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23 October 2016

Sixth Straight CICSA Team Racing Champions, MAISA Fall Women's, and MacMillan Cup

By Jeffrey Morris

Yes, it was windy.  Hugo Mathiesen, Jeffrey Morris, Zac Baum, Max Vos, Max Willms, and Josh Yale: Team Racing National Champions!
Yes, it was windy. Hugo Mathiesen, Jeffrey Morris, Zac Baum, Max Vos, Max Willms, and Josh Yale: Team Racing National Champions!
The 2016 CICSA Team Racing final standings.
The 2016 CICSA Team Racing final standings.
Victoria Restivo, Elle Mackenzie, Julia Manarin, and Simone Larose in Norfolk, Virginia.
Victoria Restivo, Elle Mackenzie, Julia Manarin, and Simone Larose in Norfolk, Virginia.
The keelboat squad on a Navy 44 at the US Naval Academy.
The keelboat squad on a Navy 44 at the US Naval Academy.

Three regattas this weekend:

CICSA Team Racing Nationals

As the sailing season wraps up, six sailors traveled to Montreal this weekend to race on behalf of Queen’s for the CICSA Team Racing Championship. A team racing regatta always promises to be exciting as three boats from one school take on three from another in each race. Unlike traditional fleet racing, where the objective is to sail as fast as possible, team racing forces sailors to use the rules to gain right of way in order to ensure that all three boats on the team finish with a winning combination (a combined score of 10 or less wins any team race). Leading up to the regatta, the six sailors, Zac Baum, Max Willms, Max Vos, Hugo Mathiesen, Josh Yale, and Jeffrey Morris, spent extra time refining their team racing skills and plays.

On Saturday morning, the group drove out to the Royal Saint Lawrence Yacht Club, where McGill hosted and organized the event. The first several races were competitive as the current carried some boats away and the rain poured on the fleet, but Queen’s won against RMC and McGill in their first two races.

In their third race, against ÉTS, the Gaels went for an ambitious start, which resulted in someone being across the line early. It wasn’t until after all three Queen’s boats and one ÉTS boat returned around the start line that the X flag was lowered, but Queen’s had some catching up to do as they were in 3rd, 5th, and 6th less than a minute after the start. Max Vos and Hugo Mathiesen made several ambitious plays against ÉTS in order to advance to second place, where he then focused on slowing down the boats behind him. Zac Baum and Max Willms then gained luffing rights on two ÉTS boats and forced them far from the leeward mark rounding in order to narrow the gap for Josh Yale and Jeffrey Morris to then pass. At the surprise of all those who watched the race start, Queen’s successfully came back and finished in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th to win the race.

The remaining races were filled with excitement as the breeze picked up and the rain briefly turned to snow then back to rain. Queen’s won all 7 of their races on Saturday, beating all the other teams at the regatta. The boys dried off and warmed up before heading back to their billets house to get some well-needed rest and enjoy warm showers!

On Sunday, as the same tropical storm that stopped racing in two MAISA events the day before traveled north, the winds picked up to around 25-30kts with gusts of above 40kts. The race committee at 10:15am that racing would be abandoned and the scores from the previous day would be used to dictate the final standings.

With McMaster in third and the hosts, McGill, in second, Queen’s sat in first place winning the CICSA Team Racing Championship for the 6th year in a row! This marks the second national title that Queen’s has earned, after winning the CICSA Keelboat Championship two weeks prior. Queen’s Sailing would like to thank McGill for hosting and organizing the great event, as well as the Altman family for hosting our sailors over the weekend.

The Queen’s Sailing Team is looking to make a full sweep of Canadian titles when competing next week in the Fleet Racing Championship at RMC. Furthermore, the Gaels will be traveling to the St. Mary’s College next weekend for the WAR Memorial Regatta, which serves as the Mid-Atlantic Conference Championship Regatta and could qualify Queen’s for several other events leading to the US ICSA National Championships.

MAISA Women’s Championships

On Friday, Victoria Restivo, Jennifer Mackenzie, Simone Larose, and Julia Manarin drove to Norfolk, Virginia for the MAISA Women’s Championship Regatta held by Old Dominion University.

On Saturday, the team arrived at the venue, but racing was quickly postponed because of extremely high winds due to a tropical storm. The breeze was consistently between 22 and 30 knots all day. The girls took the day to catch up on homework and visit the surrounding area in Norfolk.

With no sailing due high winds on the Saturday, the event consisted of 12 races total on Sunday. The wind conditions were puffy, varying from 10-14 knots, making staying in more pressure a priority. The championship event always includes the top women from every school, making the racing tight and exciting. Queens finished in 12th place, out of 17 boats, which qualified the Queen’s Sailing Team for the MAISA Women’s Spring regatta. Congratulations to Fleet B (Elle Mackenzie and Julia Manarin) for posting a 5th place! The event was a success with champagne salt water sailing, as well as an opportunity to further the sailors knowledge of FJs and sharpen tactical skills. Thanks to Old Dominion University for hosting the event; Queen’s Sailing looks forward to giving their all at MAISA Women’s in 2017!

Full scores, and more, here

MacMillan Cup

The keelboat team traveled to the US Naval Academy to compete in MacMillan Cup. Led by Dan Sheedy and with Will Jones driving, the crew of Sam Thompson, Adrienne Gaudreault, Denby McDonnell, Brendan Aulthouse, Will Hodgson-Walker, and Marc de Verteuil arrived in Annapolis with steely resolve in the face of a nuclear north breeze.

The training day was cut short by a rapidly advancing storm front, and Saturday brought similar conditions. The race committee, rightly concerned for their fleet of Navy 44 yachts, sent the teams out to practice in the morning intending to reconsider racing for the afternoon. Conditions remained hectic, with winds over 30 knots, so the race committee postponed racing to Sunday. The Gaels still managed to get some great training time on the Navy 44’s, which will no doubt be useful in the future!

Sunday brought more favorable racing conditions and Queen’s set out with their eyes on the prize. The heavy breeze proved to be extremely challenging. Only three races were sailed, one of which resulted in a DNF for Queen’s. The spinnaker didn’t float so good, and boat handling errors led to a disappointing 9th place. Thanks to the US Naval Academy for hosting several keelboat regattas over the course of the season, and always welcoming Queen’s Sailing!

The team is looking forward to next weekend, where they will be making their way to La Rochelle, France for the Student Yachting World Cup (SYWOC) for Queen’s to compete against schools from around the world for a world championship!

Full scores, and more, here