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College of Charleston Intersectional

posted Mar 5, 2012, 3:28 PM by Marisa Demourkas   [ updated Mar 5, 2012, 3:35 PM ]
February 18-19, 2011, College of Charleston

On February 17th (that's right, February) the Villanova Sailing Team kicked off its season in earnest by piling into a car and driving 12 hours south to Charleston, South Carolina. Armed with nothing but Dave Perry's Winning in One Design, a very large bag full of snacks, and satellite radio the team legged it to Charleston and arrived late, very late (3am). However, no one was too tired in the morning because this regatta was a significant step for our team; it was our first major intersectional and an awesome early season opportunity to line up against a stacked field.  The teams present came from as far as Texas, Michigan, Massachusetts and California, and six of the top twenty teams in the nation were represented.

Saturday dawned in spectacular fashion with breeze and temperature that could best be described as mild.  With a strong ebbing tide, the courses were cross current gold cups sailed in the marsh north of the USS Yorktown.  Having an aircraft carrier moored in the vacinity of a collegiate race course creates interesting wind shadow and shifting effects to say the least!  The breeze was out of the east around 6 knots and there were plenty of puffs to be found on the edges of the course.  Our team consisted of Sarah Celone('13) and Marisa Demourkas('12) in A fleet and Domenic Re('15) and Scott Barnhill('14) in B fleet.  The boats sailed well on the first day despite the tricky conditions and strong fleet.  As this was our first day on the water since the conclusion of the fall season, there was some rust to shake off.  However, the boats combined to finish half of the races in the top ten!
Sunday looked to be a mirror image of Saturday when we arrived at the sailing center in terms of the wind.  Gone was the sun which was replaced by off and on rain.  One A division set was sailed in a dying easterly and strong ebb tide in the marsh before the wind died completely.  This set was a real microcosm of the difficulties of sailing in Charleston. The girls mis-read the tide and by overstanding the mark dropped from a top 5 finish to 10th.  However, they made up for it on the next race with a solid third, easily outpacing the boats behind them by sailing with the shifts and reading the current correctly.  After a long wind delay complete with heavy rain, the trademark Charleston sea breeze came up from the south building to 14 knots and gusting to 18+.  Two more B sets were sailed along with one additional A set to give each fleet ten quality races for the regatta.  We had a rough last set and dropped two positions overall to finish in 14th, still a very respectable finish for our first major intersectional!  The team sailed a great regatta and showed that we can line up with the top teams in the country and compete.
This coming weekend, March 10th and 11th, the team will travel to Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland for the first two on two team race regatta of the semester.  This regatta is our tune up for the team race challenge the following weekend where we will hope to qualify for the conference team race championship.  Attending this weekend will be Andrew Sayre, Scott Barnhill, Domenic Re, Trevor VonKaenal, and Patricia Kelley.  This is a regatta that we should be very competitive at, and I look forward to letting you know next week how the team preformed.  We will be starting practice up next week as well, so feel free to come down to the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia to watch around 4 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.