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.

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