Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MCSA Women's Championship

3rd Place Overall
On Friday, April 19, five of the Michigan Sailing Team's lady sailors headed to Dennison University for the 2013 Women's Dinghy Championship. In addition to being the MCSA women's championship, the regatta was a qualifier for the 2013 ICSA women's semi-finals for the teams placing 2nd and 3rd and the winner received a direct berth to nationals.  Seniors Kirsten Corneliussen and Rachel Barch, juniors Liz Wallace and Ellen Dubois, and freshman Heather Nowak arrived at the small campus Friday night in Granville, Ohio, and quickly went to sleep in order to rise and shine the next morning.

Despite a high of 45 degrees and a brief snow shower in the morning, the sailing conditions were excellent, with winds hovering between 10 and 20 knots despite the small size of the inland lake. After a total of 10 races per division were completed, the women's team comfortably secured a third place finish in both divisons and overall. This means that the women's team has qualified for semi-finals, which are to be held in St. Petersberg, Florida, May 21-22. 
-Heather Nowak '16

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

2013 MCSA Co-ed Championship

Columbia Yacht Club
Over the past weekend the team participated in the 2013 MCSA Co-ed Championship hosted by the Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago’s Monroe Harbor. The regatta served as a qualifier for national semi-finals later this month, with the top five teams from the MCSA qualifying for the event. The team left Ann Arbor friday afternoon, stopped by Red Robin for burgers in Kalamazoo, and then arrived at senior Rachel Barch’s house at around midnight. The team was greeted with brownies by Ms. Barch who was a fantastic hostess all weekend for the team.

The team showed up early Saturday and hopped aboard (literally) the Columbia Yacht Club bright and early Saturday morning amidst a small snowstorm that briefly passed through the area. Saturday’s conditions featured mostly sunny skies, 40 degree temperatures, and a 5-20 knot westerly breeze, which provided tricky conditions for the sailors. The westerly breeze was exceptionally fickle because the wind had to maneuver between the skyscrapers of Chicago before it entered the race course, which provided shifty and puffy conditions in the harbor. The team started the day by winning the first race in both divisions, but fell back to second place in each division by the end of the day. A division consisted of skipper Matt Graham ’13 and crews Chris Cyr ’16 and Kirsten Corneliussen ’13. B division consisted of Ryan Seago ’14 and Elizabeth Wallace ’14. Wisconsin finished the day in 1st overall with 26 pts., Michigan with 43, and everyone else was far behind after the first 8 races per division.    

Sunday’s conditions entailed of a more consistent breeze, coming directly from Lake Michigan. An 8-12 knot easterly breeze from the east provided much more stable conditions, while sunny skies and 55 degree temperatures where enjoyed by all. The final 3 races per division were completed quickly on Sunday and Michigan ended up staying in 2nd place overall. Final Results were Wisconsin 1st place, Michigan 2nd place, Minnesota 3rd, with Northwestern and Michigan State also qualifying for the 2013 ICSA Co-ed Semifinals, which will be hosted by Old Dominion University April 27-28. 
                                                                                 -Ryan Seago '14

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jan Friis and Marchiando Trophies

Over the weekend April 6th and 7th the Michigan sailing team traveled to Boston to compete in the Jan Friis and Marchiando Trohies, hosted by Tufts and MIT. The 12 hour drive was the fourth 10+ hour drive of the season for the team, which is necessary for the team to compete against the best teams in the ICSA. The regatta featured 15 teams starting out in two separate locations on the first day, then split into gold and silver fleets on Sunday. On Saturday the Charles River featured sunny skies and a 5-20 knot northwesterly breeze which provided for tricky, but fun team racing conditions in FJ’s. Michigan finished the day with 2 wins and 12 losses which was an improvement from last years performance of one win against all of the varsity teams such as Stanford, Harvard,
Will Cyr and Tom Etheridge
MIT, Boston College, etc. The weekends team consisted of skippers: Matt Graham '13, Ryan Seago '14,Will Cyr '14, and the crews were Karinne Smolenyak '14, Katie Barbour '15, Emily Gazall '16 and Tom Etheridge '16. The team then went back to home of freshman Braden Engstrom, where we watched Michigan’s final four basketball game vs. Syracuse. The Engstrom's were gracious hosts all weekend long and the team thoroughly enjoyed their excellent hospitality.

Pre-start Day 2
On Sunday the team went to the silver fleet location at Tufts to sail in larks. The day featured mostly cloudy skies, 50 degree temperatures, and 10-25 knot winds. The puffy conditions allowed for some thrilling downwind team racing and even a few capsizes.  Overall, the team was a little bit rusty, but definitely improved as the weekend progressed. The team finished the regatta in 15th place and we were glad that we were able to face the same level of competition that will be seen in May at nationals. 
-Ryan Seago '14