Lots of Sun, But Where’s the Wind?

In the MCSA, it appears that the current trend is moving back to the basics. Oct. 25 to 26 was the Harken Clinic hosted by Western Michigan University at its sailing site, which is generously provided by Gull Lake YC. The clinics' focus was on the basics of college sailing and was intended to educate sailors by pointing out the little things. Due to the limited number of FJs, the clinic attendees were split into two groups and one group sailed while the other went through chalk talks and demonstrations. Boat rigging was shown to those in the on-land groups; while it may be a very basic part of the sport, it can determine what place a team receives in a race. The teams were given handbooks with sailing drills that can be utilized at team practices. At night, the focus turned toward looking at videotape from the day and pointing out specific maneuvers to work on or correct. There wasn't much wind, but there was enough to get some drills accomplished.Continuing the back-to-basics trend was the Buckeye Invitational regatta this past weekend at Ohio State University. It was basic in the sense that it was a one-division. Without having two divisions, this meant that the A division sailors had no B division sailors to rely upon and vice versa. This fleet race style pointed out some of the faster sailors in the fleet. The wind was less than cooperative. "We got no wind over five," said regatta chairman Adam Dunki-Jacobs, "other than that, the weather was nice and warm." Indeed, some of the fast light-wind sailors showed their true fall sailing colors. Barret Rhoades, a freshman from Nashville, Ind., won the regatta 9 points ahead Ohio State's first team. "He sailed a great regatta by staying keen on the shifts during the weekend and sailed clean considering the tight competition," said Thomas Martin from University of Michigan. Dunki-Jacobs summed the regatta up, "I think a good time was had by all, and that's all you can ask."Next weekend, the MCSA will shift its attention away from the basics and hope for more wind as the district prepares for its regional eliminations (east and west) to determine which teams will be attending the Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta the weekend after Thanksgiving at Chicago YC's Belmont Station.Disappointment Reigns in NorthwestBy Annie JohnsonFreshmen excited for their first collegiate regatta and upperclassmen eager to get the Northwest season started gathered in Cascade Locks, Ore., this weekend for Outlaw VI, the district's fall championship. The excitement turned quickly to frustration after the A division completed one race in dying breeze while the B fleet sat on the shore watching the boats struggle upwind against the strong current of the Columbia River. The B fleet had their chance after a long delay; the sailors were towed to the wind line at 3:30 p.m. to experience their own frustration with the fickle breeze.Sunday brought breeze and a different attitude for the sailors, but the wind was a little too much, blowing a steady 25 to 30 knots and creating huge waves on the river. While the teams were waiting to see if the angry east wind would calm itself boats waited on their sides after a few boats blew over in the strong winds. The race committee thought long and hard before making the tough decision to cancel racing for the day around 12:30 p.m. Sailors left disappointed, but looking forward to the next regatta with that much more anticipation. The University of Washington will host North-North November 15 and 16 at Sail Sand Point on Lake Washington in Seattle.New England Schools Battle for ACC SlotsBy Amory LoringNew England teams battled on the Charles and Thames Rivers for the final berths in all three Atlantic Coast Championships this past weekend. The uncharacteristically warm weekend was a pleasant surprise for most sailors, but the competition for post-season play kept the intensity level high.At the Professor Schell Trophy at MIT, top New England coed teams battled for the final four spots at the Coed ACCs, to be held over the Nov. 15 and 16 at SUNY Maritime. Harvard was back on top of its game, demonstrating why it has been the top-ranked team for the majority of the season."We sailed well," said Cardwell Potts. "Both Vince (Porter) and I were consistent, which is hard when sailing in both FJs and Techs on the Charles River. That was what put us ahead of other teams."Harvard, along with Dartmouth and Brown, had already qualified for the ACCs at the Danmark Trophy four weekends ago, so the remaining four spots went to second-place-finisher Tufts, fourth-place MIT, seventh-place Yale, and eighth-place Boston College.In the women's action, fifteen teams competed at Harvard's Victorian Coffee Urn Regatta for the remaining three spots at the Women's ACCs to be held at Old Dominion University, Nov. 15 and 16. Yale, Dartmouth, Harvard and Tufts prequalified at the Yale Women's Intersectional and the Stu Nelson Intersectional, both of which occurred in the last few weekends. After two days of racing in light breeze just upwind of the coed sailors at the Schell, second-place-finisher Brown, eighth-place-finisher Boston College, and ninth-place MIT took the final three berths for the ACCs."The weather was great and the conditions were pretty typical of the Charles River," said Brown skipper Annie Davidson, who took first place in A division. "Our team had a good regatta and we're excited for the ACCs."Finally, in the freshman action, the New England Freshman Championship saw sixteen teams compete for seven spots at the Frosh ACCs, to be held this upcoming weekend at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Dartmouth dominated the event, with Erik Storck and crew Lucy Whidden winning A division by 27 points."Our team was very fast," said Dartmouth Assistant Coach Brian Stanford, "And our sailors also made really good decisions in some of the lighter and sketchier situations."Yale made the strongest bid to catch Dartmouth, with Phil Stemler and Allison Spitzer taking second in A division, and Matt Barry and Hannah Oakland winning B division. Even with two top finishes, however, the Elis couldn't quite catch the Big Green.Coast Guard, Tufts, Brown, Connecticut College, and Boston College rounded out the top seven, who will move forward to the Frosh Atlantic Coast Championships next week.