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