We've had two regattas in our first three weeks of the season.
Our first event was at UConn-Avery Point for the Donaghy Bowl. Only five teams showed up and Mitchell placed fourth. Brendan Griffiths and Chelsea Abbenante (and Alexandra Bollella) sailed consistently in A Division, while Mike D'Amico and Jared LaFosse-Baker (and Deborah Lee) sailed some strong finishes in B Division. It was a great warm-up event for the season.
Our second event was at Roger Williams University. Unfortunately, Brendan and Mike had family commitments, so the team needed to call upon Chelsea, our top crew, to step up and be a skipper for the weekend.
This event must have been organized by Charles Dickens, because it was the best of conditions and the worst of conditions on both days. On Saturday, we arrived to a southerly breeze blowing 15-20 steady with gusts over 25 knots. Definitely not the conditions Chelsea and Jared had envisioned sailing in at their first regatta.
Alex struggled with his starts at first, but quickly improved as the day went on. He ended his day with 9th out of 16 in the last set. He definitely enjoyed sailing in the heavy air. Chelsea braved the elements and toughed out the heavy conditions for the first set. In her first race, she was 13th out of 16 boats at the windward mark. She flipped on the downwind of the second race, and then decided it was too windy for the second set – a smart decision.
When we arrived on Sunday, it was blowing (if you can call it that) 0-3 knots. Because A Division ended the day on Saturday, Chelsea and Deborah sailed first. They again sailed smart races in the light breeze and Chelsea beat a boat. However, because the breeze was so light, it took nearly two hours just to get those races in. Alex H. and Alex B. sailed the next set with solid successes. Overall, Alex sailed consistently in his first regatta of the year. After his set, Chelsea and Deborah went back out and the breeze completely died. Their race was abandoned, making Alex and Alex's last set null, and the regatta over.
Overall, I could not be more proud of the way the team came together under less than perfect conditions. Chelsea was the MVP for stepping up and allowing the team to even compete. Alex worked the kinks out during this regatta and finished 13th out of 16, one point out of 12th. Chelsea finished 16th.
I want to thank Jared's parents, Deborah's parents, and Chelsea's parents for coming to the regatta and supporting the team. Never in my coaching tenure at Mitchell have I seen such contrasting conditions within one regatta. The kids did well and I am proud of everyone who contributed to the success of this event.
For more detailed info about this regatta, please visit:
All the best,