Thursday, December 8, 2011

College Fall Season is Over… So What do we do now?

By: Kelly Stannard

The season has been wrapped up for just over three weeks and college sailors are now preparing for Finals. What in the world do we do with our extra time?

I reached out to some fellow college sailors from programs around the country to get a feel for what teams do after the season is over. I got the chance to talk to team members from College of Charleston, Hawaii, Yale, Vermont, Brown, Georgetown, Boston College, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Stanford. As it turns out, our offseason schedules are similar. Yes, we do have our team meetings and training. However, we get the opportunity to catch up with friends, prepare for Finals, relax and recuperate, and do some personal sailing. Each team has their own little twist. So I asked these sailors what they do during the offseason? Here is the scoop from a handful of sailors representing various college sailing programs around the county.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

College Sailing: A Q&A with West Coast Sailors

By Kelly Stannard

This week I sat down with two of my teammates at Roger Williams University from the West Coast and they discussed what it was like growing up sailing in the Pacific. I also picked their brains about the differences between East Coast and West Coast style sailing. Meet Annie Schmidt (Sophomore / San Francisco, Calif.)
and George Saunders (Senior / San Diego, Calif.).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: A Win at ACC’s to Finish my Senior Fall

By: Kelly Stannard

This weekend marked the conclusion of the fall dinghy season in college sailing. Three of the biggest fall fleet races were on the line at the Pacific Coast Championship (PCC), the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship (WACC), and the Atlantic Coast Championship (ACC).

At the PCC’s, the schools on the west coast battled it out and Stanford came out on top with Cal. Santa Barbra second and Southern Cal placing third.

The WAA’s hosted by New York Maritime had some extremely tight racing and it came down to a tie breaker between the University of Rhode Island and Yale. Yale won the tie-breaker to win the event. In third place and only one point behind the top two was Dartmouth.

The ACC’s were hosted by Harvard, where I was competing this weekend for Roger Williams University. And yes, the Hawk’s won! I couldn’t think of a better way to finish off my senior year fall season. All of my teammates sailed extremely well this weekend and our Coach, Colin Merrick insisted that we, “Stay focused ALL weekend”. This motto seemed to work out well for us and we were able to stay as consistent as we could on the shifty Charles River winning overall by 43 points. Sailing A division was Sean Bouchard, our “heavy” Jake Bartlein, and me. We finished 6th. Our B division really kept us in the running all weekend. They won their division by 20 points. Sailing in B was, Alec Anderson, Sophie Bellacosa and Tyler Wilson.
Dartmouth finished second and Brown finished up second and third.

It was a beautiful weekend with warmer than anticipated weather, even though I still wore my drysuit and a neckwarmer both days! The season is over. Time to roll up my drysuit, hang up my boots, pack away the bailer and get some homework done before the spring season comes around.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: A Little Bit for Everyone

By Kelly Stannard

College Racing

This coming weekend will wrap-up the fall dinghy season. On the schedule is the Co-ed Atlantic Coast Championship for the 38th Fiske-Harriman-Sleigh Trophies hosted by Harvard University, the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship hosted by New York Maritime and the 2011 Pacific Coast Championship hosted by the University of California Santa Barbara. These events are the last big “hoorah” for fall dingy racing. Some even compare the caliber of competition to the spring dingy nationals.

Teams competing at the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship: Georgetown, Hobart & William Smith Colleges, U.S. Naval Academy, Cornell, SUNY Maritime College, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Old Dominion, Dartmouth, Rhode Island, Connecticut College, Brown, Yale, Bowdoin, Vermont, Tufts, Eckerd, College of Charleston, South Florida

Teams competing at the Atlantic Coast Championship (co-ed): Georgetown, St. Mary's College of Maryland, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Old Dominion, U.S. Naval Academy, SUNY Maritime College, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Penn, Dartmouth, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Roger Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts, College of Charleston, Miami (Fla.), South Florida

Teams competing at the Pacific Coast Championship: Oregon, Washington, Western Washington, Arizona State, California Maritime Academy, Cal. State - Channel Islands, Long Beach State, Cal. State - Monterey Bay, Chapman, Santa Clara, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Hawaii, Southern California

You can follow the results of these events on TechScore.

Fitness Surprises

So I can’t speak for all the college sailing teams and their fitness routines but at Roger Williams we have weekly workouts and usually once a month our coach slaps us with a fitness test. Tuesday morning I was expecting to have a fun team workout, you know something like indoor soccer, for our last week of the season but that would be too nice. Instead, while I was half asleep and just stumbled to the gym I was greeted with the “nice” surprise of our final fitness test of the year… Fabulous!

Our fitness test includes, a timed two mile run (if you can’t run for whatever reason you compete for distance for 20 minutes on a bike), maximum rep push-ups and sit-ups, and a timed wall-sit. Our times and numbers are then graded against the U.S. Army scoring system. For example, to receive a 100% in our age category you must complete 80 sit ups (no one holds your feet, arms crossed, sit ALL the way up).  I was glad to get this last fitness test out of the way even though I wasn’t ecstatic about the 7 a.m. surprise.

I was curious. What do other college teams do for their fitness? Do you have a fitness test? 

Please share.

Other News

I’d like to ask all of you if you’ve voted for the US Sailing's 2011 Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards? These two awards are the most prestigious awards in the country for sailing. The people who win these awards are the sailors you race against, the ones who you follow their results, and the ones you race against every weekend. If you haven’t taken the time to nominate someone, think about it and send in your nomination. The awards go to sailor’s who have had outstanding results throughout the calendar year, so if someone instantly pops into your thoughts it probably means they are worthy of a nomination. Give your peers some recognition. More info here..

Who do you think deserves these awards?

Monday, November 7, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: New National Champs!

By: Kelly Stannard

Lots of racing took place around the conferences this weekend. Most notably the Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded National Championships were held in Chicago.

After the first four races of day one in Chicago, junior Cam Cullman from Yale and freshman Chris Stocke from University of South Florida (USF) were in the lead followed by junior Colin Smith of Brown for the Men’s Championship. For the Women’s Championship after day one, freshman Mary Hall from
Navy was in first, senior Corey Hall of College of Charleston was in second and senior Anne Haeger of Boston College (BC) who had won the event twice before was in third.

Things got shaken up along the way and after 15 races for both the men and the women, new National Champions were named! Cam Cullman from Yale is the Men’s Singlehanded Champion. Chris Stocke of USF won the tie breaker over senior Zeke Harowitz from Charleston to place second. On the women’s course, senior Annie Haeger of BC, for the third time in four years, is the Women’s Singlehanded National Champion. Junior Claire Dennis from Yale who won the event last year placed second closely followed by her teammate, junior Emily Billing in third.

Congratulations to all the competitors and to Annie and Cam for their victories!

At the Hap Moore Team Race at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Tufts won the event with a 13-2 record, Boston College placed second with a record of 12-3 and Roger Williams rounded out the top three with an 11-4 record.

At the Freshman Intersectional hosted by Bowdoin (not Connecticut College as I mentioned in my last blog, my mistake), the Tufts Jumbos placed first followed by both University of Vermont teams in second and third.
The SAISA/MAISA event was dominated by the Charleston Cougars. All three Charleston teams made up the top three spots for the event! Go home team!

For full results from these events and other events visit
This coming weekend is another big one on the East Coast with the Atlantic Coast Dinghies and Women’s Atlantic Coast Dinghies on the schedule.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Weekend College Sailing Preview

By Kelly Stannard

I have this weekend off from racing but there are plenty of events happening all over the country. The biggest event of the weekend is the 2011-12 ICSA Men's and Women's Singlehanded National Championships hosted by Chicago Yacht Club. There is the Kennedy Cup, a sloop event, at the U.S. Naval Academy, the Hap Moore Team Race at U.S. Coast Guard, a Team Race Scrimmage on the West Coast at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), the SAISA/MAISA at College of Charleston and the Freshmen Intersectional at Connecticut College.

The Singlehanded National Championships bring together 18 of the best men and women singlehanded sailors. All will compete for a national title to bring home to their schools, each has qualified for the event at a conference elimination. Men will sail Lasers and women will sail Laser Radials. I’m predicting it will be a tad bit chilly up in Chicago at this time of year.  Racing starts tomorrow and ends Sunday. Sailors get a chance to do some open-water racing off of Belmont Harbor, the forecast for the weekend has breeze ranges from 5 to 20 knots, but you never know what you’ll get till you’re there. You can follow results on the event page,

The competition will be stiff at both of these Championships. At the Men’s, junior Cam Cullman from Yale placed third last year, junior Colin Smith of Brown was seventh, junior Chris Barnard of Georgetown placed 10th and senior Sam Blouin of Hobart finished 15th.  Cullman won the NEISA qualifier by more than 50 points. Four of the sailors who placed in the top five at this event last year have graduated leaving the podium open for newcomers to rise to the occasion.

The Women’s Singlehanded Nationals this year will have many of the sailors who competed last year back again to try and win the title. Four of the top five sailors from 2010 are returning, making for some tight and exciting races. Junior Claire Dennis of Yale edged out senior, Annie Haeger of Boston College by one point to win the event last year. In 2009, Haeger of BC won the event while Dennis took second. I’m guessing Haeger will be looking for a re-match against Dennis this year (Haeger’s senior year)! Also placing in the top five last year was sophomore, Arielle DeLisser from Hobart and William Smith who placed third and junior, Emily Billing of Yale who placed fourth.

Other events on the weekend schedule include the Hap Moore team race at Coast Guard where teams from NESIA and MAISA have a chance to get their feet wet with a fall team race. There is the sloop event at Navy where teams from all conferences will be competing in Navy 44’s, some more NEISA and MAISA teams will be throwing down at Charleston, the freshmen will have a chance to shine at the Freshman Intersectional hosted by Connecticut College and some of the West Coast schools will be at the Team Race Scrimmage at UCSB.

If you’re sailing at one of these events or a regatta we didn’t mention let us know how you’re preparing, and what you’re looking forward to!

It should be a busy weekend of high-level college sailing as usual. Which school do you think will win at the Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded Nationals? Add your comments below.

Competitors at Men’s Singlehanded by conference:

John Wallace '14 St. Mary's College of Maryland
Chris Barnard '13 Georgetown University
Samuel Blouin '12 Hobart & Williams Smith
Philip Alley '12 Cornell University

Andrew Fox '13, University of Wisconsin
Joseph Kutschenreuter '12, University of Wisconsin
Harrison Burton '14, University of Minnesota

Cam Cullman '13, Yale University
Colin Smith 13', Brown University
Lucas Adams '15, Brown University
Michael Zonnenberg '15, University of Vermont

Elliot Drake '12, University of Oregon

Mateo Vargas '14, Stanford University
Kieran Chung '15, Stanford University

Zeke Horowitz '12, College of Charleston
Christopher Stocke' 15 University of South Florida
David Hernandez '12, University of Miami

Trey Hartman '15, Texas A&M Galveston

Competitors at Women’s Singlehanded by conference:

Arielle DeLisser, Hobart & William Smith
Marissa Lihan U.S. Naval Academy
Giuditta deLaghi Hampton University
Mary Hall U.S. Naval Academy

Lauren-Alyssa Knoles Michigan State University
Ellen Dubois '14, University of Michigan
Natalie Sinn '12, University of Minnesota

Anne Hager '12 Boston College
Claire Dennis '13, Yale University
Emily Billings '13, Yale University
Sky Adams '14, Brown University
Jessica Claflin '13, Brown University

Erika Vranizan '12 Western Washington University


Molly McKinney '14, Stanford University
Kaitlyn Baab '15, Stanford University

Corey Hall '12, College of Charleston
Dominique Wright '15 University of South Florida

Rebekka Urbina '12, Texas A&M University Galveston

Monday, October 31, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: Sailing in the Snow!

By: Kelly Stannard

As I said in my Thursday blog, this was a big weekend for schools in NEISA with both the co-ed and the women’s qualifying events for Atlantic Coast Dinghies. Both of these events were held in Boston, ladies were at Harvard, and the Schell was at MIT.

All over New England the weather was brutal, Saturday was one of the nastiest days of sailing I have been a part of in awhile. At Yale, racing was canceled due to white out snow conditions!

Tyler Macdonald and Jake Bartlein give
Coach a thumbs up. (Photo by Alex Rudkin)
At the Schell and the Urn it was freezing cold with pelting rain and big breeze on the Charles always means deadly auto-tacks are lurking on the course. I only sailed the first four races and luckily the rain hadn’t started yet. The rest of the day the heavy crews battled the elements and put up with the terrible conditions while we watched from inside one of MIT’s unheated boat bays. I’m not sure which was colder, sailing, or watching sailing!

For Sunday we had a delayed report time to allow for the wintery conditions to clear and make traveling safe! Who ever thought we would be dealing with a winter weather advisory before Halloween? When we got to MIT, the boats had snow on them and many competitors enjoyed tossing a snowball or two at their teammates. I was expecting another day of sitting on land because high winds were forecasted for most of the day so I made sure to pack plenty of warm layers again! It turned out that the forecast wasn’t too accurate and it was lighter breeze. I was able to sail all day in the 3-16 knot shifty winds; it was exciting and scary all at once. The top of the beats had some hairy shifts and large unpredictable puffs made for wild auto-tacks. It was absolutely crucial to be able to have inter-boat communication about the puffs coming down at you and to be on the same page to determine whether you’d flop right over or dig into the shift a little more before you decide what it’ll give you. My skipper Sean Bouchard, heavy crew Tyler Wilson, and I managed to figure out the ways of the river and we won A division by 30 points!

As expected the competition was tight for both events and unfortunately despite the wide talent pool at both the Schell and the Urn, only the top 7 from Schell and top 8 from Urn will move on to Atlantic Coast Dinghies. TechScore has full racing summaries and scores, The Roger Williams Hawks placed 5th at Schell and unfortunately we missed qualifying at the Urn by one place.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: A Big Weekend for NEISA Teams

By: Kelly Stannard

This weekend is an extremely important weekend for all teams in New England. Both the co-ed and women’s qualifiers for the Atlantic Coast Dinghies (ACD) are taking place, the Schell at MIT and the Women's Victorian Urn at Harvard University. At the Schell, the top eight teams will advance to the ACD and at the Urn, the top 7 NEISA teams will advance to the Women’s Atlantic Coast Dinghies.

We’ve had some solid results at the Schell in the past. The last two years the Hawks have consistently placed 2nd and we won in 2006 in some epic conditions that were so windy the regatta organizers put the storm sails on the Tech Dinghies. Our women’s team has never qualified for the ACD but we are hoping to change that this weekend!

This is a time for the top NEISA teams to throw down and prove who the best of the North East is. For the Schell, Roger Williams we will be sending Alec Anderson, Sophie Bellacosa and Tyler Wilson to represent A division. Representing the B division will be Sean Bouchard, myself, and Jake Bartlein. Representing the Hawks at the Urn will be Haley Powell, Alyssa Seifert, and Jaye Fay in A division with Annie Schmidt, Wendy Reuss, and Rachel Perry sailing in B division.

Sometimes teams will break up their A and B division teams and send them to different events for the weekend but I expect each team to send their top teams to these two important qualifiers, it’ll make for some challenging competition. In the latest Sailing World Rankings, which came out October 13th, ten of the twenty co-ed teams are from NEISA and nine of the fifteen women’s teams are from NEISA. All eighteen teams at the Schell will be looking to make it to ACD and all thirteen NEISA teams at the Urn will be pushing themselves to go on to the WACD,  but only the top eight and the top seven will go on.

Many events this fall have had light and shifty conditions including the Hoyt last weekend, the Hatch Brown, the Captain Hurst, the Mrs. Hurst, the Moody, etc. I am hoping that the experience with unpredictable breeze has prepared the Hawks to perform on the Charles this weekend which notoriously brings some shifty and squirrely conditions. Our success at the Captain Hurst can be attributed to our team being able to stay focused and sail on the conservative side in the mentally exhausting conditions.  I think we will need to be in a similar mindset for this coming weekend.

There will certainly be a high level of competition this weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds! You can follow the results at I wish us luck and I wish all my fellow NEISA teams luck. I’ll see you all on the Charles!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: Light Winds and Rings

By Kelly Stannard

Another weekend finished leaves me with only three more weekends of racing for my senior fall season! It’s hard to believe how fast it goes by. For those of you who read my blog on Friday, you know I was at the Hoyt Trophy at Brown, hosted by Boston College.

At this event we had some trying conditions on both days. Saturday each division waited around for the breeze to settle and the first race started at 1 P.M., each division was able to get in four races.  We raced in 3-10 knots of breeze, and witnessed some 90 degree shifts swinging from North to West. After racing the Hawks, in record time, de-rigged and hurried back to school to get dressed up for our Ring Ceremony to celebrate our Team Racing National Championship in June. We got back to campus with only a half hour to get ready and look our very best in front of the many people who came out to celebrate. Guest s included, our University President, Vice President, Athletic Director, Assistant Athletic Director, parents (including mine), fans, friends etc., the list goes on and on.

Our Global Heritage Hall was the perfect setting for the ceremony with its great view of the bay and open space. Teammates, Alex Rudkin, Josh Gershuney and Mark Gargula spent the day making it look wonderful, they even managed to get one of our boats rigged up inside! It was a simple gathering with some great appetizers; some socializing and we re-watched Sailgrooves coverage of the final race against Boston College and our team celebrating afterwards. Even though I have probably seen the videos over 20 times they still give me the chills when I watch our boats cross the finish line in a 1-2  combo knowing we had won our first nationals. It was awesome to re-share the moment with everyone who came and to know that our school supports us so much. Although we didn’t get our championship rings Saturday night (there was a scheduling issue, they’ll be here by the end of the week) we finally saw what they were going to look like, they are pretty awesome. I can’t wait to get mine and wear it (pictures to come ASAP)!

After an exciting night with the team and dinner with my parents, it was back to Brown Sunday morning. A division set out and was able to get in one race before the breeze turned off. We had quite the long on-land postponement, giving us some time to toss a football and beat BC in a little parking lot soccer scrimmage. It was a 4 v 4 game with Aigle’s and sandals as make shift goal posts. The only rule was that for a goal to count the ball must pass through the “posts” on the ground. I got roped into this and played in my Ugg boots, not the best for soccer I must say, and the game got pretty heated! People lost their spray pants and traded them in for some athletic shorts and sneakers to try to get a competitive edge, unfortunately the sneakers weren’t enough for BC and they just couldn’t handle the soccer skills of RWU, we won 3-0. After everyone was winded from soccer we went back to tossing the football (I can say I successful learned to spiral a full sized football this weekend thanks to the help of my teammates). After we also grew tired of football we retreated to our van and had some pizza delivered.  A hot pizza lunch and some Orange Crush soda gave us just enough energy to go out for our last set.

B division went out for two races followed by A division finishing their last race just before the time limit. Overall we finished up in 5th place with Boston College winning, Yale placing second, and Charleston placing 3rd. It was another challenging weekend with light and shifty conditions but it should prove to be good practice for the Schell next weekend at MIT. 

At the Stu Nelson at Connecticut College our women’s team placed 3rd, also competing with fickle winds, at the Oberg we finished 9th overall, and at our home event we had three different RWU teams compete, they finished, 2nd, 3rd and 6th! Overall, it was another solid weekend for the Hawks.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: We Can't Wait to Get our Rings!

Kelly and her teammates last weekend at Dartmouth.
By Kelly Stannard

This weekend I am happy to say I am staying in Rhode Island to race at Brown University, and competing for the Hoyt Trophy. This makes getting back to Roger Williams Saturday night a breeze! It is homecoming weekend on our campus and Saturday night the University is honoring our National Championship win at the ICSA/Gill Team Race Nationals in June. We will be receiving championship rings (well maybe ring pops until the rings arrive), while being acknowledged by the campus community, parents and friends.

Our team will be taking the same crew from last weekend to the Hoyt Trophy hosted at Brown, Alec Anderson, Sophie Bellacosa, Tyler Wilson (all three were NEISA sailors of the week for helping us win at Dartmouth last weekend) Sean Bouchard, Jake Bartlein and me. We are hoping that the six of us can keep the momentum rolling from our win last weekend and perform similarly tomorrow and Sunday!

For those of you who don’t know, Brown’s sailing facility has been Edgewood Yacht Club for years. Unfortunately, a tragic fire destroyed the historic club in January of this year. Not only did this have a tremendous impact on the Edgewood Yacht Club’s members it directly affected the Brown sailing team.

I talked with Colin Smith, a junior on the Brown University team about what it has been like this year and the impact its had on the team. The team had locker rooms on the bottom floor of the Edgewood Yacht Club where they stored their personal sailing gear. “The major bummer was that we lost thousands of dollars worth of gear. Everyone on the team was affected whether it was losing a pair of boots or all their private sailing equipment. The school has been very supportive and in the next few years we hope to have a new permanent facility that should be one of the best in college sailing,” explained Colin.

For the Brown team, “initially it was pretty tough after the fire,” he reflected, “we would have to change in our cars and couldn't get out of the elements. After a month or so of roughing it, the school bought us a large portable building that we use.” This portable building gave them some shelter from the chilly Rhode Island weather throughout the spring season.

I’m glad to report the Brown team has been able to prevail through this tragedy and they are looking forward to hosting the Hoyt this weekend!

My fellow Hawks are also competing at the ladies event at Connecticut College (the Stu Nelson), a team is going to the Oberg hosted by Harvard and we’ll have a team racing at home for the Southern Series event.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A College Sailor’s Life: Fall is officially here!

By: Kelly Stannard

Last weekend we were lucky as Mother Nature greeted us with a second summer for a few days, just to tease us. In New Hampshire this weekend, it certainly was not a second summer. It was chilly! Lots of dry suits were being pulled out of their warm weather hibernation to shake off the dust and keep many of us sailors in New England warm, myself included! I sailed at Dartmouth this weekend, competing in the Captain Hurst Bowl. While we were sailing, there was lots happening onshore. It was parent’s weekend at Dartmouth and as usual, Mrs. Hurst brought loads of delicious baked goods for competitors to enjoy. Parents brought more baked goods, hot chocolate, grilled food, and even candy to share with us. It was so nice to come off the water and be able to drink some hot chocolate to warm up, a special thank you to all of the Dartmouth parents.
The dedicated fans of Darthmouth cheer from ashore.

While most of us were trying to warm up in the heated bathrooms or by holding a hot drink, a group of young men from Dartmouth came down to show their school spirit for the sailing team. They had D-A-R-T-M-O-U-T-H painted on their chests and stood on the beach cheering their team on. It was pretty awesome to have some loud fans at a sailing event, it’s not often you have people chanting, “ease, hike, trim” or “tack that boat!”

With all of the distractions of chocolate chip cookies, welcoming parents, and the presence of some die-hard fans, we actually got some racing in too. Many events had trouble because of too much breeze, but we were shocked on Saturday morning when we arrived to see we had any wind at all! Dartmouth typically has extremely light and shifty conditions. Fortunately, there was great breeze, but the shiftiness was definitely still there. Saturday, our team had some up and down scores but we were all able to stay mentally fit when dealing with the huge pressure and angle changes out on the course. It wasn’t unusual to see at least two auto-tacks on any given upwind beat. The breeze picked up enough for heavies to get out there for two sets in the middle of the day, so I can truly say it was a whole team effort this weekend! Everyone we brought got to sail (Alec Anderson, Sophie Bellacosa, Tyler Wilson, Sean Bouchard, Jake Bartlein, and myself). Sunday, the gang came well rested and prepared for another long and mentally draining day of battling crazy shifts. Both our A and B boats sailed extremely conservatively. Things started to click, with the exception of our last set of the day, and neither of us placed out of the top 3. Being able to post consistent scores pushed the Hawks into first and we were able to win the event, and both divisions!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: Light Winds Call for the “Bailer Game”

By Kelly Stannard

Well we just wrapped up another awesome weekend for the Hawks. All around I’d say it was a successful weekend for the team. Some standout performances should be mentioned, at the Moody, we won! At the Hobart Intersectional we placed fourth, with Andrew Tamblyn and Josh Gershuny winning B division! At the Navy Women’s Fall Intersectional we finished up in seventh with Annie Shmidt and Wendy Reuss placing third in B division.

I was stranded on an island off of URI somewhere in the Point Judith Salt Pond competing for the Moody Trophy, and boy was it a hot, which was nice considering its October! The weekend had light winds both days which we loved - both of our boats were on the lighter side. With the light winds it was shifty and made for some interesting racing.  URI is located all the way inland in one of the many salt ponds in the area, racing must be done outside the pond and rotations happen on a small island about half way out of the pond. It is a rocky and uninhabited, very small little chunk of land with lots of rocks and not much shade. We made sure to pack our own beach chairs to lounge in between our sets and soak up some of the last warm weather of the year.

On Saturday my skipper for the event, Alec Anderson and I found that our starts basically stunk. The line was fairly short and a port tack approach looking for a hole late typically didn’t work well for us. Luckily we had great boat speed and were able to squirt out off the line and tack our way into a nice lane upwind to get back into the racing. It was extremely shifty and keeping our heads out of the boat and constantly talking about the conditions kept us in the top pack.

Sunday the breeze was temperamental and didn’t fill until almost noon. This allowed for lots of “the bailer game” on the island. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this game it is a simple way to pass time and entertain a large group of sailors while they wait for wind. You take a bailer, place it about 5-10 yards away from you, depending on your rock throwing skill level,  and start to build support around the bailer with large rocks or sand. It is important to properly support the bailer so that when larger rocks get thrown it will not fall over. After the bailer is in place everyone picks up small rocks around them and the goal is to get your rock into the bailer. It’s amazing how long this can entertain people. Naturally the game progresses to throwing larger and larger rocks with increasing force, we inevitably ended up cracking several bailers this weekend.

After some quality time spent throwing rocks at a bailer, the breeze eventually filled and was even more shifty than Saturday! This kept everyone on their toes and it was fun conditions to race in for the last few races of the event. You really couldn’t ask for a better weekend of sailing, it was warm and sunny, I played games with a bunch of fellow sailors, and we won!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Collge Sailor's Life: Back in the swing of things

By Kelly Stannard

After switching it up last weekend with team racing in Houston, I’m back in Rhode Island and hitting the college circuit once again. Let me just say this week has been a bit chilly compared to the beautiful weather in Texas. I wore my dry suit to practice the last two days! They say it’ll warm up again in time for the weekend where I’ll be headed to the University of Rhode Island for the Moody Trophy.

I’ll be crewing for Alec Anderson in A division, Tyler Macdonald and Samantha Bobo will be sailing B division and if the breeze picks up we have two awesome “heavies” Tyler Wilson and Jake Bartlein. This will be an intersectional event with 11 berths from NEISA, 4 from MAISA, and 3 other invites. It will be interesting to see what conditions URI brings us this weekend. The last time I was there was for the New England Qualifier for Semi Finals in the spring and it was the windiest regatta I have ever seen in college sailing. I don’t expect this weekend to be nearly as crazy!

Getting ready for the weekends isn’t always just about on the water practice. Our team also has a fitness component to our schedule. We have morning work outs every Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7 A.M. and it’s expected that everyone will try to get to the gym on their own time as well. We mix it up with what we do, on Tuesday for example we played a game of water polo. I personally just tread water and try not to get pushed under by the stronger more aggressive swimmers on the team! Not only is it a great work out its wildly entertaining to see a pool full of sailor’s attempting to play water polo. Over all we focus a lot on cardio endurance and core strength. To see that we are all on track with our fitness goals our coach, Amanda Callahan, administers a fitness test once a month.

It just so happens that she surprised us with one yesterday morning; these are our teams’ favorite at 7 A.M.! The fitness test consists of a timed 2 mile run, max amount of push-ups and sit-ups we can do and timed wall sit. For those who have bad knees or ankles the bike is the alternative to the 2 mile and you go for max distance within 20 minutes. To evaluate our tests our coach compares our numbers to those of the Army fitness scores and percentiles expected in our age group. For example to earn 100% in sit-ups you have to be able to do 80. Not only does she grade these she expects that we improve our scores over time. I wish she still had my first score sheet as a freshman four years ago to see how far I have come!

Lots of non-sailors don’t understand why you need to be physically fit to sail but anyone who has sailed dinghies competitively knows that after a long day in big breeze if you’re out of shape, you probably didn’t post any impressive finishes!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A College Sailor's Life - Reflections from a Special Weekend in Houston

By Kelly Stannard

I’ve had a few days now to relax and digest, so to speak, after this weekend. Team Minor Threat made our first appearance as a team at the U.S. Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy and came away victorious. Several of our team members have individually competed in the event but this was our debut as team Minor Threat.

We got a lot of questions about how our team came together over the weekend. In college sailing all of our boats were each other’s main competition. Charlie Buckingham and Alex Taylor sailed A division together for Georgetown. Tyler Sinks and Lucy Wallace sailed A division for Boston College and Cy Thompson and I sailed A division for Roger Williams. Over the last few years our schools have been each other’s rivals in both fleet and team racing. We seem like a misfit team to most people because so many of the other teams competing in the team racing circuit join forces from the same college. Team Minor Threat went down a different route, the skippers got together and got to talking. Basically, they decided that we should join forces and see what we can do when we are on the same side; in a nutshell that’s how we became Minor Threat.

Individually, each of our boat pairs are extremely talented, we had no idea what we could do collectively. The Hinman was our second event sailing together, earlier this year we competed in the New York Yacht Club Team Race where we placed third, behind the Woonsocket Rockets and Team Extreme. We were all pumped about our finish at the NYYC Team Race because it was our first event together but we came to the Hinman with vengeance.

I feel a main part of our success this past weekend was our ability to stay focused and have fun with each other. All of us are busy with school, a “real job”, Olympic Campaigns, or searching for a “real job” so being together again for a weekend we agreed we wanted to make the most out of it. We put our team together to see what we could do and we proved that we could hold our own with some of the best team racing
The competition at this event was extremely challenging, the names you see on the list of competitors is remarkable, there are past and present Olympians, ICSA All-Americans and world champions. It was incredible to be a part of such a talented pool of sailors. Going into our first round robin, where each team races each other once, we knew that every team is good and went into it with an “each race is important” mentality. We finished 10-4 overall, which qualified us for the top six. Previous records were erased, leveling the playing field once again. We were pleased to make it through but knew we’d have to step it up the third day in the double round of top six teams if we had a chance for the title. 

I would say this was the turning point in the event for us. We certainly rose to the occasion when we went undefeated in the first round and only lost one race to Larchmont Yacht Club in the second round. Team Extreme was the favored team going into the weekend with their all-star team and experience together. In the first round robin against Team Extreme, they beat us with a good start. Our team struggled a bit with our starts in this round. We talked about what was working and what wasn’t and revamped our starting strategy for the third day. This revamp seemed to work and all of our boats were getting off the line clean in the double round of six. This was a crucial component of the equation against Team Extreme who typically have great starts.
We buckled down to the basics, were able to get clean starts, and from there, our individual boat speed in all conditions and our executions of the plays is what made us successful.

So, where do we go from here? Well, we all flew in from different corners of the country and we all flew back to different corners of the country! I went back to Roger Williams and college sailing, Cy and Charlie are back to the grind with their Laser campaigns, Lucy is starting her job as a consultant in New York City this week, Alex is back to her job in Boston, and Tyler is back to Cali where he has a month chuck full of job interviews.

This weekend I’ll be competing for the Moody Trophy at the University of Rhode Island. I’ll be blogging this Friday about our preparations for this Intersectional Regatta.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Reading the Tell Tales: Taking Cues From Your Child to Develop Success

By Jessica M. Mohler, Psy.D., CC-AASP
Clinical and Sport Psychologist
United States Naval Academy

The summer sailing season has come to an end. You may be attending your end of summer banquet or barbecue, and talking with instructors and coaches about how your child did in their summer sailing program. You may have some hopes or expectations about your child’s experience based upon your own observations or conversations you had over the summer. You may also have hopes or expectations based on a comparison between your child and another or with a sibling, but how do you really know what to expect? As discussed in my previous articles, your child’s finish around the race course or end of year regatta tells you very little about your their development. So as parents, what can we expect our child to learn from the sport of sailing? Ginsburg, Durant, and Batzell (2006) suggest six areas of development for parents to consider when trying to understand and learn about their children:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A College Sailor’s Life – Winning the Hinman Trophy

By Kelly Stannard

In the third and final day of the U.S. Team Race Nationals, team Minor Threat really pulled it together all the way to the end. Starting off the day early, the race committee immediately jumped into the first round of final six. We went undefeated in this round. After this first round was completed, the consolation round hit the water. After they were unable to complete the round, they sent out the top six for their second round. We only lost one race to Larchmont Yacht Club.

They tried to wrap up the event with the finals but light shifty breeze prevented this from happening. They called it off at about 5:00 P.M. Team Minor Threat was victorious!

It felt amazing knowing that we had won. Our team was able to stay focused from the long day and got off the line clean in our races, a nice change from yesterday! Our team dynamic is great. Each one of our boats comes from a different college sailing background. Cy and myself sailed together at Roger Williams, Charlie and Alex sailed together at Georgetown, and Tyler and Lucy sailed together at Boston College. The diverse range of previous team racing experience gave us an edge when we combined all our favorite moves and strategies. It’s interesting to see what each of our boats brings to the table, and together we work super well.
The race committee, the Houston Yacht Club, US SAILING, all of the many volunteers, the umpires, and of course the fellow competitors made it an incredible event!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A College Sailor's Life - Day Two at the U.S. Team Race National Championship

By Kelly Stannard
Team Minor Threat had somewhat of a laid back morning today which was nice... well sort of!  Yesterday ended with race 52 in the first round robin and our next race was not until race 79. We were able to get an extra hour of sleep and there was no huge rush to get to the club early. Racing for the rest of the teams got started around 10:00 A.M.
We spent our time on land tossing a football, reading, catching up with our competitors and watching some of the races. The teams who sailed in the morning had some big breeze, which again died down a bit in the afternoon when our team hit the water.
We had three races to finish our round. The first race was a tough loss to Boston BOOM, when two of our boats were over early. We fought back hard and almost had it around mark 3 with a play 4 but we fouled and had to spin, loosing the ace. I think sitting around on land hurt us a little.  We all agreed that we’d spend more time warming up before our next set of races to get us back into concentration mode. After that we bounced back with two wins over Pretty Good Thirds and SoCal Trojans. After our three races, we were back to the waiting game to see if the race committee could pump out the last 20 or so races to finish up the first round robin, and move into the next stage of the event.
Race committee was able to finish up the single round robin of 105 races. Tomorrow they’ll split up the fleet into a top 6 and bottom 9. Hopefully there will be the same great conditions tomorrow to finish up the event! You can follow the scores on the US SAILING’s Twitter page:!/ussailing.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A College Sailor's Life - Day One at the U.S. Team Racing Championship

By Kelly Stannard
Houston Yacht Club greeted the fifteen teams competing for the Hinman Trophy with sun, warmth and plenty of great breeze. Everyone arrived, tied up all the loose ends with registrations and hit the water for some racing after the competitors briefing.
Conditions were beautiful with nice wind for the majority of the day, which tapered off near the end.
Our team, Minor Threat had a good day of racing with 8 wins. Team Trouble finished today with 7 wins and Team Extreme with 6 wins. It’s still early as we are only about half way through the first round robin. Some teams have only sailed a few races while others have sailed many.
The Houston Yacht Club, the umpires, and all of the many volunteers have been doing a great job of running the event. Race committee was always more than willing to fill up water bottles in between races, which is a crucial part of a long day in the heat. The umpires have been on their game making lots of calls and keeping the racing fair. On land the volunteers have also been awesome, helping with boat rotations, setting up lunch, etc. A lot of planning goes into organizing and putting on a regatta like this, so my hat goes off to everyone involved. Everyone has been extremely accommodating and made us feel welcome.
As far as racing goes today, we found our inter-team communication strong and all of our boats were on the same page with plays. When all three of our boats could get off the line clean, it usually resulted in a successful finish to the race. If you get behind from the start it makes for a difficult comeback with the high level of skills all the teams bring to this event. In addition to our strong communication we felt our boat speed was fairly decent considering none of our team members spend much time in V15s. Tomorrow, we’ll try to hone in on getting back to the basics with starts and getting off clean.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing how the teams that didn’t get in a lot of races today end up. You can follow updates on the US SAILING Twitter page;

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: On the Road

By Kelly Stannard

I am currently sitting in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport waiting for my connecting flight to Houston to compete in the U.S. Team Racing Championship, a US SAILING National Championship event, for the George R. Hinman Trophy. It’ll only be a few hours till I am reunited with my teammates Cy Thompson, Tyler Sinks, Lucy Wallace, Charlie Buckingham and Alex Taylor! I am anxious and excited to get there and get out on the water.

Today competitors can check-in and have some time to practice before the event begins Friday.

It sounds like it will be a hot weekend and I’m looking forward to the challenging competition. Stay tuned for nightly recaps from Houston!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: Wind Delays and Dinner Adventures

By Kelly Stannard

This weekend featured long drives and long wind delays for the Roger Williams Hawks. Our drive to St. Mary’s Friday afternoon inevitably became a 12 hour trip with traffic. Once we finally arrived at St. Mary’s, competitors were greeted with very light and shifty breeze both Saturday and Sunday. The conditions only permitted for two races in each division the first day and six races per division on Sunday. This, however, was more races than most events hosted up and down the east coast. It seemed everyone was greeted with less than favorable wind this weekend!

Even with the frustrating breeze conditions our team pulled of a fifth place finish overall. Winning the event was Connecticut College with the home team, St. Mary’s, hot on their heels. Rounding out the top three were the Boston College Eagles. At the sloop qualifier for nationals in Boston, our team consisting of Alec Anderson, Zack Shapiro, Annie Schmidt and Dylan Vogel, placed second. This secured us a spot for ICSA Sloop Nationals! Wahoo! Go team!

The long drive and long waits ashore allowed for lots of snacking and lots of homework to get done! Among our snacking was the quest for Domino’s Pizza on the drive home. This simple task of finding a store approximately 30 miles ahead on our route, deciding what we would get, which coupons we had, and how much we could get with the thirty dollars we had left from the weekend was not so simple. The back of the van inevitably disagreed with the front of the van and technical failure of iPhones and GPS’s aided in our many u-turns all over in southern Maryland. When we finally had ordered, found the place, and purchased our two extra large pies, we were unimpressed to say the least. Their website said our order would feed 18 people; well our motley crew of seven gulped it all down in about ten minutes flat. Despite the disappointing size of the pizza’s everyone seemed to be satisfied and we had some left over snacks to hold us over till we got home. With everyone’s bellies full the van went from a loud mess of arguing, to the munching of hot pizza, and finally to the silence of sleepy sailors.

I was not one of the sleepy sailors yet! I still had a 100 or so more pages of reading to wrap up. Luckily, and surprisingly avoiding getting car sick, I was able to polish this off by the time we reached New York City and eventually I was able to get little shut eye! I’ll need every bit of extra sleep I can get coming into another crazy busy week! I’ve got loads of assignments and I fly to Houston, Texas early Thursday morning to compete at the U.S. Team Racing Championship with my team, Minor Threat.

My next few blog posts will be coming to you from Houston. I’ll try to give you some short recaps of my firsthand experience racing in a US SAILING National Championship!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: Getting Back in the Boat

Kelly Stannard will be sailing at the St. Mary's College
of Maryland Intersectional this weekend.
By Kelly Stannard

As you’ve learned from Monday’s blog entry, I was not able to practice or sail in last weekends events due to a concussion I sustained while sailing. To not sail with my team was a very different experience for me. To recover, I had to force myself to take a break; I’m always on the go. Regular days are filled to the max between being at US SAILING in the morning, to class, to practice, to team workouts, to team meetings, to the library, and finally to bed! I’m sure many college sailors can relate. Not being able to attend practice last week left me with a huge open space in my schedule which I used to rest and catch up on my studies, but now it’s back to the grind.

I was cleared to sail on Tuesday morning by our athletic training staff. This is terrific news! I find if I don’t have a little bit of sailing in my day I start to lose it and one week out was long enough. This week, so far, has been about easing me back into my usual routine. I took practice slow on Tuesday afternoon but I was quick to get back into the swing of things. Luckily my muscle memory for footwork in an FJ has developed and is strong from the last four years, which makes the short break not too damaging in that aspect. I was happy just to be out on the water to be honest, and I was feeling good! Wednesday was back to a normal practice and workout routine, both went smoothly. Today will be the last day of practice we can squeeze in before the weekend regatta, we’ll be on the road heading south during Friday’s practice.

That’s right! A group of the Roger Williams Hawks are flying south for competition. This weekend I’ll be at the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Intersectional at St. Mary’s. This event will have eight teams from MAISA (The Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association), five teams from NEISA (New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association), two teams from PCCSC (Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference), and two teams from SAISA (South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association). With competition coming from all over it should prove to be a challenging weekend of racing. I can’t wait! I will be part of the racing instead of constantly checking the team’s scores online from home like last weekend. Well, I’ll probably still be checking the scores online for the other events our team will be sailing at on my smart phone, but that’s beside the point! You can follow them too;

Fortunately, I was only out of my regular routine for a week. The University of New Hampshire Sailing team was out of their regular routine for the past year. The team endured a tragic fire which damaged their boathouse and boats severely. After taking a year to rebuild, in many ways, they are fully back in action. This weekend will be the first time that their new boathouse along with their new boats and new sails will be completely showcased to the NEISA community! I can only imagine how exciting this is for their team and everyone involved, I wish them luck!

I’ll be sure to fill you in on how the weekend went on Monday, I’ll let you know how our nine hour drive was, talk about the conditions and analyze the results!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A College Sailor's Life: Bringing You up to Speed

Kelly Stannard is a senior captain of the
Roger Williams sailing team.
Photo by Rob Migliaccio
Usually I would start my Monday blog by filling you in on how I sailed at the regatta over the weekend, but this week is a bit different. Two weekends ago, I sustained a concussion while sailing in a regatta. It was a breezy downwind and unfortunately my head got in the way of the boom. Yes, this really happens. Sailing is a dangerous sport right up there with football and lacrosse (in my opinion anyway ).This took me out of practice all last week and this past weekend’s competition. I am feeling much better and I’ll be good to sail this week and beyond. Hooray! So instead of giving you a recap of my regatta I’ll bring you up to speed on our team and my role on it.

I am a senior, one of our co-captains and a veteran crew on our team. As a captain I lead by example at practice and on land I have various organizing tasks to do for the team though out the season, and I attend the University SAAC (student athlete advocacy council) meetings. Each team on campus has representatives in attendance and together we work to make our athletics department better. Last year I sailed in A division for the team with my former skipper of two years, Cy Thompson. He graduated in the spring, so this year I am learning to adjust and sail with new and different skippers. Sailing with the same person for so long you stop having to talk about every single thing you do, you automatically know what the other person’s next move is, and your boat handling becomes extremely smooth together. This year I get the chance to develop this same comfort level with someone new!

The Roger Williams Sailing team just had a hugely successful spring 2011 season, which was highlighted by winning Team Race Nationals in our first time ever qualifying! I can’t describe to you how amazing it was to be a part of. This was a great moment for the team and the university. We definitely received more publicity than we were used to. That being said we have high expectations this year. It will be a challenge to keep up the high energy that we had spilling out of us after Nationals all the way through the colder months of the sailing season. Lots of hot chocolate from parents on the weekends will help…hint…hint.

We only graduated a few seniors last year but we will miss them all. We just completed our tryouts and have an extremely promising incoming freshman class. In addition it looks like the “Rog” might be creeping up in the Women’s rankings this year!

To stay on the path of completing all of our goals, it will take dedication from every single member of our team. When everyone makes it a point to take something away from practice each day it pushes everyone to a higher standard. It motivates each other to challenge their own limits. It’s this attitude in practice that will help us on the weekends. This thought process can be used by any team. The better quality of your practices, the better quality results you’ll see at events. It doesn’t matter if you are competing to be ranked first in Sailing World’s college rankings or if your just trying to get enough people on your team to fill an A division and a B division, the same rules apply. High energy, good practices, positive attitudes, usually results in better results!

Even though I wasn’t able to be out on the water this weekend it doesn’t mean I wasn’t hitting refresh on TechScore to follow my teams’ results. We sent teams to the Hatch Brown at MIT, the Nevins at Kings Point, the Mrs. Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth and the Central Series at Boston College. Our best finish of the weekend was at the Hatch Brown, we placed 3rd with the MIT Beavers finishing second at their home event and College Of Charleston Cougars placing 1st. For more results visit Not sailing is an odd concept for me! I never get a single weekend off throughout the season, so sitting on the sidelines is a frustrating role for me. Luckily I am good to go for this week and will be back to competition this weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A College Sailor's Life - My Introduction

By Kelly Stannard
Kelly Stannard (left) is a two-time All-American
crew for Roger Williams University.

My name is Kelly Stannard and I am a senior communications major and co-captain of the Roger Williams University varsity sailing team. I have a busy and challenging semester ahead of me. As a full-time student, I’ll be applying my education in an internship with US SAILING’s communications department. My sailing schedule and training will also be at its peak this semester. To say the least my life is a bit of a balancing act!

The intent of this blog - “A College Sailor’s Life” - is to share my experiences as a college sailor and a student with readers. There will be a little bit for everyone each week, whether you’re a high school sailor deciding if college sailing is right for you, a parent of a young sailor, a fellow college sailor, a coach, or anyone interested in the sport!

I hope to share my stories from my weekend regattas, give some insight on the different venues we sail at, reflect on what it takes to stay on top of my studies, what it’s like to be a captain and sail for one of the top college teams in the country, what training is like, what decisions I have to make on the race course, what I do here at US SAILING, and anything else that comes my direction.

Stay tuned for my first “real” entry on Monday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Knowing Your Destination: Setting the right goals

By Jessica M. Mohler, Psy.D., CC-AASP
Clinical and Sport Psychologist
United States Naval Academy

I am sure you have experienced this before: two sailors de-rigging at the end of the day, one has a smile on his face and seems excited about how he did on the water, the other appears upset as you hear him saying to his friend he only finished fifth. Or maybe as a parent, you have had one of your children celebrate on a windy day because she sailed around the buoys without capsizing, while your other child is upset with his second place finish. The post sailing day reaction shows us that success to one child can mean failure to another depending on their goals.

Just recently I attended a post race meeting where a 10-year-old child was asked how his day was on the water. He replied, “terrible.” I sat there thinking about whether that child stated the day was terrible because he did not win or place high enough in the standings, or because he had made several mistakes and was swamped by a powerboat. I obviously hoped it was the latter. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Developing Youth Sailors: What parents can do to build a strong foundation

By Jessica M. Mohler, Psy.D., CC-AASP
Clinical and Sport Psychologist
United States Naval Academy

Jessica Mohler is a clinical and sports psychologist, and a sailing mom too. In this article, Mohler provides an interesting outlook on parenting youth athletes from a sailing perspective and makes recommendations that will help you build a strong foundation for your youth sailor.

I am a sailor. I started at sailing camp at the age of 10. I competed in Lasers during high school and as a varsity sailor in college. I went on to teach and coach the sport to children and adults. My current sailing endeavors include crewing on a J-22. Along the way I became a clinical and sport psychologist. I have now taken on my most challenging role, being a parent of a child who is interested in sport, including sailing.