Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MCSA Coed Qualifier Champions

Six Michigan sailors journeyed to Minnesota last weekend for the MCSA's Coed Qualifiers hosted by the University of Minnesota on Wayzata Bay.  Team members Ryan Seago, Alex Ramos, Karrine Smolenyak, Liz Wallace, Sarah Sloan, and Will Cyr arrived at the home of freshman sailor Hubbard Velie's shortly after midnight, conveniently located a five minute drive from the boat house.

The team woke up to breakfast prepared by Mrs. Velie Saturday morning, then left for the lake shortly after 8 AM. The decision was made to sail as many races for as long as possible Saturday in Minnesota's brand new Z420s as a storm was in the forecast for the next day.  The wind started the day at around 10 mph and steadily increased to consistently blowing near 20 mph by the afternoon. Eight highly competitive races were completed in both divisions, and at the end of the day the University of Michigan was in first place by three points, followed closely by the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin.

Team members returned to the Velie's shortly after 7 PM, with sore abs and rumbling stomachs.  Mr. and Mrs. Velie graciously provided dinner for the team, who spent the rest of the night watching playoff hockey and extreme ocean fishing shows on the Discovery Channel.

The team awoke to pouring rain Sunday morning, and after another wonderful home-cooked breakfast they left for the lake, where racing was promptly delayed due to thunder. Nine MCSA teams crowded into the boathouse to wait out the storm and passed the time playing euchre or other card games until the decision was made at noon to cancel racing for the day, making Michigan the winner of the qualifier, and National's bound at the end of May.

A huge thank you to the Velies for the incredible hospitality, and congrats to Michigan and the other top five qualifying teams.  Go Blue (all the way to Nationals)!

-Sarah Sloan, '16

Monday, April 21, 2014

MCSA Team Race National Qualifiers

Eight Michigan sailors traveled to Chicago last weekend for Team Race National Qualifiers, hosted by the University of Wisconsin at the Chicago Yacht Club.  The team stayed with Alice Martin and Ted Jones, who once again graciously offered to host us.

Racing started Saturday morning with wind 5-10 knots shifting from northeast to north, and two full round robins were completed throughout the course of the day. Upon completion of the round robins, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan were tied for first place, and a sudden death race was held.  The University of Michigan finished with a 1-3-5 combination, beating Wisconsin and earning a first place and berth to the National Team Race Championships in June.

Congratulations to Ryan Seago, Will Cyr, Alex Ramos, Karinne Smolenyak, Liz Wallace, Chris Cyr, and Tom Etheridge for their amazing performance over the weekend, and we wish them the best of luck at nationals!

-Sarah Sloan, '16

Friday, April 18, 2014

Truxtun Umsted Regatta

This past weekend eight University of Michigan sailors headed out east to compete in the annual Truxtun Umsted Regatta. Hosted in Annapolis by the Naval Academy, this year’s Truxtun Umsted Regatta consisted of 14 colligate teams competing across four divisions. Skippers Alex Ramos and Ryan Seago along with crews Karinne Smolenyak, Liz Wallace, and Zach Nerod sailed in the FJ and 420 divisions while Captain Tom Etheridge, Taylor Bradford, and Hubbard Velie competed in the Laser Full and Laser Radial divisions. 

The races kicked off Saturday morning with temperatures in the high 70’s but low winds hovering around 2-5 knots. With multiple delays due to lack of wind all four divisions finished six races by the end of the day. Sunday brought similar temperatures with higher winds between 10-15 knots and rougher seas in the Chesapeake.  Eight more races were completed Sunday for a Regatta total of fourteen.

Overall the weekend was another great learning experience against extremely competitive teams, and all sailors were incredibly grateful for the warm, sunny weather that didn't require drysuits! 

A huge thanks to the Ramoses and the Gowlands for hosting team members once again! 

-Hubbard Velie, '17

Monday, April 14, 2014

Commodore Barbour Facebook Page

Keep up to date on the Commodore John S. Barbour Memorial Regatta by 'liking' the facebook page! 
The regatta is scheduled for Sunday, September 7th 2014.  More information regarding sign up, fees, and the course layout will be posted in upcoming weeks.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Big 10s Cancelled

The Big 10 Regatta (scheduled for April 12-13) has been cancelled due to ice still on the lake, but will be reschedule for the fall 2014 season.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Northwestern Spring Regatta

Seven Michigan sailors and two 420s left Ann Arbor for Evanston, IL for Northwestern's Spring Regatta last Friday night. After an exciting adventuring driving through downtown Chicago towing to boats as no trailers are allowed on Lake Shore Drive, the team finally made it to their host houses just before midnight.

Conditions Saturday proved to be warmer and sunnier (45 degrees) than any team members had sailed in yet this season.  With winds out of the northwest at 10-15 mph, it was a return back to midwestern sailing for the team.  The race committee changed the course during the first race, resulting in the race having to be thrown out.  After a long day of sailing (with As on the water for more than six hours), the team had a fantastic dinner at That Little Mexican CafĂ© before turning in for some much needed sleep.

Sunday was sunny and 55, with winds starting out from the south and shifting to the southwest. As and Bs each completed one rotation in the morning before the weather turned cloudy. As went back out at 12:45 for one additional rotation to make up for the race thrown out the previous day.

The A fleet came off the water at 1:30, and four Michigan sailors raced to derig and undress so they could make it back in time for a playoff broomball game at 7PM.  They were on the road by 2PM thanks to help loading the boats from Wisco sailors, and after four hours of non-stop driving arrived at Yost Ice Arena two minutes before they're game was scheduled to start (which they won).

The weekend resulted in renewed sealegs and sunburns, with team members showing improvement next week. Thanks to Northwestern for hosting another great regatta!

-Sarah Sloan '16

Friday, April 04, 2014

Sailor Spotlight: Thomas Etheridge

This week we'll be helping you get to know the new leaders of the Michigan Sailing Team a little more, starting with one of our new co-captains! 

Tom is from Norfolk, Virginia, and learned to sail at the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club at the tender age of eight. He was the captain of his sailing team in high school, and coached junior sailors during the summer at NYCC. Tom joined the Michigan Sailing Team his freshman year and quickly became one of our most competitive sailors.

In addition to being the face of the University of Michigan Sailing Team Apparel Campaign, he was voted co-captain this past fall, and says he’s looking forward to having a critical role in the success of the team, from scheduling regattas and practices to pushing towards our fundraising goal of $100,000. Tom has also credited the team with helping him develop time management skills. “I have to balance team meetings, practices, and regattas with my academic responsibilities as a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering student. So far so good mom and dad!” Although he says that if he sails and fails, worst case scenario he "becomes a professional sailor with a modeling career on the side”.

Tom says his best collegiate sailing experience was 2012 MCSA Match Race Qualifiers. “It was my first time crewing during match racing and we ended up undefeated and earned a berth at nationals in Texas.” Tom looks forward to more experiences like this as he works to help raise the overall competition level of the team, as well as his own.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Spring Time is the Best Time for New Gear!

What better way to say goodbye to cold and hello to sunshine and sailing than by upgrading your wardrobe with a new Michigan Sailing shirt? Shirts come in short and long sleeve, perfect for changing April temperatures, with sizes that range from Youth Large to XXL for nearly every design. Head over to the apparel page to support the team and get your gear today!

Lynn Marchiando Team Race

The team sent seven sailors to Boston last weekend for the highly competitive Lynn Marchiando team race regatta, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  After 12 hours of driving on Friday, we made it to teammate Alex Mayo's home in Needham, MA, thirty minutes away from the MIT sailing center.

Racing on Saturday started a little later than usual, as we had to wait for rowers to clear the course. With 16 teams, the regatta chairman had a 120 race round robin planned for Saturday.  We completed the round robin with no breaks.  After about seven long hours of racing the team was exhausted by it was still a great team racing experience!

On Sunday there were two round robins, one for the top half of the fleet and one for the bottom half, but racing was delayed for more than an hour due to rain and lack of wind. UofM raced the the bottom half round robin, performing much better and showing great improvement from Saturday.  

We finally left Boston around 2 PM on Sunday, and made it back at 3 AM Monday morning (just in time for class!)  All in all, it was a successful weekend for the team as we continue to work toward national qualifiers at the end of April.

Chris Cyr, '16