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MAISA Central Spring Qualifier

posted Apr 6, 2012, 8:34 AM by Marisa Demourkas

March 30 & April 1, Perth Amboy, NJ

The Villanova Sailing team competed at Raritan Yacht Club in Perth Amboy, NJ in the Central MAISA Qualifier hosted by Princeton University. This regatta is the qualifier for the America’s trophy at Hobart and William Smith in 2 weeks. The America’s Trophy is essentially MAISA’s spring championship regatta and the qualifier for national semifinals. The top 9 teams in the conference automatically qualify, and the remaining 9 spots in the 18 boat fleet get filled through a North, Central and South qualifier with the top 3 teams from each event moving on.

As an emerging club team Villanova has always been on the bubble of qualifying, but has not been able to make in happen since 2006. This year we were ready. We came in with the mentality that we were going to sail our hardest and make sure that our results showed it. With a strong group of 5 sailors, 3 skippers and 2 crews, we rolled up to Raritan Yacht Club Saturday morning ready to make a statement. Saturday saw great, albeit cold, sailing conditions with overcast skies and 12-16 kts of breeze. Since we were sailing FJs, our west coast FJ extraordinaire, freshman Domenic Re, headed out in A-fleet with sophomore crew Scott Barnhill. With the first race acting as a warm up, the two underclassmen figured out the racecourse and went 7 and 1 in the first two races. They set the bar high and backed it up with 3 bullets by the end of the day. With the breeze as it was Andrew Sayre along with fellow senior Marisa Demourkas went out in B-fleet and brought home consistent top 4 results almost all day. Saturday ended with the Villanova team leading the regatta by just one point after winning a tight protest over top competitor Stevens Institute of Technology!

Sunday morning greeted the team with a standard sailing situation of “hurry up and wait”. Wake up early, scramble to get breakfast, fly over to the regatta to make it there by 9 am only to find that there is no breeze. The teams waited around until approximately 10:30-11:00 before the wind filled to a consistent 5-7 kts out of the southwest. Domenic and Scott continued to sail A-fleet and junior Sarah Celone stepped in to helm the B-boat in the light air conditions. With each fleet only getting in 2 sets of races, Villanova Sailing was not quite able to maintain our position on the top of the fleet but we ended up in 3rd place, a qualifying position.

The team could not be more excited about qualifying and making it into the America’s trophy. The team will be training hard over the next 2 weeks to be ready to give a 110% when we compete at Hobart and William Smith with the goal giving it our all.