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!

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