Monday, November 25, 2013

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