Wednesday, April 18, 2012

SAISA Team Race Championship

By Brooks Clark

The morning of Saturday April 14 brought cloudy skies, ten knots of breeze, and five of SAISA’s finest team race squads to Charleston Harbor for the 2012 SAISA Team Race Championships. Knowing that the district’s two berths for the Team Race Nationals would be filled by day’s end, it was sure to be one for the books. Competing in the event hosted by Charleston, were the University of South Florida, Eckerd, Miami, Florida, and the host Cougars. Teams arrived at 9:00 am to rig up six 420s and six of Charleston’s brand new FJs. The event was officiated by many talented umpires who were in town for an Umpire Seminar held the day prior. PRO Greg Fisher announced that we would be sailing around the corner on “Crab Bank” in order to find current relief from the flood tide, and an unmatched ambiance that only Charleston can provide.

Coaches and alternates piled on to two J22s and anchored below the starting line to help expedite the rotation process as well as provide quality viewing. The plan was to shoot for a triple round robin, so competitors were prepared for a long day on the water. By the time the first race started, the breeze ranged from 9-12 knots out of the southeast with temperatures reaching a balmy 70 degrees. The first two round robins went off without a hitch with C of C leading the way with an 8-0 record, followed by Miami and USF tied for 2nd at 5-3. With the breeze starting to lighten up, there was talk of sailing the two teams in a sail off race, and calling it a day. However, as these plans were being finalized, the breeze clocked right to the more typical sea breeze direction from the south, and filled in nicely at 7-9 knots and the third and final round robin commenced. Two races in to the round, the Cougars clinched the first spot, with Miami and USF still tied. The most exciting race of the day came in the final round between the ‘Canes and the Bulls with the winner clinching the second and last berth to nationals. After several lead changes and exciting plays throughout, the Canes emerged victorious in the race and punched their ticket to Austin. Miami kept up their momentum after this race to best the Cougars in the final race of the regatta, finishing the round 4-0. The final standings put CofC in first at 11-1, Miami in second at 9-3, USF 7-5, Eckerd 3-9, and UF 0-12.

The winning Charleston team consisted of skippers: Mac Mace, Zeke Horowitz, Ben Spector, Chris Banholzer and Brooks Clark and crews: Perry Emsiek, Cory DeCollibus, Alyssa Aitken, Jeff Aschieris and (once again) Ben Spector.

Congratulations to the top two teams for qualifying for the Team Race Championship in Austin on June 3-5. Final results can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment