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