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St. Mary's College Women's Intersectional

posted Mar 20, 2013, 3:18 PM by William Joumas   [ updated Mar 20, 2013, 3:19 PM ]
March 16-17,
 St. Mary's College (MD)

St. Patrick’s Day weekend was momentous for the Villanova Sailing Team, led by Coach Matt Newborn, as they sent their first-ever women’s team to the St. Mary’s Women’s Intersectional in St. Mary’s City, MD.  With 15 of the top ranked women’s teams from around the country scheduled to attend, the level of competition at this regatta was possibly the highest we have ever faced. Among the fleet were seven schools from our region, MAISA (Mid-Atlantic), seven from NESIA (New England), two from SAISA (South Atlantic), and University of Hawaii flying in from PCCSC (Pacific).

Saturday morning was brisk with winds starting at about 5-7 kts out of the SE and brief periods of rain showers.  Temperatures reached the high 50s, resulting in a beautiful, sunny day as racing progressed.  Sarah Celone (’13) and Jen White (’16) began in A fleet sailing 420’s, while Tracy Grim (’16) and Caroline Carney (’16) began in B fleet sailing FJ’s.  After a few races, the girls really started to sail well together with the A team finishing the third race in the top ten.  The breeze quickly petered off in the early afternoon and a lunch break was called after only managing to fit in four races in A fleet and three races in B.  A subsequent wind delay ensued and the afternoon proved to be less-than-ideal conditions for sailing with less than 5 kts of breeze and long periods of drifting on the course.  The Race Committee was only able to get off one more race in each fleet and finally called off racing at 4:30 when conditions were determined to be unfit for further sailing.

Sunday morning brought more favorable sailing conditions with a 10-15 kts Northerly breeze. However, the competitors were met with hail storms in the early afternoon.   A and B divisions switched fleets on Sunday with A moving to FJ’s and B changing to 420’s.  Consequently, with the heavier breeze came a polarization between the experience of the other teams in comparison to the inaugural Villanova women’s team.  However, after a midday crew switch between divisions, the Villanova girls seemed to hit the reset button on the day, and came back for a competitive finish!

With the level of arguably the fiercest the team has ever seen, we were pleased with our ability to remain competitive throughout the two days of racing. After further practicing and more regattas under our belt, we are certain that the next women’s regatta will see Villanova placing much higher.