Regatta Reports

Team Race National Qualifiers: April 19
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

Truxtun Umsted Regatta April 12-13

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 Last 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

Northwestern Spring Regatta April 5-6

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

Lynn Marchiando Team Race: March 29-30

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

Freshman Icebreaker Regatta: March 22-23

The lovely freshman gentlemen of Michigan Sailing journeyed to the University of Notre Dame this past weekend to compete in the infamous Freshman Icebreaker Regatta. The regatta, which is only open to first-year collegiate sailors, is held on St. Joseph Lake, which is likely the only lake currently thawed enough to race on in the MCSA. 

Freshman Mitch Kimball, James Hewitt, Tyler Davidson, Zach Nerod, Nick Lipinski, and Cooper DePriest left Ann Arbor Friday evening, stopping briefly at Salvation Army on the way out of town.  They arrived in South Bend late in the evening but still in time to mingle with other new collegiate sailors, as well as perform tasks to win merit badges for the Boy Scout themed regatta party.

The freshman woke up bright and early Saturday for the first day of racing, with the winds on St. Joe's being characteristically shifty and dead.  They donned the suits they'd acquired at Salvation Army the previous night in order to emulate the Men of Industry they will undoubtably become. Despite cold conditions, morale stayed high and the boys improved throughout the day as they regained their sea legs after a long winter off the water, with B-fleet sailors James Hewitt and Tyler Davidson staging an impressive comeback late in the day as they went from being in last by six boat lengths to catching a breeze and passing the entire fleet while rounding the mark, finishing nearly a full minute ahead of the second place boat.

Sunday conditions were much of the same, with almost all of the freshman arriving at the correct report time.  They wrapped up the day with more improvements, and good times were had by all.  

-Sarah Sloan, '16

Jan T. Friis Trophy: March 22-23

Seven Michigan sailors left Ann Arbor at 2 PM on Friday, March 21st for Boston to compete in the 34th annual Jan T. Friis Trophy team race . Team members stayed with teammate Braden Engstrom's family, and upon arriving at 3 AM after a long night of driving were pleased to meet the affectionate and inconceivably soft family cat.

The regatta was originally scheduled for Tufts but relocated to Harvard due to ice covering Mystic Lake (the latest on record).  A full round robin rotation was completed on Saturday, with Michigan sailing nine races against competing teams. The wind was blowing strong and steady all day, making for some very exhausted sailors upon returning to the Engstrom's that night.  They were fed a delicious dinner and went to bed early to prepare for the next day of racing.

Sunday showed similar conditions to the day before, with winds blowing WNW steadily between 5 and 15 knots.  The team tied with the U.S. Naval Academy for ninth place, but overall the regatta was excellent practice against very competitive varsity teams.  Team members left Boston early in the afternoon and were able to make it home before midnight.

Thanks again to the Engstroms for hosting us, and Go Blue!

-Sarah Sloan, '16

New England Team Race: March 15-16

Six dedicated Michigan Sailors skipped the St. Patrick's Day festivities and took the road for New London, CT to sail at the Southern New England Team Race March last weekend. After a twelve hour drive, we arrived at teammate Sophie Lucente's house just across the border in Rhode Island at around 2 a.m.  The next morning we awoke bright and early and drove to Connecticut College's sailing center only to find, for the first time UofM Sailing history, we were not only the first people there but an entire hour early.  We shook off the rust after a long absence from competitive team racing (Baseline Lake still has nearly two feet of ice) and ended the day with a huge win over Boston College, who were in first place at the time. That night we had an awesome dinner at the Lucente's, attempted to study, and went to bed exhausted after a long day of sailing.  The next day we were in the bottom four and had some very competitive races with Boston University, Coast Guard, and Washington College.  Overall, everyone showed huge improvement over the course of the weekend as they slowly got their sea legs back and this season is sure to be a successful one once as we spend more time on the water. A huge thanks to the Lucente family for housing and feeding us all weekend!

-Thomas Etheridge, '16

Charleston Co-Ed Fleet Race: February 15-16

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