Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Team Racing

On Friday, we arrived at the sailing site around 1:00 PM for group two team racing. Carlyn flew in from St. Louis and joined us for the remainder of Nationals with upbeat spirits and a funny sense of humor. The conditions proved light wind near the beginning, and throughout the day, the wind picked up. The skippers included Patti, Rob, Matt, and Patrick. The crews included Beccah, Kelsey, Carrie, Christine, Mike, and Patrick.

First, Rob and Kelsey, Patti and Beccah, Patrick and Carrie sailed against Boston College and lost. In the next race, the same people sailed against University of Washington and won. The numerous drills for team racing over spring break and throughout the season paid off, and the team finished better than last year. We lost against Georgetown, and Navy.

Matt subbed in for Patrick for the last two races; Stanford and University of Southern Florida. In the final race, we had them off the line and downwind, but lost them on the downwind. We did not make top eight in team racing, so we sailed in the consolation round.

After a long day of racing, the team headed back home to enjoy homemade pizza made with love by Allie. The girls hurried through the pizza to go to the opening night of Sex and the City. We arrived five minutes before the movie started, and tragically it was sold out. The rest of the team learned a new card game called Mao.

On Saturday, the wind conditions started around 12 knots and picked up to 18. The spectators experienced trouble watching the races because of the cold and foggy conditions. We competed in the consolation round and beat Texas, Notre Dame, and University of Washington.

We lost to University of South Florida, and University of Southern California. Mike subbed in for Patrick and crewed for the final two races. We finished racing around 6 and headed home to make lasagna and a salad. It filled everyone up after a tough day of sailing.

The girls played dress up and reenacted Stacey and Clinton.

After finishing team racing, the team enjoyed a day off from sailing. Everyone kicked back and relaxed. The girls tried again to see Sex and the City. This time it was very successful. After a few tears and laughter, we left the theater happy with the ending. Patrick, Drew, and Jackie went to Newport and looked at the enormous boats and picked out one. Carrie and Patti wandered around Newport and stumbled upon a delicious fudge shop.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Wee Bit of Spare Time

Wednesday morning dawned only slightly windy, about 15, and eventually died to about 10. Everyone did fine and since only two sets had to be sailed, we were done around one. Brown, Yale and Boston College battled it out and since BC won the last B race, they won the regatta. Everyone went to hang out on the beach for a couple hours basking in the “warm” weather. The women got beautiful and played beauty parlor, eventually heading over to Ochre Court, Salve Regina’s 19th century mansion, where they enjoyed a delicious dinner, chocolate fondue, photoshoots, and pretending to be bridesmaids. All the other teams thought they were the most fun team of all!

Back at the house, everyone else ate burgers, roasted corn on the cob, pineapple, sautéed mushrooms and baked beans. Mary ate 2 burgers and 2 corn, but Mikey ate 3 burgers and Kirley ate 3 burgers and 1 corn. Most of all, Schmidty ate at least 4 burgers.

Thursday we had a day off so Rob, Kirley, Carrie and Christine went to the ICSA meeting while everyone else went on the Cliff Walk, a 3 mile walk along the ocean on a cliff past over 60 mansions. Then the group headed over to the International Yacht Restoration School where they toured a 110 foot schooner that was undergoing restoration, and most importantly everyone ate ice cream. The evening finished with all-you-can-eat crab and Flo's Clam Shack. Patrick, Kirley, and Mikey had 2 trays, but Rob had 3. Clearly we are being proactive about the heavy wind.

Wisco Women and the Blustery Day

Breeze on! Maybe a bit of an understatement for our first days at nationals, but we’ll get to that shortly. The women’s team left for Newport, RI after Saturday night’s alumni banquet, driving all through the night, finally stopping at John Porter’s store in Connecticut to pick him up. The boys and other females left at 6am, although two freshmen girls arrived at the union at 4:50 all ready to go. The boys refuse to say anything else about their trip other than they stopped at Sbarro’s for pizza and it took an hour. Finally the women arrived around 8, in time to watch the sunset over Newport Harbor and then gave into their great urge to eat. They stopped at a pub and ate at least one of every appetizer they had, which made the waitress chuckle a lot. Everyone else got in around 2am.

John Porter, our coach for a couple days, spent the night telling us it was going to be quite windy; we didn’t really think it was going to be as extreme as he thought it was, though. However, we heeded his advice and everyone ate two bananas before heading out for the day. We thought it was a bit unnecessary until we got to the New York Yacht Club and realized it was bombing. The women practiced until about 11:30 and then racing started at noon. Seniors Patti Schmidt and Beccah Steffensen sailed A’s and freshman Christine Porter and sophomore Allie Valentor sailed B’s. The first set was “an interesting introduction to Newport sailing,” stated Allie. Everyone has had a hard time expressing how difficult sailing was Monday, although all agree it was among the hardest or the absolute hardest and worst conditions they ever experienced.

Patti submarined twice in her second race while Christine started out the regatta with an 8. After the first set, Allie came out for a rest and freshmen Margaux Stutz went in for her. Christine and Margaux also submarined twice, (and they can be seen pitch-polling above in boat 15) and were forced to capsize to rid their boat of water. The second time this happened, their jib got so incredibly tangled it was impossible to tug free so Margaux stood on the bow and got most of it undone, but they still had to finish the race without a jib. Christine would like to add that she was winning a race for a whole lap (aka 2 buoy roundings!) on day 2. A well-rested Allie went back in for an exhausted and somewhat shocked Margaux. The girls continued throughout the day, with the wind dying minimally as the day progressed and sailing finishing after three sets around 5:30.

Day two began with the women eating bananas and peanut butter. It was cold, windy and rainy, not the kind of weather sailors dream of. The wind, although still incredibly strong, was at least doable. Kelsey Cramer crewed for B’s for the last two sets of the day, and sophomore Carrie Bargren crewed the second to last A race. Highlights included the wind dropping 20 mph and Patti getting a 2, 3 and Christine getting a 4, 5. Everyone ate tacos and then headed over to our extra free “beach” house to hang out and play whiffle ball.