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;

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