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MAISA South Spring Qualifier at Hampton

posted Apr 4, 2013, 5:41 AM by William Joumas

MAISA South Spring Qualifier at Hampton (March 30-31)

Despite Villanova’s university-wide break for Easter weekend, Coach Matt Newborn and four student-sailors made the six hour drive to Hampton University in Hampton, VA for the MAISA’s South Spring Qualifier, the site of the 2013 National Semifinals in May. One of the most important regattas of the spring season, the event was the qualifier for both the America’s Trophy (MAISA Spring Championship) as well as the Leroy Grant (a secondary championship regatta). As both of these regattas also affect the end of season rankings, it was imperative for us to qualify. With several days off from school for the break, we left on Friday morning and arrived in Virginia in time to practice with the Christopher Newport University team in Newport News.

Saturday morning was beautiful and sunny with temperatures reaching the low 60s, but with very little wind. After a lengthy sail out to the course, the breeze built to just about 4 kts and racing began. The wind oscillated and remained unsteady throughout the day, completely dying during some races and causing the RC to abandon others due to significant shifts. With rotations happening right off the beach, everyone ashore had easy viewing of the action on the course. Domenic Re ’15 and Scott Barnhill ’14 sailed each of the six races in A division while Will Joumas ’14 and Patricia Kelley ’14 sailed all six races in B division. Both boats had their ups and downs and the team finished Saturday within one place of qualifying for the Grant.

Sunday was forecasted to bring heavy winds and rain, but the breeze never quite filled as expected. A decision by the race committee to resail race 5A led to six races being sailed in A division and five in B, with racing continuing right up until the 3:00 pm deadline. By the last set, the breeze came up significantly and for the final race, 11B, Scott took the helm in B division and Will switched to heavy-air crew. However, after a stellar start, the pair was forced to retire from the race and they were awarded a breakdown due to problems with the mainsail. The goal for the day was to take back at least one spot and qualify for the Grant and we did so with a 20 point lead over the next place team.

We would like to extend our appreciation to Joe & Heather Re, parents of Domenic '15, for providing our lunches and dinners this weekend and to Craig & Jacalyn Quigley for their gracious hospitality in hosting our team for dinner on Saturday evening.