This year saw the Queen’s Sailing Team under new management with Nick Kaars-Sijpesteijn acting as president and an increase in the number of new team members.
With the help of returning Coach John Morgan the sailing team began practice the week before the fall semester. Frosh week was also the stage for our now annual Cornell Camp, which is a 4 day training camp with two days down at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) and two days here at Queen’s.
Our first regatta was our own, the Queen’s Open. With the entire team helping to organize and run the event and with two great days of sailing our skippers, both seniors and rookies managed to take first place, setting the bar for a great season. Our social committee put together a great event showing our southern competitors how we do it up here in Canada. After a successful recruiting campaign and a two day try out our team was picked, 50 or so members in total. Practicing 4 days a week John began to get us ready for a jam packed season.
Our next big regatta was the Laser North Qualifier at USMMA in New York, the first event on the road to the Single Handed National Championship. We sent three sailors; unfortunately it was classic Long Island Sound conditions, light and fluky. This did not favor our bigger, heavy air sailors and we failed to qualify for the next round. The women did not fair much better in their event, the Maisa women’s single handed’s at Navy (Annapolis). Our three girls all finished around mid-fleet, also failing to reach the next round. Defeat was not the only outcome of that weekend however. North #1 at Cornell saw one of our rookie skippers, Isaac Bussin, finish second in his fleet which helped to give us a fourth place finish overall. Our team at Cary-Price Intersectional at Michigan also did well, finishing sixth overall. At the Freshman Regatta at Cornell our rookies sailed to a respectable tenth place overall in a variety of conditions.
After the team had gotten into the groove John brought in a guest coach, David Wright, a Canadian friend who had recently graduated from the USMMA. Dave was brought in for a week to share his knowledge of Colligate sailing, having been single handed national champion and an All-American. John and Dave coached an intense week, by video taping the practice and by getting in the boat with some of our crew to show us first hand some of his tricks. These tricks lead our team to respectable finishes at the WAR regatta at Navy, the Atlantic Coast Tournament at Georgetown, and an overall placing of 10th within MAISA.
The fall season saw a lot of development in our rookies and veterans alike. We had some great results and some really fun social event. For the spring season we will be sending teams to a handful of regattas including some intersectional. Next year’s schedule will focus a bit more on single handed event and a number of intersectional under the leadership of new president Dan Smith. We hope to continue the tradition of success the sailing team has had since its inception in the seasons to come.