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.

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