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!

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