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!

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