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

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Chicago Match Race Center Spring Invitational

Over the weekend, a few upcoming match racers from our team competed in the Chicago Match Race Center Spring Invitational. After rolling out of Ann Arbor at 1 pm, we made it right on time for our practice slot on Friday. Since our team consisting of Will Cyr, Chris Cyr, Ryan Seago, Tom Etheridge and a high school kid named Austin, had never all sailed together before, we practiced hard to get through all possible maneuvers.

The conditions throughout the weekend were light and variable, with wind delays occurring every few hours or so. This was due to the thermal from lake Michigan fighting the persistent south westerly breeze. Chicago was not the windy city this weekend! The next day we only managed to complete 4 flights out of the 12 necessary to complete a full format “round robin”, where everyone races each other for semifinals rankings. We ended the first day with a 2-1 record.  We ended the day with a bye round, waiting aboard the large house boat sailing center during a light air postponement.

On Sunday, we sailed two more races before the regatta was ended due to time limits. We finished with a record of 4-1, tied for second place with Don Wilson the founder of CMRC and Nathan Hollerbach.. In a three way tie, there are ISAF rules applicable to any situation. We lost the tie breaker to Don Wilson and placed 3rd,  even though we had beaten him. This was a great tune up event for our fall lead up to the ICSA Match Racing Championship to be held in St. Petersburg, FL. 
 -Will Cyr '14

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gopher Invite

The University of Minnesota hosted the Gopher Invitational this past weekend, May 11-12, at the Wayzata Community Sailing Center.  The University of Michigan sent 5 freshman sailors to the event. The group nicknamed themselves 'The Dream Team' and consisted of Blake Carlson '15, Zachary Frankel '14, Taylor Landeryou '16, Cody Oeung '14, and Andrew Roth '15. Twelve teams from the MCSA competed, and notably the new St. Olaf College sailing team raced in their first regatta.

The first day of sailing was canceled due to extreme wind conditions of 30-40 knots.  It was reported that 17 boats simultaneously capsized at a near by regatta.  During the down time there were lectures on racing strategy, tactics, and rules.  Sunday's races went smoothly. The winds were strong in the morning, but became shifty by the end of the day. The novice wolverine sailors stayed competitive all afternoon on the gated windward-leeward course, but were ultimately beaten out by the veteran gopher sailors.  The young group learned a lot from the experience and had a fun time on and off the water.
-Zachary Frankel '14

Saturday, May 11, 2013

2013 MCSA Team Racing Championship

The team competed over the weekend of May 4-5 in the 2013 MCSA Team Racing Championship hosted by the Wayzata Community Sailing Center. With the winter academic semester just ending a few days before the event, the 11 hour car ride to Minnesota wasn’t as dreadful as usual. With most of the MCSA teams in the middle of their finals, the regatta only featured four teams, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. This was a disappointment because this meant that the MCSA had to forfeit one of its two team racing berths to nationals to another conference.
Saturday’s conditions on Wayzata Bay consisted of chilly 40 degree temperatures, cloudy skies, and a 5-10 knot northerly wind. The conditions proved to be tricky because of the massive velocity changes on the course and shifty conditions. This meant that no lead was ever safe! Our team was comprised of Matt Graham ’13, Karinne Smolenyak ‘14 Elizabeth Wallace ’14, Ryan Seago ’14, Will Cyr ’14, Ryan Davison ’15, Chris Cyr ’16, Emily Gazall ’16, Sophie Lucente ’16 and Tom Etheridge ’16. Throughout the regatta the team performed well, but after 3 round robins the team finished in second place with Wisconsin winning the regatta with a perfect record. In two of the three races vs. Wisconsin the team had the lead, but weren’t able to hold on to our winning combination. With the co-ed team being eliminated from the postseason, this means that this year only our women’s team will be headed to St. Petersburg to compete in the ICSA women’s semifinals starting on May 21st. Good Luck ladies!
-Ryan Seago '14

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

2013 ICSA Co-ed Semi-finals

Hampton University and Old Dominion University hosted the 2013 ISCA National Co-ed Semi-finals over the weekend of April 27-28. The event was sailed on the Hampton Roads off of the shores of Hampton, Virginia, located in-between the James River and the
Matt Graham and Karinne Smolenyak
Chesapeake Bay. The team arrived in Norfolk, VA, late Friday night and stayed at Tom Etheridge’s (’16) house over the weekend. Throughout the weekend while at the regatta or at the Etheridge’s house, the team was spoiled by the fantastic hospitality of the Etheridge’s.

Semi-finals is the largest collegiate dinghy regatta of the year, the regatta consisted of 36 teams and more than 250 sailors, which provided a different feel than the usual collegiate regatta. The 36 teams are broken down by seedings from their own districts into 2 fleets of 18 boats. Then the top 9 from each fleet of 18 make it to co-ed fleet racing nationals. 

Saturday’s weather couldn't of been any better; 70 degree temperatures, sunny skies and a 5-10 knot easterly breeze provided great races for the competitors. Our team started off the day strong, recording top five finishes in both divisions, rounding the first windward mark in first a few times and achieving numerous top 10 finishes. A division consisted of
Ryan Seago and Emily Gazall
Matt Graham ’13, Karinne Smolenyak ’14 and Tom Etheridge ’16 and B division was Ryan Seago ’14 and Emily Gazall ’16. At the end of the day the team was in 10th place in the

Eastern Semi-final, 15 pts behind the 9th place team and within 20 pts of 7th place.

Sunday started out with very similar conditions to Saturday, with mid-60 degree temperatures, mostly sunny skies, and the same 5-10 knot easterly breeze which built to 10-20 knots as the day wore on. The team started out with similar results to Saturday but then started to falter as the day progressed. The team finished off the regatta in 12th place after 26 races, with 39 pts separating us from qualifying for nationals.
-Ryan Seago '14