Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Boston Dinghy Challenge Cup

Over the weekend of March 23rd and 24th the team traveled to Boston to compete in the 2013 Boston Dinghy Challenge Cup, hosted by MIT and Harvard. One great characteristic of the regatta is that there are 3 divisions, which allow for 6 sailors to compete at a time instead of the usual 4 for fleet racing. 2 divisions sail FJ’s and the other sail fireflies which are popular two person dinghies in Europe. The conditions the first day were extremely tough: 35-40 degree temperatures, partly cloudy skies, 20 knot westerly winds with gusts frequently reaching 30 knots passing through the Charles River every leg of the race. Almost every team including our own team competing on Saturday capsized at least once because of the massive 45 degree shifts and puffy conditions. At one point in the day 4 FJ’s who were hiking hard and beating upwind capsized simultaneously when a puff + shift combination auto-tacked their boats! Another race, three fireflies all bow-plowed and capsized when a massive puff hit the fleet on a run to the leeward mark! Our team consisted of Matt Graham ’13 and Chris Cyr ’16 in A division, Ryan Seago ’14 and Elizabeth Wallace ’14 in B division, and Tom Etheridge ’16 and Alex Mayo ’14 in C division. Needless to say the team was exhausted after the long day which featured an unbelievable 12 races with only one 20 minute lunch break. The team then returned to Alex Mayo’s House and watched the Michigan NCAA tournament game vs. VCU and enjoyed a delicious dinner at Alex’s house in Needham, MA.

Sunday featured much calmer conditions with 5-15 knot winds from the north, sunny skies and 45 degree temperatures. Since the river runs east to west, this northerly breeze meant for very shifty and tricky conditions. The team did much better on Sunday with top ten finishes all around which was much needed after a tough first day. Overall, our team placed 16th of 17, 16th in A, 15th in B and 16th in C. On Sunday, only 5 races were needed to complete the rotation which cut short the brief success that the team enjoyed.  However, due to the short day, the team departed Boston at around 1230 pm to begin the 13 hour drive back to Michigan. 
-Ryan Seago '14