The season started strong with a 12 sailor force traveling from Middlebury to Santa Cruz for Spring Break. We carried the momentum to the NE Dinghy Tourney, grabbing second place and earning a bid for the NE Dinghy Champs-our primary goal.
We dealt with the lousy spring sailing conditions that northern New England handed us. More ice, snow, sleet, and freezing temps than the bright sun and blue skies we would have preferred.
We sent a women’s team to the Reed, the women’s championships-our secondary goal.
Our freshman team took a third place at the Priddy, the Freshman Champs.
On our last weekend, we sailed with the best sailors in the country at the NE Dinghy Champs, learning valuable lessons and bolstering our knowledge base and gaining experience needed to compete at this level in the future.
Finally, the team wouldn’t be where it is without the dedication of our team members and student leaders. The sailing team is a year round commitment, and the team is currently thriving at an all time high. Thanks once again to all of our supporters!
Though it feels like we just started our spring season, this last weekend was our final weekend of competitive sailing. Our spring season essentially starts early December, when we select and sign up for various regattas for the following calendar year. Sailing team activities take a brief hiatus over winter break, but J-term calls for on-campus fundraising. The start of the February semester yields a great opportunity for the team to attract and recruit new sailors. This year we were fortunate to add a few new sailors to the team that we hope remain active throughout their tenures at Middlebury.
Similar to last weekend, the Middlebury Panther’s traveled to two different regattas to “divide and conquer”. On our home turf, the team, represented by the always-reliable Nick Jaczko, newcomer Ben Dohan, lover of West Marine Vick Xu, and Captain Sara Gilmore, took on the first official spring regatta that Middlebury has hosted in years (perhaps ever?). The Little 3 has been a Williams College regatta for years, but due to inactivity and tough logistics, the team has struggled to host their regatta for a few seasons. Our team decided to host the regatta at Lake Dunmore, with Fairfield, Williams, Wesleyan, and Amherst in attendance. In classic Dunmore fashion, the regatta featured wild wind shifts, rain and (maybe) sleet, and a dead to dying breeze that resulted in the races being called off after lunch. The team sailed well in the tough conditions, garnering a few solid results and ended in a solid second place behind Fairfield’s top team. A HUGE thanks goes out to alums Sean Willeford, Annie Hopper, Megan Colwell and team members Sarah Scott, Emmet Byron, and Alden Cowap for helping with the regatta. Nice job sailors! Full scores: http://scores.collegesailing.org/s17/little/
The remainder of the team who competed this weekend traveled to Boston College’s Savin Hill Yacht Club to compete in the New England Dinghy Championship. Unlike the Dinghy Tourney, this regatta would feature all of the top 18 teams of NEISA, all vying for a bid for the National Championships. Due to the strength, depth, and skill level of NEISA, the conference is fortunate to receive 9 bids to Nationals. Multiple NEISA coaches remarked that this year’s championship demonstrated the true depth of our league.
Knowing that we would be competing against some of the top sailors in the country, the team did their best to mentally and physically prepare for two long days of sailing. Representing Middlebury were Alex Baskin and Erich Wu along with Jade Forsberg and Casey Astiz in A-division, with Ben Arquit and Rebecca Freeman in B-division.
Saturday’s conditions were ideal spring conditions. With the wind forecasted to build and move towards the west throughout the day, the temperatures climbed, resulting in perfect sailing conditions in the harbor. Photos from Saturday’s sailing can be found here:
If the weather and race conditions on Saturday were an 8.5/10, the sailing conditions on Sunday were a 3/10. With a drop in temperature of 30 degrees, chilly East-north-east winds, and an ominous sky with the potential for rain in the forecast, sailors and especially coaches were not enjoying the 180* shift in weather. After a delayed start due to a full moon low tide, the racing began in a slowly dying Easterly.
Despite consistent results that were less than desired by the Middlebury sailors, it was obvious that there was improvement. Starts improved throughout the day, and tactical race decisions yielded small but impressive gains. Though physically exhausted, the Panthers made strong tactical decisions each race. Even in races where the result was poor, the actual distance from the leaders of the race was minimal. The improvement and clear understanding of the race conditions was obvious. It isn’t always fun finding yourself in the back of the fleet during these races, but studying the course, understanding the conditions, managing the fleet well, sailing mistake free races, and finishing each race strong is the best way for the team to learn to compete at this level. Not-surprisingly, all of our sailors sailed their best race as their last race, and the results showed it. http://scores.collegesailing.org/s17/neisa-coed-championships-coast-guard-alumni-bowl/
After sailing, the team stuck around Savin Hill for the all-NEISA awards. Jade was once again recognized for her excellent leadership efforts this year. It was exciting for the team to see the team and individual awards handed out. To be part of another championship was inspiring, and we look forward to continuing to compete at this level and higher in the future.
Just as the weather kicks into the ‘nice’ spectrum in Vermont, our season is over. We will be packing and repairing boats this week and prepping everything for next fall. With a few more weeks of school remaining, the team will continue to get together each week and make plans for the first regatta weekends in the fall. Our fundraising efforts will continue over the summer, so please consider donating to the team in order for us to have another successful year of sailing at Middlebury College. Thank you everyone who has been supportive of the team, and we look forward to seeing you all in the fall!
Another exciting weekend for the Middlebury Panthers sailing team!
This year’s NEISA Women’s Championship, the Reed Trophy, was hosted by Brown University at Edgewood Yacht Club. Seventeen of NEISA’s teams sent their top female sailors to compete for the Reed Trophy. Knowing that the competition would be stiff, featuring some of NEISA and college sailing’s top sailors, the Panthers prepared for a tough regatta.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s weather was not kind to anyone. A Northeasterly breeze, combined with chilly sub 50 degree temps and on-and-off downpours made for an unforgiving day. The conditions made for a long day, with ten races sailed in both divisions. Jade Forsberg and Sarah Yang competed in A-division, with Lexie Lessing and Sara Gilmore sailing B-division. Despite some quality starts, and strong first beats, the girls had trouble finding the groove and finishing the races as strong as they started. At the end of the day, through shivering teeth and pruned fingers, the girls were still smiling and simply excited to be involved in one of the toughest competitions in college sailing. The day concluded with a well earned meal of warm Chinese food in Providence.
Day two brought much better sailing conditions, with a dying northerly forecasted to (eventually) fill from the south. As predicted, the wind died after one race in each division. After an hour and a half on-land wind postponement, the fleets were set out at 1:30 to attempt to finish the regatta in the incoming seabreeze. Three races were completed in the last bit of allotted sailing time under a warm sun and building breeze. The regatta concluded with multiple close finishes and a few NEISA teams squeaking their way into the top ten, earning a bid to the National Championships in Charleston next month.
After the racing, the All-NEISA awards were handed out to first and second team skippers and crews, rookies of the year, and top overall female sailors in the league. Congrats to the ten teams who qualified for Nationals and the group of female sailors awarded for their success this season. Full recap of results can be found here and the awards press release can be found here. Congrats to all of the winners and the Coast Guard Bears for a very strong regatta!
Excitingly, one of our team members, Jade Forsberg, was awarded the NEISA Student Leadership award for dedication to support and promote smaller club teams within NEISA. Jade was nominated by multiple sailors and coaches for her efforts, and the work she has done for the league (and all of college sailing) in the form of a club team handbook will have large impacts around the league. Read the full press release here. Congrats on a well-deserved award, Jade!!!
Not to be excluded, Sam Scatchard and Franced Vandermeer attended the annual Freshman Championship, the Priddy Trophy, at Sacred Heart on Saturday. The regatta was a full day of sailing in tricky, northerly sailing conditions. The day began with a very exciting rules chat from Rules Guru and Sailing Legend Dave Perry.
From Vick Xu:
This past weekend, Nick Jaczko, Vick Xu, Sam Scatchard, and Frances VanderMeer attended two different regattas in Connecticut and Massachusetts. On Saturday, Sam and Frances raced at the Single Crew Freshman Championship regatta at Sacred Heart University. The team first attended a sailing rule clinic with Dave Perry, legendary sailor and skipper of the 2016, 2017 Oracle USA boat of the America’s Cup. The races officially started at around 11:30 and Middlebury sailors opened the regatta strong, finishing first and second in the first two races. Despite the rain and very light, inconsistent wind, Sam and Frances were able to outcompete their peers with skillful maneuvers and made Middlebury the second runner-up of the Championship. More importantly, it was the first time Sam and Frances sailed together and was the first regatta Frances attended since she joined the team.
On Sunday the team came to Great Herring Pond in Plymouth MA, home to the Mass Maritime Buccaneers. The team was confronted by a shifty wind whose strength varied between 3 and 12 knots. Sam and Frances sailed in the A division, and Vick and Nick the B division. Competing against 14 other teams in relatively unfamiliar boats and environment, the Panthers showed improvements over the race. Here, the team would like to thank the Jaczko’s and the Scatchard’s for supporting the team at the regatta and bringing delicious food.
The weekend concluded with two groups of Middlebury sailors competing in two different championship regattas. This weekend, a group of Middlebury sailors will be traveling to Boston College’s Savin Hill YC venue to compete in the New England Dinghy Champs, a regatta that will provide even more of college sailing’s strongest sailors. We are also excited to be hosting the Little3 regatta, normally sailed at Williams’ venue in Western MA. A number of Midd alums will be on hand to support the regatta on Sunday, April 30th. The team looks to close out the season strong with a final weekend of competition.
Thank you everyone for your continued support of the team. The team is feeling the love, and we are excited about the future of the team. GO Midd!
Despite some of our previous regattas on the Charles River featuring minimal breeze and lousy weather, the most recent installment of Middlebury’s spring sailing season was significantly more enjoyable. With sunny skies and big breezes, the Panthers sent six sailors for a three-division regatta to the MIT Boathouse. The beautiful weather, assisted by a fresh Red Sox season, Bruins and Celtics playoff games, and a looming Marathon Monday, had the whole city of Boston buzzing. Fortunately for us, none of those major events coincided with the team’s sailing on the Charles.
The Oberg Trophy, hosted by Northeastern out of MIT’s infamous Wood Sailing Pavillion, featured three divisions of sailors from 11 schools. With all of the typical local schools attending the competition, the regatta would be far from easy. With decades of combined experience running races and regattas on the Charles River, the MIT coaching staff can manage large regattas incredibly efficiently. With Inner and Outer Trapezoids, the RC has doctored a system to simultaneously run two fleets on the same course.
Saturday’s conditions started sunny with light-ish breeze, but with gusts forecasted to increase to 25kts by 5pm, we knew the day would be a challenge. In A Fleet, Jade Forsberg sailed with Casey Astiz. B Fleet was sailed by Alex Baskin and Alden Cowap. Lexie Lessing and Emmet Byron rounded out the Panthers squad in the C division. Due to the consistently strong Southwest breeze, the race committee, headed by Northeastern Head coach Johnathan Farrar, was able to net eight races for each division on Saturday. The first race of C-fleet featured a general recall, thus allowing the RC to leave the I-flag flying for the remainder of the regatta. Being able to complete eight of the eleven races on Saturday meant a shorter race day for Sunday, giving the Panthers the opportunity to take a leisurely ride back to Middlebury.
Sunday’s race conditions were as breezy as the strongest gusts on Saturday, with gusts boasting above 30kts. With the wind still blasting from the southwest and temperatures approaching 80 degrees (and not that humid!), Easter Sunday was an incredible day for sailing on the Charles!
Despite a few strong races with mediocre finishes and a few great races with solid finishes, the team could not put together the complete regatta they had hoped for. Thanks to Jonathan and the Northeastern Husky staff for running a smooth regatta. Full scores and recap here.
The team travels to Providence for the Reed Trophy, the NEISA woman’s championship at Brown/Edgewood Yacht Club. Another group will be traveling to Sacred Heart University to compete in the Priddy, the Freshman Only championship. Wish the team luck! Thanks again for everyone’s continued support of the Middlebury Sailing Team. The team is entirely student run and fueled by the passion that the team members have for sailing. If you have any questions about the team or wish to assist with our fundraising efforts, feel free to reach out to us!
The Middlebury Panthers season is currently in full swing after a long week in Santa Cruz, CA for the team’s annual spring break training trip. Despite the waters of Lake Dunmore still being frozen into the end of March, Middlebury’s late spring break provides the team with a solid week of consistent practice prior to the New England Dinghy Tourney, a qualifier for the NE Dinghy Champs.
For spring break, twelve team members traveled to California to take part in a week-long team building and sailing trip out of Santa Cruz in Monterey Bay. The team stayed within walking distance of the Santa Cruz Yacht Club and were lucky to be able to use the boats from UCSC for the week. Throughout the five days on the water, the team was treated to a strong ‘uncharacteristic’ seabreeze, consistent chop from the wind, and regular 4-6 foot rolling swells from deep in the Pacific Ocean. Navigating the harbor channel was often difficult due to inconsistent depths and swells breaking on the breakwater, but the difficult sailing conditions proved to be excellent conditions for training and preparation for the season. In between endless snacking and sailing, the team found time to explore Santa Cruz and join the Santa Cruz YC cruising fleet for their weekly races. Despite some confusion about how to start a race with a rabbit start while sailing downwind to an undesignated mark, the team enjoyed an evening racing with locals on larger (50-70 foot boats) in Monterey Bay. We are still unsure how a winner is determined…
At the tail end of the week, every sailor left California sunburnt, bruised, and excited to tackle the upcoming season in New England. The first weekend would be the team’s biggest challenge of the season-the New England Dinghy Tourney hosted by Salve Regina.
The NEDT provides all teams in NEISA ranked 17-40 an opportunity to compete for a spot in the NE Dinghy Championships, hosted by Boston College later this month. The Panthers were represented by Alex Baskin, Erich Wu, and Rebecca Freeman in A Division, with Ben Arquit and Alden Cowap in B Division. When the team arrived on Saturday morning, the sailing area off of Fort Adams featured an out-going tide, a puffy/shifty westerly wind, and white caps-similar conditions to what the team practiced in Santa Cruz. The sailors battled for a top spot in every race, bouncing in and out of places 1-4. At the end of the day, the Panthers were sitting in third place poised to make a leap and take the lead. The day ended surprisingly early on Saturday despite a lighter than ideal forecast for Sunday.
Sunday’s forecast was accurate, with the first race of the day (5b) abandoned. After a 30+ minute on-water postponement, the wind filled from the Southwest. Ben Arquit and Alden continued to dominate B-division, ending the regatta with 15 points, including five first place finishes. Alex, Erich, and Rebecca sailed a consistent regatta in A-division, ending in fifth place in a tough fleet. At the end of the regatta after multiple close finishes and lead changes, the Panthers finished tied for second, winning the tie breaker and earning a bid in the New England Dinghy Championship!
The regatta was a perfect example of how every point of race counts! The team remained focused throughout the entire regatta despite starting a race at 2:55pm on Sunday. See here for the regatta summary and full scores from the weekend. Thanks Salve coaches John and Stephen for helping with the regatta.
Thanks to the Baskin family for supporting the team in Newport on Sunday and a HUGE thank you to the Brown family for all of their coordination and support during our spring break trip in Santa Cruz. We cannot have this progress and success without the continued support from our friends, family, and alumni. As the year winds down, we look forward to advancing our fundraising campaign.
At this time, the team is asking for a donation of a Laser to add to our fleet of FJ’s. We believe that having a singlehanded boat will give new sailors an opportunity to practice the basic principles of sailing a small dinghy on their own. We often have an odd number of sailors at practice, and being able to ensure that there is a boat for any extra sailors would be an immense benefit. Having a laser would also allow our team to compete in single-handed sailing events, which features some of college sailing’s strongest sailors. To be clear, we are not looking for a brand new laser: We hope to have a laser to add to our fleet in order to continue to strengthen our sailing program at Middlebury! If you have any leads on a used laser, please contact us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having had a few weeks to fully reflect on our season, it is safe to say that the 2016 fall sailing season was a very successful one for the Panthers. We experienced new highs and new lows, sailed in more difficult regattas, and pushed ourselves to improve our ranking in NEISA. The team was unified around a group of goals to start the fall season. Though we did not reach our primary team goal, the Schell Tourney, we achieved our goals of working as a team to improve the level of sailing on our team each day. Our team benefited from the addition of multiple new freshman and sophomore sailors, who’s regular attendance at practice and regatta contributions allowed our team to move towards the top 18 teams of NEISA.
Thanks to Casey Astiz, Erich Wu, and the rest of our team’s board members, we have launched an excellent fundraising campaign. Though we experienced one of the strongest sailing seasons at Middlebury in the last few years, we cannot continue to compete without your financial support. Your donations to the sailing team supports every aspect of our team: Vans for team travel, daily practice (an average practice costs the team $75), regatta competition, our spring break training trip, and general upkeep of boats and team gear. We are excited to reach our fundraising goals to support a new fleet of boats and help facilitate a change in sailing venue. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about our ongoing fundraising campaign.
Please follow the link below to read our Fall 2016 Windward Panther newsletter. windward-panther-season-report
Great work by all contributing team members on this fall’s report!
Thanks everyone! We appreciate all of your support and are already looking forward to our spring season.
Now that the season is officially over, with most of our boats completely packed away in the ‘sheep barn’, we can spend a few minutes to reflect on the last three months. We could write all day how hard the sailors worked, that they sailed a lot, how they far they traveled, etc. Instead, we compressed the season into a snippet of numbers and stats to demonstrate how this season went:
22 Total number of Middlebury College students who competed in a regatta in Fall 2017 8 Total number of Middlebury Students who tried sailing for the first time
120 Hours of total travel 5100 Miles of total travel 9 times eaten at Chipotle while traveling 15 regattas competed by team 235 total races sailed 6 total races won 400 Hours competed in regattas by our sailors 20 Minutes, average time of a race 19th Overall place in NEISA (out of 40)
6 regattas raced by Ben Brown, most of all Middlebury Sailors 65 Races sailed by Ben Brown 1st Overall finish by Ben Brown and Alden Cowap in A Division at NE Fall Tourney 2300 Miles traveled by George and Anne Spencer to NE Fall Tourney, fans from Salt Lake City (Thanks for visiting us!!!) 2 Countries competed in (USA and Canada) 6 States raced in (ME, NH, MA, VT, RI, CT) 36 schools from New England competed against, 1 team from Florida, 2 from the Mid Atlantic 6 types of boats raced this semester (420, Z420, FJ, Firefly, Tech Dinghy, Turbo Larks) 28 knots Strongest wind velocity raced in (either: Central 6 @ Boston College or Salve Regina, or maybe Peak Foliage @ Tufts) >1 Knot Lightest wind velocity ‘raced’ in (Many races were abandoned at NE Fall Tourney) 4 days of practice or regattas sailed in frozen precipitation 5 total months of sailing for the sailing team each year (Sept-early November and then March-early May) 1 strong sailing team at Middlebury and 1 very successful season
Not so shabby for a student-run, club team with minimal funding!
These numbers are a small snippet of our season. Planning for each sailing season begins in November, starting with the creation of the schedule for the next calendar year. The schedule remains flexible, as we continue to update our schedule all season long by adding and subtracting regattas in order to compete at our best level and garner the best results that we can.
Planning transportation, lodging, regatta rosters, practices, team events, team gear, workouts, and spring break is an ongoing and exciting process. The season never really ends, only our time spent sailing is limited (by winter, which is long here in Vermont). It is safe to say that EVERYONE‘s hard work in practice, workouts, and regattas have really paid off and helped to elevate our team to where it is today. Our sailors deserve a big thanks. While we look forward to a little break, it won’t be too long before we start resuming practices and competing with other strong sailing teams in New England.
Thanks everyone for a great season. We appreciate all of your continued support, whether you follow our season, have donated to our on-going fundraising campaign, or have housed our sailors for a regatta. We cannot do it without you all, so thanks so much-see you in the spring.
As the team discussed back in early September, the fall sailing season for NEISA schools is a marathon; ten weeks of sailing, multiple practices each week, and countless hours of travel time (actually about 120). Even though we enjoy the excitement throughout the fall season and hate to see the boats getting packed away for the season, we are able to finally relax after the last boat is pulled from the lake.
This past weekend, Vick Xu, Robbie Kelly, Nate Wiener, and Emmet Byron traveled to Boston to compete in two of NEISA’s best regattas, the Professor NoRinger hosted by BU and the Crews regatta hosted by Northeastern. Though we continue to debate if it is Professor “Noringer” or No-Ringer (as in, do not send your ringer), we were once again treated to some of Boston’s trickiest sailing in BU’s basin on the Charles River.
From Vick Xu (2019) Saturday, November 5, Prof. NoRinger: Morning started out still. Wind did not build up until well around 11:00 a.m.. After that, it featured westerlies with a constant 5 knots and 10 knots of gust throughout the rest of the regatta. Nathaniel Wiener (Skipper) and Emmet Byron (Crew) demonstrated good seamanship and resilience representing Middlebury in Division A, capturing a 3 and a 6 out of the six races. Vick Xu (Skipper) and Robbie Kelly (Crew) raced together for the first time in Division B. It was Robbie’s first regatta and the two demonstrated substantial improvements over the races, ending the regatta with a 6, a 7, and 8 scoring (http://scores.collegesailing.org/f16/noringer/B/). Before the regatta ended, Midd sailors were greeted by former MCSC alum Alex Saunders ’15, who was on a run alongside the river.
Sunday, November 6, Crew’s Regatta: Due to various circumstances, Middlebury sent only one team. Robbie took the helm for the first time aboard the challenging (some say obnoxious) MIT technical dinghy, and was crewed by Vick. The regatta started out with a fight between northerlies and easterlies, whose victories after the second race brought not only gusts of 10+ knots but also rain. Robbie and Vick were able to ride the puffs, ending the regatta with a good ranking of 8/13 amid schools with great sailing programs.
A trip to Boston is not really a trip without a visit to the Shack. Shake Shack burgers and shakes have been great physical and moral supports for the sailors for long. Scores here
In Newport, Jade Forsberg, Alex Baskin, Erich Wu, Casey Astiz, and Ben Brown competed in the 5th annual Sister Esther Open. Despite typical November conditions, sailing in Brenton Cove out of Fort Adams is always an enjoyable weekend of sailing. For some teams, this regatta is a great way to wrap up the season with some strong results in a fun sailing venue. For other teams, this regatta is an ideal way to stay fresh and get some practice in for the teams planning to compete at the ACC/ACT the following weekend.
Saturday’s conditions were a mix of light air with a growing Northwesterly, all while fighting harbor chop and current. From shore, it was apparent that the current would play an increasingly important role in the day’s races. Ben Brown and Casey Astiz started Saturday in A-division with Jade and Erich in B-division. Given the conditions, it was nearly impossible to recover from any mistakes in the beginning of the race. In the afternoon, Alex Baskin filled in for Ben Brown to skipper the last set of the day. The day ended after six races were sailed.
Sunday’s conditions were quite different than Saturday’s. With an increasing northerly going against the tidal current, the race course consisted of four foot chop and scary whitecaps. Races were postponed until the wind and waves subsided, or until the local Opti sailors decided it was safe to sail. By the time racing resume, two races were sailed in both A and B division.
BB’18 ready to fly away
Yes it was that breezy
Ben Brown skippered while Alex Baskin crewed, sailing their best race of the regatta despite the difficult conditions. When the waves cleared and the wind subsided, the Panthers finished the regatta in 16th overall.
Full scores can be found here. Congrats to Harvard for a dominant win and thank you to Salve/John Ingalls and Stephen for a well run regatta.
Thanks again to Mrs Baskin for the snacks and the photos! The team will be finishing up all boat repairs and storage this week. Next week we will pull the docks for the season and officially wrap up the season. Thanks again to EVERYONE who has supported our team this year. We are ready for the snow to start falling but will start planning for the spring season in a few weeks.
Another busy and exciting weekend for the 19th ranked Panthers. We were lucky to have the opportunity to travel to two iconic college sailing venues for a big weekend of competition. The weekend kicked off with the annual Halloween practice at Dartmouth, complete with a steady Northerly breeze and Halloween costumes galore. Having the opportunity to practice on a tricky venue with some of New England’s top sailors on the UVM and Dartmouth team provided our team with a great learning experience before the weekend.
Four of our first year sailors traveled to the Nickerson, formally the Freshman ACC’s, hosted by Tufts. The regatta was raced in Larks on Upper Mystic Lake in relatively light air and frustrating conditions.
From Ben Arquit (2020) This past weekend, Philip Klinck, Sam Scatchard, Eiko Fulton, and Ben Arquit, traveled to Medford, MA for the Nickerson Trophy hosted by Tufts. We were excited to be able to compete against some of the best freshmen in the country in the fastest boat in college sailing, the Turbo Lark. Ben and Philip sailed in A fleet, with Sam and Eiko in B fleet. The team arrived to Mystic Lake on Saturday morning and were greeted by a steady Southerly breeze of about 8-12 knots. Both fleets got two races off in great sailing conditions, with minimal wind shifts. The beginning of the second set for A fleet was the beginning of the end for the wind. It began to die and shifts of as much as 70 degrees caused headaches on the upwind. Staying relaxed and powered up was definitely key to succeeding in these conditions. A fleet got both their set 2 races in and B fleet was sent out for their second set. Race 1 ended in a drifter and race 2 was called off before anyone even reached the windward mark due to lack of wind. That ended day one and we went back to the Klinck’s for a good night’s sleep. The second day brought even shiftier wind out of the West. The first few races saw the starting line within feet of the sailing pavilion, which resulted in great views for all the spectators. The key to day to was not just reading the shifts, but also making sure you stayed in the pressure. There were many examples of boats that were almost half a leg ahead, but lost that whole lead in under a minute if they missed the puff. Both Middlebury boats continued to battle the difficult conditions, but were happy to have had better results on day 2. The leaderboard changed almost every race, as the shifty conditions reeked havoc on consistency. Overall we were satisfied with our performance and look to improve even more as the season winds down. For the freshman, this fall was a great learning experience that we will lean on to build into the Spring season. Thank you to the Klinck’s for letting us stay at their beautiful house and for Mr. and Mrs. Klinck, as well as Mr. Scatchard for coming to cheer us on and bring us food both days! Full scores and regatta recap can be found here
Ben and Sam were pleased to have sailed the Turbo Larks with jibs this weekend, but would have preferred the breeze from last week’s Peak Foliage!
The New England Fall Tourney was hosted by Conn College on the upper Thames River, just in site of the Schell/Urn Championship hosted by Coast Guard. With the team’s focus solely on this regatta, the Panthers were poised to attack the competition and come away with consistent and strong results. The difficult conditions of the Thames River provided the Panthers with four early races to explore the race course before finding their rhythm. Fortunately, by the end of the day, the two teams combined to win 5 of the final 6 races! However, two races were resailed on Sunday as two W2 courses were sailed, a course not designated in the sailing instructions. Middlebury originally won both of these races, but would have another chance on Sunday to win them again.
The A Division sailors of Ben Brown and Alden Cowap sailed a strong regatta, finishing in first in their division despite a slow start. Winning the last four races, Ben and Alden won the tiebreaker to win A-Division. However, despite the team’s consistent improvement and better understanding of the race course and the conditions, the Panthers were unfortunately no match for Johnson and Wales. The JWU B-division boat stole the show, winning 8/9 races and one 2nd place. In B Division, Alex Baskin and Erich Wu sailed a great regatta, proving that they were 3rd in their division. It will be really exciting to see how these two improve over the next two years of sailing together. They have come a long way! Full scores and results here. Thanks Conn College for hosting.
Thank you so much to Mr. and Mrs. Baskin (and Stuart) for hosting us this weekend. Despite the tricky conditions and a solid second finish, the team came away pleased and satisfied.
The team looks to close out the season in style this weekend. One group of sailors will be competing at Salve Regina for the Sister Esther Open. The sailing venue is right off of Fort Adams in Newport, RI. Another group of sailors will be competing in Boston at the Professor No Ringer (@ BU) and the Crews (@MIT) regattas.
Thank you to all of the friends, parents, dogs, and supporters of our team. We will be putting our boats away for the season starting next week. Stay tuned for more info about our ‘It’s A-Boat Time‘ fundraiser and our annual newsletter, the 2016 Windward Panther.
Simply put, the team would not be where it is today without all of the hard work and contributions made from every single member of this sailing team. Over the past two weeks, the sailing team has experienced new highs and a few lows. For the first time in years (we really are not sure how long), the Middlebury Panthers cracked the top 18 teams of NEISA, topping out at 16th overall after week 6. Week 7’s regatta at Mass Maritime Academy’s Great Herring Pond Open yielded slightly disappointing results, leaving the team in a super close 19th place, just hundreds of decimal points behind Salve Regina in 18th. Salve seemed to save their best sailing for the last two weekends, as they were able to secure a spot in the top 18 of NEISA.
Despite the weather warnings for heavy winds and potentially heavy rains, Nate Weiner/Emmet Bryon and Lexie Lessing/Julia Silva trekked from Middlebury to Boston College for the Central Series #6. With the potential for strong Southwesterly winds, BC allowed teams to make late drops. Never one to quit, the group of Middlebury sailors sent it to Boston to tackle the breezy sailing conditions. After a slow start to the day, the strong winds drove into Boston Harbor, followed by a rain so torrential that Lexie and Julia claimed ‘they could not see or hear the finish line’. Races were called a bit early on Saturday and no final decision was made on racing until the next day. In the end, there was no sailing on Sunday in Boston Harbor, and the team headed back north to Middlebury to find snowy mountain peaks and that fall is already on its way out.
Leading into this past Sunday’s regatta at Tufts, the Middlebury Panthers needed a top score in order to sneak into this upcoming weekend’s Schell Trophy hosted by Coast Guard Academy. The breezy conditions provided spectators with ample entertainment, coaches with five hours of stress, and sailors with exhausting yet exciting sailing. As the breeze was not expected to subside throughout the day, Diana W, UNH’s coach, made the decision with Ken Legler to limit sailors to just a mainsail. Tufts sailors helped rig all of the new Turbo Larks, stepping the masts and wrapping the jibs around themselves to render them useless for the day. Whether this was safer / better for the boats or not, this was the decision that was made by two very experienced coaches. Sailing without a jib in big puffy breeze caused multiple teams to find themselves stuck in irons for minutes at a time.
The Panthers sent two complete teams to the Peak Foliage, hosted by UNH at Tufts. Our Women’s team was comprised of Jade Forsberg and Sarah Yang along with Raine Ellison and Alden Cowap. Our coed team was fielded by Ben Arquit and Sarah Scott plus Sam Scatchard and Sam Zimmer. Ben and Sarah started quite strong, with a 2nd and a 1st in the first set. They finished with solid scores despite an incomplete final set due to time constraints. Although no Reese’s were awarded during the regatta (at least to our knowledge), the team always enjoys a well managed day of racing by Diana and her assistants from UNH. Thanks to Tufts for their help rigging and derigging the Larks, and congrats to Mcgill for their win and securing the 16th spot in NEISA. Full scores and report here.
(Sam Z, Sam S, Ben A, Sarah Scott, Raine, Alden, Jade, Sarah Yang in front)
Despite narrowly missing the cut for the top 18 teams of NEISA and a berth in the Schell, the Panthers are excited to compete this weekend on the Thames river at the Fall Dinghy Tourney. It will be exciting to compete against a half dozen other teams who narrowly missed the cut, just down river from the Schell tourney. The team still has eyes on a top 18 finish overall, as we have two more regattas to compete in. Thanks to everyone who continues to support our team as we make positive strides and continue to move up in the ranks in collegiate sailing.