What a weekend!
While our 10th place finish (out of 10 boats) may not be what we had hoped (or expected), it does not mean we sailed poorly this weekend. Also, there were many more positives to take away from this weekend as a whole.
Sailing Colgate 26s on Thursday at the Coast Guard, we learned quickly that as a team, we were not very facile on flying a spinaker. However, we did realize that we were very competitive in our upwind abilities. We did some practice races against the five other Coast Guard teams and finished third or fourth each race out of the six-boat fleet.
On Saturday, we were greeted with a heavy breeze (15-25, with heavier gusts) at 10 a.m. It gradually diminished as the day progressed, but some gusts around 15-20 could be found. The teams sailed W4s and we flew the spinaker only on the finally downwinds. Obviously this put us at a disadvantage, but the team ended Saturday (after eight races) with 68 points. This placed us in 10th place, but the important statistic is to look at our average - an 8.3/10 boats. The fact that we were averaging an 8th, but in 10th place, spoke to the highly competitive field we were a part of and how we were right there with the other teams.
On Sunday, we only needed to sail two races to complete the round robin. Our goal was a top-7 finish for each of those races. In solid breeze (10-15, with no gusts) we went out and flew the spinaker on both downwinds and finished the first race in a competitive eighth. In the last race we could not have been more solid in our spinaker flying and finished in fifth.
While we ended the regatta in 10th, we were pleased with our improvement. This was only our third big boat regatta in my five years of coaching the team. We have consistently shown we can compete in the dinghies with the likes of Tufts, Conn, and the other major programs. Today we proved to ourselves that we can also do it on the big boat level as well.
Overall, we continue to improve and make waves. The highlight of this final day was beating the Coast Guard team that practices in these boats every week. We have a strong relationship with Coast Guard, but beating them in one race made it clear we are getting better and better with each day.
For full results please see: http://scores.collegesailing.org/s13/kruger-kup/full-scores/
A note that cannot be forgotten about this weekend was "the fans." Brendan Griffiths, who transferred earlier this year, and Kim Parker, who transferred last year, both came and supported the team on Saturday. It was great to see them both and we all appreciated their support.
Also supporting the team on Saturday were the D'Amico family, who made the trek up from New Jersey. It was great they could join us. On Sunday, the Abbenantes and Nancy LaFosse joined us for our final two races. Again, it was great they came to join us and we all appreciate the parental support.
Our season continues and I would like to remind everyone that our Mitchell College mid-week regatta is in two weeks. More details to follow.