Michigan (7th seed) against St. Mary’s (2nd seed).  After narrowly losing two races in a best of 3 series, Michigan was still in the running for a 5-8th place consolation round. The first race against Stanford was lost when the team failed to complete a penalty kill before crossing the finish line; the second race of the final knock-out series pitted Michigan against Boston College, which ended with a black flag on Michigan, ending racing for the team and placing the team in 8th overall. The team then left sunny Florida and returned early Monday morning to snow-covered Ann Arbor.

 -Ansley Semack '14

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Zero Races Completed at Timme's Tune-up

Northwestern Sailing Center
The team traveled to Evanston, IL, on Friday November 15th with two vans and a towing vehicle, which towed two of the team's boats from Baseline Lake. Sixteen Michigan Sailors made the trip to fill up three berths for the annual Timme's Tune-up regatta hosted by Northwestern. Report time was at 8:30 on Saturday morning and after a quick breakfast the team quickly got to work rigging the tow berths before the skippers meeting. A division went out into Lake Michigan with a building 20 knot southerly breeze and 3-4 foot waves. The Race Committee attempted one race but it was abandoned due to the increasing wind, seas, and number of capsizing boats.

Sunday morning's conditions featured even stronger gale force winds and imminent thunderstorms so the Race Committee cancelled the regatta without sailing a single race. After de-rigging the team's boats for the journey back to Ann Arbor, and helping push Michigan Tech's van all the way off the beach, the team headed home. Although there wasn't any racing over the weekend, the team left with fond memories of the trip to Evanston.
-Tom Etheridge '16

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Michigan Finishes in a Three Way Tie for the 2013 Kennedy Cup

This past weekend, nine Michigan sailors made the trip back to Annapolis, Maryland for one of college sailing’s most prestigious regattas, with the John F. Kennedy Memorial Cup on the line. The crew consisted of Alex Ramos ’15 (skipper), Will Cyr ’14 (main trim), Tanner DePriest ’14 (headsail trim), Connor Shope ’15 (trim), Braden Engstrom ’16 (trim), Kirsten Boelkins ’15 (pit), Jason Doyle ’14 (mast), and Chris Oliver ’14 (bow).  Max Odena ’16 came along as well as an alternate, serving as Michigan “Maritime’s” coach.

Naval Academy Sailing Pavilion
Ten schools sailed on the Naval Academy’s fleet of Navy 44 keelboats, 30,000lb, 44 foot monsters with symmetrical spinnakers and the infamous deck layout designed to make life difficult for midshipmen. The “winch farm” by the mast is a prime example, which gave Kirsten plenty of things to worry about on each maneuver. In short, the boats were about as far from typical college dinghies as can be.

The team took two vans to Annapolis on Thursday, with one group leaving much earlier than the other. After an easy 9 hour trip, everyone made it to the Ramos’s house by 1:30am. Dave and Karen Ramos again graciously hosted our team, for the 3rd time in 4 weeks. The team cannot thank them enough for their support.

Friday consisted of both a short practice session and racing, which is atypical of college regattas. The first race saw winds in the range of 22-26 knots, a brutal introduction to the Navy 44 for a crew that hadn’t sailed together prior to this weekend. However, a great start by Alex propelled us up the first leg in a great spot, and we finished 4th. The second race of the day saw breeze climb to gusts over 30knots, with the spray coming off the top of the waves violently. Another 4th in the nautical conditions left us feeling content with our performance Friday and looking forward to Saturday’s racing.

Saturday’s conditions were significantly more docile than the day before. For the first time in the regatta spinnakers were allowed, bringing into play a much larger required skill set for the teams. We took a 4th, a 4th, and a 3rd in the three races with breeze in the upper teens to mid-twenties. The final race of the day was one for the ages, as we were barely over the line early, and unluckily due to a flag raised by the race committee, were required to round the end of the pin to start the race. Catching a nice right shift and climbing back into the race with excellent kite work, we were back in 5th place after two legs. The fourth and final leg was described by the Mass. Maritime coach after the race as “the best sailing he’s seen at the event” (He had been coming to Kennedy Cup for 7 years). Needless to say, after the poor start, a 3rd place left us feeling very confident heading into the last day of racing.

Tied for second place with Cal Maritime, we went into Sunday’s racing with the ultimate goal of winning the regatta, a possibility we hadn’t really considered before the weekend. Typically, Michigan’s offshore team places respectfully mid-fleet, more than impressive given we’re a club program without time to practice on the boats. Sure enough, the first start sent us off course right, followed by one other boat. They shortly tacked over, leaving us off by ourselves and not sure whether the move would pay off. In true Michigan Maritime fashion, we rounded the top mark first by a mile, setting the kite and taking off downwind with a solid lead over the pack. However, a botched kite douse left us sitting in 8th place going back upwind. The team fought through the setback and ended up with a very respectable 4th place finish given the circumstances. Navy finished 1st, setting themselves up for a regatta win with a 5 point lead going into the last race of the weekend. However, with the last upwind leg of the last race deciding the regatta, Navy was in the back of the pack and Cal Maritime was nipping at our heels. The final 300 yards of the leg decided the regatta, with Cal narrowly crossing the line in 2nd before us, in 3rd. Navy finished 8th, opening the door for Cal Maritime to join the top of the standings as well.

7 races were sailed in total, leaving us with a point total of 26, along with both Navy and Cal Maritime. Cal Maritime took the tie-breaker and won the event, with Navy winning the tie-breaker for second. While disappointed we couldn’t close the deal and win the event, it was an extremely strong showing for Michigan Sailing and definitely cemented our spot in the national conversation. The win ended an incredible fall season for the offshore team, sailing three regattas and at least tying for first in every one of them. The team looks forward to next year’s Kennedy Cup and the chance to represent the United States in the Student Yachting World Cup.
-Jason Doyle '14

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Team Defends Big Ten Team Race Trophy

The University of Michigan Sailing Team hosted their annual Big Ten Team Race regatta November 3rd and 4th.  Competing in the regatta were two teams from the University of Michigan, two teams from the University of Wisconsin, and one team from Northwestern University.  Visiting teams arrived Friday night and attended a social event hosted by Michigan before racing Saturday morning.

Start of a race between Wisconsin A + B
The teams arrived at Baseline Lake ready to sail early Saturday morning.  The conditions were 8-10 knots of wind out of the north, 47 degree temperatures, little chop, and some freezing rain.  Michigan’s A team (Maize) consisted of Ryan Seago ’14 and Emily Gazall ’16, Will Cyr ’14 and Tori Noble ’17, and Alex Ramos ’15 and Karinne Smolenyak ’14.  Their B team (Wolverines) was comprised of Ryan Davidson ’15 and Katie Ried ’15, Alex Mayo ’15 and Kendall Witmer ’15, and Taylor Bradford ’15 and Mitch Kimball ’17.  On Saturday, two round robins consisting of 10 races each were completed with Maize winning every one of their races and the Wolverines winning two races against Northwestern. 

Sunday’s regatta conditions boasted temperatures of nearly 45 degrees and wind blowing out of the east at 6-8 knots.  One more round robin was completed, with Maize winning every race and the Wolverines putting forth a good effort.  All of the teams sailed well despite the cold and shifty conditions.  Excellent boat speed and team-racing tactics were displayed throughout the regatta by all teams.  Overall, Michigan Maize took first place winning all twelve of their races, Wisconsin’s A and B team took second and third respectively, and the Michigan Wolverines beat Northwestern in a tiebreaker for fourth place. 
1st place team- Michigan "Maize"

Thank you to all of the teams that came out and to our umpires Dr. Shoemaker and Austin Kana. A big thank you to our team volunteers that helped run a smooth regatta, with David Oliver as regatta coordinator, Tom Etheridge and Braden Engstrom on Race Committee, Ansley Semack, Liz Wallace, Sarah Sloan, and Connor Shope on the finish boat, and Liz Smith, Zackary Frankel, and Hubbard Velie on mark set.  Go blue!
-Emily Gazall '16

Monday, October 28, 2013

Michigan Takes Small Keelboat Invite for the First Time

           This past weekend six Michigan sailors made the trip to Annapolis, Maryland to compete at the Naval Academy in their fleet of Colgate 26’s. Alex Ramos (’15) skippered, with Tanner DePriest (’14) on main trim/float, Jason Doyle (’14) on headsail trim, and Kirsten Boelkins (’15) on the bow. Nick Lipinski (’17) and Max Odena (’16) tagged along as well as alternates and shore crew. (Although the lunches were forgotten on Saturday as no snacktician was officially appointed. A rookie mistake.)

Naval Academy Sailing Center
We left Ann Arbor Thursday afternoon, putting us in Annapolis at 1:30 AM. Alex’s parents Karen and Dave Ramos graciously hosted us and put up with a group of college sailors in their home for the second weekend in a row. (Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Ramos!) Friday was a practice day, with sailing starting at 1500. The team didn’t quite make their anticipated wake-up call of 0900 due to a small dehumidifier malfunction in the basement of the Ramos’s, so we arrived at the Naval Academy around 2:00 for a quick lunch and to rig. Friday saw a wind range of 18-22 with gusts higher, making for an interesting first day on the boat. However, practice went flawlessly and got us very confident going into racing. We saw a “boomer” submarine as well, prior to getting chased away by its support rib for getting “too close.”

Racing started Saturday with a first warning at around 1015. Breeze was moderate, in the range of 12-15, but noticeably picking up. We finished 2nd in the first race of the regatta, behind Mass Maritime. The second race saw winds 20-22 knots, and in the heavier breeze we were able to finish 1st. Our boat handling in the higher wind was superior to the fleet and we cruised to the finish with a substantial lead. Shortly after the 2nd race, the course was moved up the river to escape the building wind pressure on the bay. 5 more races were run in extremely shifty breeze with a range of 8-15 knots and puffy. We captured a 5th, 2nd, 3rd, 3rd, and 3rd in the remaining races on Saturday.

Going into Sunday racing with a comfortable 5 pt lead over Penn, we knew our crew work was great so the focus was on a good start in order to get off the line and capitalize on the first wind shift. We ended up having our best race of the regatta, winning race one on Sunday by half a leg. Race 2 was a tough start for us and involved a gutsy move to attempt a toss set with the spinnaker, our only poor set of the day and we ended up 4th in the race, still protecting our lead over Penn and the Navy teams. In the third race, we had incredible beat legs thanks to Alex’s calls and great sail trim. Our boat speed was tops in the regatta from start to finish. A 1st to end the regatta resulted in a total point score of 24, 13 pts ahead of the second place team from Navy. It was an impressive win and a good way to increase the visibility of our offshore team as we look to compete in more and more big boat events in the future!
-Jason Doyle '14

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Michigan Qualifies for ICSA Match Race Nationals

This past weekend, I took the 7 hour trip to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, with David Oliver ‘14, Ansley Semack ‘14, and Will Cyr ‘14 for the MCSA Match Racing Qualifier.  Coming into the weekend, we knew it would be a tough regatta.  MCSA would be well represented at this event, and only one team would move on.  With strong breeze and low temperatures in the forecast, we knew that we were in for an experience.
        We arrived Friday night, and stayed with locals Frank and Phyllis Thesier who gave us a warm welcoming to their home.  We awoke Saturday morning to a cold morning and
From left-to-right: Cyr, Oliver, Semack, Cyr

plenty of breeze.  The venue for the regatta was Sail Sheboygan, a well-established match racing venue with new Sonars. 6 MCSA teams were represented, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio State, Michigan State, and UIC.  In this line up, we were most worried about Wisconsin, who is usually our toughest competitor, and had been sparring in J22s during most of this semester.  After a double round robin, we ended the day 9-1, putting us in first place with one loss to Minnesota.  We were all excited about our successful day but knew that we were not out of the woods just yet, with semi-finals and finals still to come on Sunday.
        On Saturday night we took the advice of our host Phyllis to try out a local place Legend Larrys for good wings and the Detroit Tiger’s game.  It was a fun night in Sheboygan, even
though the Badgers fans weren't too happy to see us.  We decided to end the night early, and watch the great classic "Master and Commander", during which David and Will acted out most of the movie.
        Sunday morning was full of fog and, as expected in Wisconsin, more cold weather.   The race committee did not hesitate to push us out onto the water.  Semi-finals was a best of 3 series, in which we were matched up against Michigan State.  We won two races in a row, and moved right on to finals!  Wisconsin had beaten Minnesota in semi-finals to meet us in the finals, another best of 3 series.  Tensions were high, and the racing was very

close. Wisconsin snuck away to win the first race of the series.  The next two races were very similar, our boats were no more than 3 boat lengths away from each other during the races, but we managed to finish just ahead in both races, win the finals, and qualify for College Match Racing Nationals!
        We are proud of our performance, and very excited for nationals in St. Petersburg, Florida in late November.  We'd like to thank our gracious hosts Frank and Phyllis, the regatta officials who ran a great regatta, and to Sail Sheboygan for being a great venue.
Stay tuned for nationals!

-Chris Cyr '16

Team Battles Hard at Navy Fall Intersectional

Over the weekend of October 19th-20th the team traveled to the annual Navy Fall Intersectional over the past weekend at the US Naval Academy. The team was lucky to have Annapolis native Alex Ramos host our team at his house in Arnold, MD. His parents provided excellent accommodations for the team throughout the weekend and we would like to thank the Ramos Family for housing us last weekend.

Saturday morning the team arrived at the Naval Academy and was greeted by the 20 other teams from 5 of the 6 other districts in the ICSA. The Navy Fall Intersectional is a unique event in college sailing because of the standard A and B division format, this regatta has four divisions with four separate fleets of boats. A division is FJ/420, B division in also FJ/420, C division is Laser and D division is a Laser Radial. Saturday’s conditions consisted of 10-15 knot southeasterly winds, 60 degree temperatures, and extremely choppy conditions inside of the Annapolis Harbor. In A division we had Alex Ramos ’15 and Karinne Smolenyak ’14, B division consisted of Ryan Seago ’14, Meredith Wiles ’17 and Katie Reid ’15, C Division included Tom Etheridge ’16 and Hubbard Velie ’17, and Division for our team was Connor Shope ’15. The 1-2 foot chop inside the harbor became more manageable as the breeze picked up to 15 knots by the mid-afternoon. Our A division team definitely did the best on Saturday with consistent top 10 finishes throughout the day. In B division Seago and Wiles struggled in the chop but, “with the switch from the 420 to the FJ after race 10, we transitioned nicely into the new boat and it showed with our 6th and 2nd place finishes to end the day.” After the first day and 12 races, the team from A to D was in 11th, 16th, 20th and 20th places respectively.

Sunday featured 10-15 knot westerly winds, flat water and 60 degree temperatures on the Severn River. The race committee was relentless at starting races one after another from 930 am until 2 pm to finish off the 20 races for each division for the regatta. All of our sailors did better on Sunday in the flat water conditions which were more comparable to our home lake conditions. At the end of the regatta Michigan finished 18th overall, with A-D division placing 9th, 15th, 20th and 20th places respectively.
-Ryan Seago '14

Monday, October 21, 2013

Michigan Triumphs at IOR

Christopher Dragon (Sydney 43)
Michigan sailors (David Oliver ’14, Chris Oliver ’14, Austin Stevens ’14, Liz Smith ’14, Karinne Smolenyak ’14, Will Cyr ’14, Tanner Depriest ’14, Jason Doyle ’14, Alison Bradley ’16, Braden Engstorm ’14) had the opportunity to sail Andrew and Linda Weiss’s brand new Sydney 43, Christopher Dragon, the weekend of October 12th-13th at the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta in Larchmont, New York.  The team was joined by Larry and Steve, two crew members of the boat, for the weekend.  The Sydney 43 team used Friday as a practice day on the Long Island Sound to get the feel for the fast boat. Seven other sailors from the our team (Ryan Seago ’14, Scott Ismail ’14, Elizabeth Wallace ’14, Connor Shope ’15, Ryan Davidson ’15, Alex Ramos ’15 and Chris Cyr ’16) sailed on the J-109 Mad Dogs & Englismen owned by Adrian and Jen Begley. The team used a local J-105, Sweet Caroline, on Friday for practice.  

On Friday night a few team members had dinner with New York City and Westchester County Michigan alumni.  We extend our gratitude to Buff for treating team members to a great dinner at Larchmont Yacht Club and Rich for organizing the dinner. 

Mad Dogs & Englishmen (J-109)
Saturday’s Regatta Conditions featured cool 50-60 degree temperatures, 20-25 knot easterly winds and 2-5 foot waves, which provided for great off-shore sailing conditions. This was definitely a change of pace from Baseline Lake in Dexter, MI!  Due to the conditions the Race Committee called for no spinnakers and changed the leeward gate to a single leeward mark.  The IRC team won the first two races and the J-109 team finished in 5th then 3rd place. By the end of the second race the wind was gusting at 32 knots and the RC called racing for the day.  The team enjoyed a great dinner and raffle at the Larchmont Yacht Club and rested up for another breezy day on Sunday.  The team woke up bright and early ready to win some more races but after continuous postponements, racing was abandoned for the day due to high winds.  The Christopher Dragon team took 1st overall in the fleet and Mad Dogs & Englishmen just missed the podium with a 4th place overall. We thank the Oliver and Davidson families for hosting our Michigan Sailors and to the Storm Trysail Club for once again putting on an incredible event.
-Elizabeth Smith '14

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Cary-Price Memorial

Seago '14 and Wallace '15 in A Division
The University of Michigan Sailing Team hosted our annual intersectional fall regatta, The Cary-Price Memorial, over the weekend of October 5-6. Our co-ed and women's teams were joined for the weekend by the University of Illinois, Denison, the University of Miami (Ohio) and Purdue.  The teams arrived Friday night and attended a social event with the Michigan team before waking up early Saturday morning to make the drive to Baseline Lake.
The weather on Saturday wasn’t the greatest, with overcast skies and humid conditions. The temperatures were in 60’s-70’s and there was a 2-6 knot southerly breeze which allowed for classic light air racing on Baseline Lake. In A Division, our co-ed team had Ryan Seago ’14, Ryan Davidson ’15 and Elizabeth Wallace ’15 and B division consisted of Tom Etheridge ’16, Will Cyr ’14 and David Oliver ’14. Our Women’s team was comprised of Emily Gazall ’16 and Alsion Bradley ’16 in A and Abigail Rogers ’16 and Tori Noble ’17 making up the B division team. After a delicious lunch donated by one of the Michigan parents, Mrs. Seago, the teams continued sailing in very light wind until the end of the day. After 6 races in A and 4 in B, the Michigan co-ed team had 15 pts, leading Miami of Ohio with 28 pts. and Denison with 35 pts.

Cyr '14 and Oliver '14 leading around the leeward mark
On Sunday, the teams arrived to light rain and muggy conditions with a 5-10 knot southerly breeze. Racing continued until early in the afternoon before the awards and then everyone headed home.  After 10 races in both divisions, Michigan co-ed finished first overall, followed by Miami in second and Denison in third.  Thank you to all the teams that came out, and we hope to see them all and more at our next regatta, Michigan Team Race, the first weekend in November! A big thank you also to Dr. Dubois for running race committee, George Griswold our chief judge, Mosher Jordan for donating awards, Mrs. Seago for lunch on Saturday, and Barry Bagels for breakfast both days.  Go blue!

-Jean Rafaelian '16

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Davis Cup

The team left left Ann Arbor at 3pm and traveled west in a full-to-the-brim Ford Escape with broken AC, only stopping for food and what seems like the only attraction west of Chicago in the midwest, the World's Largest Truck Stop on Iowa-80. Where we learned that pigs are to Iowa as wolverines are to Michigan. Alex Mayo, who quickly and inefficiently packed in under 5 minutes because he was too intent on eating a burrito and tanning, only brought with him the shirt he was wearing on his back and was left with little option than buying a "Who Let the Hogs Out Shirt? Oink, Oink, Oink, Oink" shirt from a truck stop--look for him to don this in his Ross classes in the near future. We filled our tank with Iowa's $3.20 gallon prices and made our way to Iowa City, where we danced the night away in our finest Scott Ismail Hawaiian shirt attire and listened to the Iowa marching band play a crude, yet humorous parody of Hail to the Victors.

The next morning we sailed on Lake McBride in a state park next to Iowa's campus, thankfully the government wasn't shut down yet. We finished mid-fleet most of the day, battling not only the other boats on the water but also the 15 knot puffs full of blinding rain. The wind shifts were eerily similar to our home lake, Baseline, and essentially reached the entire way to the windward mark for two races in a row on Saturday. In A division we had Eddie Zelenak '15, Alex Mayo '15 and Kirsten Boelkins '15. In B division we featured John McCormick '15 and Cody Oeung '14.  We were given pizza and orange juice for lunch, a combination that did not sit well with most of the sailors evident by the extremely long bathroom lines, and especially for one Iowa sailor who we came to learn was born without a colon, which made sense why he frequented the public restroom so often. After the regatta we went out for a night on the town, sampling Iowa's local restaurants and bars, and ended our night watching American Beauty at the apartment that housed us. After the opening scene Kevin Spacey's acting had lulled half the room to sleep, surprisingly.
The second day was called off because of the lack of wind, and we quickly packed the car with our gear and headed back to Ann Arbor. The team ended up in 7th of 10 overall, 6th in A's and 8th in B's.
-Eddie Zelenak '15

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

St. Mary's Fall Interconference

Over the weekend the team went to St. Mary’s College of Maryland. This was the first time for some of the team to the venue on the St. Mary’s River where the 2014 ICSA College Nationals will be held. Therefore the team was excited to compete at the venue less than 8 months away from nationals.

Left to Right-Seago, Wallace, Etheridge, Smolenyak and Ramos
Saturday included classic Chesapeake conditions with a 5-12 knot northeasterly breeze, with 70 degree temperatures and sunny skies.  These conditions were familiar to A division skipper Alex Ramos ’15 from Annapolis, MD, who was sailing with Karinne Smolenyak ’14 in FJ’s. Chesapeake native Tom Etheridge ’16 came as a heavy crew for the weekend, which was an advantage because the combined team of Mr. Ramos and Tom provided excellent coaching for the team. Alex Ramos’s parents and sister came from Annapolis, in addition to Tom’s parents, who drove up from Norfolk, VA, for additional support for the team. The team definitely had plenty to eat throughout the weekend. In B Division, we featured Ryan Seago ’14 and Elizabeth Wallace ’14 who sailed the first 9 races in 420’s on Saturday. The conditions weren’t as shifty and puffy as the Charles River last week, but the river featured 10-30 degree shifts with 5 knot pressure differentials around the course. This forced the teams to be on top of their tactical game to perform well, boat-speed wasn’t everything. The team was in 13th of 18 after the first day after 12 races were completed. A and B divisions switched between FJ’s and 420’s after the 9th race.

Sunday featured almost identical conditions, with slightly less wind, 5-10 knots from the northeast again.  The team performed even better on Sunday with numerous top 10 finishes and a few top 3 finishes. By the end of the day A division ended up in 11th and B division in 10th, but because of the incredibly close competition in the middle of both fleets the team ended up overall in 13th of 18. We would like to thank the Etheridge’s and Ramos’s for their support this weekend at the regatta and Tom Moulds for hosting the team at his house in St. Mary’s.
-Ryan Seago '14

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Hatch Brown Trophy

The Michigan Sailing Team traveled to MIT over the weekend for the Hatch Brown Trophy hosted by MIT.  This was the second weekend in a row that the team had drove 12 hours or more to the northeast, but the intense competition seen at the NEISA and MAISA intersectionals have been definitely worth the long drive.  
Charles River


Saturday featured 5-20 knot winds out of the southwest, with 70 degree temperatures and sunny skies.  The conditions were shifty and puffy as always on the Charles River which caused all crews to be on top of their tactical game and boat handling in order to succeed.  The regatta consisted of three divisions per team, and since MIT has a fleet of FJ’s and Fireflies (a European two-person dinghy) two of the divisions were able to race at a time on a modified trapezoid course.

Alex Ramos and Karinne Smolenyak
The team took a race or two to get up to speed on the competitive NEISA starting line, but by the second set of the day all three divisions were consistently recording finishes in the top half of the fleet. In A division we had Alex Ramos ’15 and Karinne Smolenyak ’14, B division- Ryan Seago ’14 and Elizabeth Wallace ’14, C division Tom Etheridge ‘16 and Scott Ismail ’14 with Chris Cyr '16 crewing for a few races in A div. and skippering in C div.

Sunday featured slightly different conditions with a 5-15 knot westerly wind with partial sunshine and 70 degrees temperatures. This allowed the race officials to run 7 more races per division by the 3 pm deadline. After 17 races, Michigan finished in 15th place of 18 which was respectable considering that it was the first regatta of the year for most of the team.
-Ryan Seago '14

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Commodore Barbour Memorial Regatta Recap

On Sunday September 8, the Michigan Sailing Team hosted the inaugural Commodore John S. Barbour Memorial Regatta at Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, MI. The team has been working for over a year to develop and host a keelboat regatta for local sailors. The team was incredibly happy with the success of the event:
We had 21 boats on the start with 20 junior sailors from the local area participating. 
Weather conditions could not be better the day of the race: wind out of the North, 15 knots. Both fleets had great starts to their distance races and continued with great sailing for the next two hours. From the start in the Detroit River the fleet continued on into Lake St. Clair and back where 2-4 ft seas were encountered by the racers. The distance race had two PHRF classes with one sailing a 15 mile point-to-point race, and the other racing a 9 mile course.
Racing wrapped around 1 pm and the team, junior sailors, racers and their families enjoyed a pleasant afternoon at the club. The team organized a variety of social activities including a taco bar, face painting, a tin can auction and live music by Little Davy & the Diplomats.
Winner of PHRF A was Wick Smith on, Mostly Harmless, a Beneteau 42. PHRF B was won by the C&C 35, Siochail, skippered by Brian Geraghty.
The Michigan Sailing Team would like to extend a big thank you to Bayview Yacht Club, all the events sponsors and the Barbour family for all their help, input and support of this amazing event. We look forward to growing the regatta with more junior sailors next year!
-Ansley Semack '14

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Commodore John S. Barbour Memorial Regatta 7/8/2013

The University of Michigan Sailing Team is proud to announce the Commodore John S. Barbour Memorial Regatta. This event will be hosted out of Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, MI on Sunday, September 8, 2013. During registration, boats are offered and encouraged to take a local junior sailor along for the ride. 

Commodore Barbour was a lifelong sailor and incredibly active member of Bayview Yacht Club since 1969. Mr. Barbour became commodore in 1989 and was responsible for the creation of the NA40 class. Commodore Barbour raced competitively in the NA40 Class for close to three decades. His passion was undeniable. He was adamant about keeping the fleet active, owning up to three boats at one point. Some of his greatest accomplishments include winning overall division title in the 1993 Port Huron-Mackinac Race on Velero VI, finishing first overall in the racing division of the 100th anniversary Chicago-to-Mackinac Race on Velero VII in 2008, and winning countless division titles. Commodore Barbour’s passion for racing and constant promotion of junior sailing encouraged the Michigan Sailing Team to create an event in his honor.

As a club sport at the University the team is student-funded, governed, and managed. The team is currently working toward a Capital Campaign goal of $100,000 to purchase a new fleet of boats to maintain their competitiveness. Creating and running a big boat regatta at a local yacht club has been a goal for a few years, and this year finally became a reality. The team participates in several large scale fundraisers a year, however the profits from our Strictly Sail Chicago Booth and Annual Banquet going directly to team operations.

The team hopes that the Commodore Barbour Memorial Regatta will help the team establish a sustainable fundraiser for our capital campaign. Additional goals of the event include developing better ties to the Detroit Sailing Community as well as allowing junior sailors the opportunity to participate in keelboat racing. Junior sailors throughout the DRYA are allowed to participate and boat owners are encouraged to take a few junior sailors along to expose them to racing in bigger boats.

The regatta is open to boats with a valid PHRF rating. The event will consist of a one day, 3 hour distance race on Lake St. Clair. We are offering an early bird registration special of $30/boat. Registration through Yacht Scoring has just begun. To register, follow this link to yachtscoring.

Junior sailors can sign up to race on big boats at this link

Please email our Long-Term Fundraising Chair, Ansley Semack at or our Race Chair Will Cyr at if you have any questions.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Join Us For Boat Night!

If you're around the Detroit-Metro Area this July, stop by the Michigan Sailing Team at Port Huron's annual Boat Night on July 19th! The team will have a booth at the Port Huron Yacht Club and will have apparel for sale. The city's riverfront will have festivities and entertainment for all ages as racers prepare for the 2013 Bayview Mackinac Race.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

2013 ICSA Women's Semi-Finals

Seven Michigan Sailing women hopped in a university van the morning of Sunday May 19th to drive straight down to St. Petersburg Florida. Heavy rain made the trip interesting, but the team arrived safely to sophomore Katie Ried’s aunt’s house around midnight. Sue greeted us with open arms and made us feel at home in her wonderful Florida home. The sailors relaxed on Monday at the house pool, and drove to check out the sailing venue, around 30 minutes from the house. Nationals was hosted by Eckerd College and University of South Florida in partnership with St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

The team reported to the sailing site early on Tuesday morning for the first day of Semi-finals. 18 teams fought for 9 spots to join the 9 "pre-qualified" team for women's nationals. The wind was very light, maximum of 10 knots all day with average around 5-6 knots. Rachel Barch and Emily Gazall started in A Division and Ellen Dubois and Kirsten Corneliussen started in B division. The hosts had two fleets of boats so all racers stayed on the water until a lunch break around noon when the wind died. The girls got in a couple good races, a 11th and 10th to start in A's and the girls in B's had some great starts and got a 5th in a race. After a long lunch break the girls went back out for a couple more, then were sent in because of an upcoming storm. The girls went back out around 6PM to finish up the required 8 races to complete the regatta. The breeze picked up so Taylor Landeryou came in to sail with Rachel.  Alternates for the day Abby Rogers and Heather Nowak were very helpful throughout the racing. Finally the team left the sailing facility around 8 PM.

Sue had made a relaxing dinner at home for the sailors, who were very appreciative. We were all exhausted so we went to bed soon after to prepare for the next day of racing. For Wednesday, no more races were required to complete the regatta, but of course the regatta officials wanted to get in as much races as possible. The girls went out around 9 am but quickly returned to shore due to a wind postponement. After sitting on land for hours, we were sent back out at 11:40 to try to start both A and B for one more race before the 12 noon deadline to end Semi-finals. A's started at 11:58 but the race committee couldn’t start the B division race before the noon deadline. So A's race was abandoned and the girls sailed in. A's ended up in 15th out of 18, B's 17th, and the team 16th overall. We were pleased to have recorded the best finish out of MCSA teams participating in Semis and were happy to have freshmen see what nationals is like so they can prepare for future years.

Lastly, this was the final nationals for Seniors Rachel Barch and Kirsten Cornielussen and Junior Ellen Dubois (graduating early). We wish them luck in their future sailing endeavors!
-Rachel Barch '13