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7 April 2011

Sailing team off to the Americas Trophy

By Benjamin Deans

Original source: The Queen's Journal

The Gaels traveled to Cornell University to compete in the North Spring Qualifier. The team placed third.
The Gaels traveled to Cornell University to compete in the North Spring Qualifier. The team placed third.

Last weekend, the Queen’s Sailing team placed third at the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association (MAISA) North Spring Qualifier hosted by Cornell University. This earns them a qualifying berth in the Americas Trophy, which will be hosted by St. Mary’s College in Maryland from April 16 to April 17.

Team member Peter Soosalu said he thought the weekend went really well.

“I was really happy with it,” he said. “We had the right conditions for us to do well and everything came together, I’d say, surprisingly well actually … .Usually, we’ve come short by just a few points, ending up in fourth or fifth spot. Top three was something we were aiming for this time and we actually got it.”

Competing universities each sent two boats and four boaters. The Gaels’ team was comprised of Soosalu, Josh Brown, Greg Harries and Paul Throop. There were 14 races held over the weekend, allowing for a variety of conditions.

Saturday started with a wind delay, followed by heavy breezes of up to 40 kph. The Gaels had a slight scare when Harries and Throop’s boat capsized, but were relieved to see them sail to a third place finish. The Gaels ended Saturday in second place.

The Gaels now go to the Americas Trophy, where they will face off against 10 other teams. The Gaels already have a few competitors scouted out.

“When we went down this past weekend, Cornell was just a little ahead of us,” Soosalu said. “Columbia’s also a good school. Florida will be there as well.”

The Gaels face a slight challenge in preparing because of a different academic schedule.

“Since it’s going to be during exams, we’re going to be mainly doing stuff off-water for the next few days,” he said. “We’re going to be looking more into tactics and strategy, for example, and just talking about it rather than being able to get out because it’s still a bit too cold.”