Searching for the groove: Salt Pond Invite at URI

This past weekend, four Middlebury sailors ventured to South Kingston, RI for the C-level Salt Pond Invite. After a nice stay Friday night at the Jaczko Family household, the team cruised down to Rhode Island for a 1030 report time at the URI sailing facility tucked in the back of the Salt Pond.
We were treated with bright blue skies and a shifty Northeasterly breeze. Despite a slew of schools with incomplete teams, URI and Tufts filled in the gaps to complete the 18 school regatta.

Both A and B teams from Middlebury put up consistent but respectable scores with some solid races mixed in. In A-fleet, Jade Forsberg (2017) and Sarah Scott (2017) started slowly but gained momentum throughout the regatta. For whatever reason, breeze seemed to be on for A-fleet and down for B-fleet. The B-fleet boat was Ben Arquit (2020) and Casey Astiz (2019), who placed relatively consistently besides two tough races. For both groups, good starts were marred at times by huge wind-shifts. On the contrary, good upwind tactics and improved boat handling resulted in a few large gains on the first and last legs of each race. The teams never gave up on any race, despite slow starts, frustratingly large wind shifts, and extended lulls that only seemed to show up for B-fleet races.

Sunday’s races were a bit more of the same; improving upwind tactics and solid starts marred by huge wind shifts from the left. A good learning experience for everyone who spent the weekend racing in the Salt Pond and watching races from a small, deserted island next to the racecourse.

The team travels to MIT this weekend for the George Warren Smith Trophy. The weather in Boston looks breezy and wet, and the team is excited to tackle another competitive regatta in Boston.

Fresh start to the Fall 2016 season: Stuart Walker Open, LCO, and family sailing!

As the Middlebury College academic year starts later than others, the sailing team is often late to begin their season as well. Fortunately, our first weekend of competition features two ‘home’ regattas: The Stuart Walker Open, our team’s annual regatta, and the Callagy Ross Trophy (formally the LCO) at UVM. The team was looking forward to this weekend, as we had invited a large group of family members, MCSC supporters, and former Middlebury sailors to enjoy Saturday’s racing and to do some sailing of their own on Sunday.


Conditions for racing in Northern Vermont on Saturday featured strong and gusty southerly winds on the forefront of an approaching storm. All sailing in Burlington was called off before noon, with winds gusting to 30kts. Sailors planing to compete at the Callagy Ross drove back to Middlebury to enjoy a beautiful day of sailing for the third annual Stuart Walker Open. The conditions on Lake Dunmore were much more manageable, with a 10-15kt Southerly breeze that featured 20kt Southeasterly gusts in the morning and some funky Southwesterly puffs in the afternoon.

Dr. Walker and his family were in attendance to watch the racing and share some encouraging words with all racers. As always, all sailors appreciate Dr. Walker’s entertaining stories from his previous sailboat racing experiences.

Despite Middlebury’s best efforts, the Tufts Jumbos were once again able to regain the Stuart Walker Trophy. Lexie Lessing/Nick Jaczko along with Nate Wiener/Erich Wu worked hard in the difficult conditions throughout the day.

Thanks to Bates and Mcgill for making the trip to Middlebury, and congrats to Tufts for their win.
Full scores here.


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On Sunday, five Panther sailors returned to Burlington’s waterfront to find much calmer sailing conditions with southerly winds 5-10kts and leftover chop from yesterday’s big breeze. Ben Brown and Alden Cowap raced in A fleet, finishing 8th overall and sailing three strong races. Jade Forsberg, Sarah Scott, and Sarah Yang sailed B Fleet, and after a slow start, found some success when spreading out the race course and getting the boat moving through the residual Champlain Chop. Despite starting slow, the team had six solid races in the middle of the day, demonstrating their ability to sail in lumpier waters and compete with other strong NEISA sailors.
The Panthers finished in 11th place overall, but had multiple top 7 finishes and some very well-sailed races. Full scores can be found here.

In addition to a group traveling to compete in Burlington, we also hosted a series of races on Sunday for all family members and MCSC alums. Three races were run by Alex Baskin (2019) that featured recent alumni team races and fleet races with all five Lessing family members. Thank you to everyone who made the trip to Middlebury and sailed in our first Friends, Family, and Alumni Regatta!

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Thanks to everyone who came out and watched our team race this weekend! As always, we appreciate the support and look forward to the rest of the season. The team will be racing at URI next weekend at the Salt Pond Invitational.

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