Monday, February 24, 2014

The Team Heads South for the Charleston Co-Ed Fleet Race

Alison Bradley, Will Cyr, Ryan Seago, Karinne Smolenyak, Alex Ramos and Taylor Landeryou left on Friday, February 14th at about 1:00 PM and arrived at about 2:45 AM in Charleston. Races were cancelled on Saturday due to heavy winds, which was a relief for many of the sailors present as the wind clocked in at 25 with gusts of more than 30 knots. We went back to our hosts' where we did homework and watched the Olympics. Later we walked around the neighborhood and enjoyed the nice sun and warm weather. On Sunday morning we woke up ready to go out on the water and prove ourselves. We knew we did not have the luxury of multiple tries over many races so we had to put up good results. In the first race, Alex Ramos was winning until the wind shut off and the current took over. He finished 4th that race with no one after 6th place making it around the last weather mark. The race was cancelled and the fleet sat in postponement until around noon. With the wind finally picking up a bit before 1:00 PM, we set off for our first races of the day. By the end of the day we sat in 7th place over all, 5th in A division with Skippers Alex Ramos and Will Cyr with crew Karinne Smolenyak and 8th in B with skipper Ryan Seago and crew Alison Bradley. We left the Charleston at around 4:30 PM and arrived home at 7:00 AM on Monday morning with just enough time to make it to our first classes. We posted a fair finish for not having sailed since the end of the fall semester. The team looks forwards to improving over spring break in Norfolk as we look towards nationals in the summer. A big thank you goes out to our hosts, the Williams, for opening their beautiful home to us as well as the Charleston Sailing Team for hosting such a great event.

-Alex Ramos, '15

Monday, February 03, 2014

Team Members Meet with Scott Ferguson

Team members and Naval Architecture students Will Cyr, David Oliver, Chris Oliver, and Tom Etheridge met with alumn Scott Ferguson in January to discuss ORACLE Racing, Michigan Sailing, and Naval Architecture last month. Ferguson was a three-time All-American sailor for the University of Michigan from 1980-82 and is the Design Executive for ORACLE's wing.  Ferguson is one of many Michigan Sailing alumni whose life after college continues to involve boats and racing, and the team members were incredibly grateful to see where their degrees could take them.

Back Row from Left: Tom Etheridge, Scott Ferguson
Front Row from Left: Chris Oliver, David Oliver, Will Cyr

Scott Ferguson Profile: 

Date of Birth: July 1, 1961
Birthplace: Michigan, USA
Nationality: USA
Position: Design Executive – Rig Design

A member of ORACLE Racing’s design team since 2007, Scott manages the design and engineering work done on the wing. He also oversees the implementation of the new rig components into the boats, often including sailing onboard during the sea trials and testing.
Scott lists the team’s victory in the 33rd America’s Cup in February 2010 as his crowning achievement in the sport, followed six months later by winning his second consecutive Laser Masters World Championship.
A member of many winning crews at grand-prix regattas, Scott’s sailing career flourished at an early age when he was named a three-time All-American (1982-84) at the University of Michigan, where he earned a naval architecture degree (1984).
For the 33rd Cup “Ferg” was deeply involved in the design of the wingsail that powered ORACLE Racing’s trimaranUSA 17 to victory. He also had a heavy hand in designing the wing for the AC45, which is a scaled down version of the 223-foot tall wing used to win the Cup.
“Seeing projects like the AC45 develop from the initial concept, design, production process to actually sailing on the boat and seeing the project come to life as you had envisioned is very rewarding,” says Scott.
“I enjoy the balance between time behind the computer and time on the water and in the shop. Working closely with the builders, sailors, and team technicians gives you the perspective to go back to the drawing board and create designs that are truly practical and achievable.”

Career Highlights
 33rd America’s Cup, BMW ORACLE Racing, winner
2009, 10:
 Laser Master World Championship, Winner
2007–10: TP52 Med Cup & World Championship Quantum, Mast Designer
2005–10: Volvo 70 Mast Design: Puma, Telef√≥nica, ABN Amro, Pirates of the Caribbean
1998–2007: America’s Cup, Mast Design Manager: Prada, Luna Rossa, Young America
2000: Kenwood Cup, Esmeralda, Winner (navigator, mast designer)
Newport-Bermuda Race, Heatwave, Winner (tactician, mast designer)
1998: IMS US National Championship, Rima (helmsman, mast designer)
1997: Admiral’s Cup, German Team, 2nd place, Rubin (trimmer, mast designer)

-Will Cyr, '14