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Team Race Challenge

posted Mar 20, 2012, 1:43 PM by Marisa Demourkas
March 17-18, King's Point, NY

The Team Race Challenge of 2012 was the Villanova Sailing Team's first venture onto 3 on 3 team racing in recent memory (perhaps ever).  Hosted by the United States Merchant Marine Academy, it featured, Cornell, University of Virginia, USMMA, Columbia, Fordham, Princeton, Washington college and us.  Our team for the weekend was made up of seniors Andrew Sayre and Marisa Demourkas, junior Sarah Celone, sophomore Scott Barnhill, and freshmen Charles Rice, Nelson Rice, Alex Heid, and Domenic Re.  This regatta is the qualifier for the team race conference championship, with the top two teams moving on.  

Saturday dawned with no wind and a nice fog hanging over Eastchester Bay.  Before long a nice 5-10 knot northeasterly breeze filled in and team racing began in earnest.  One round robin was completed and another half over before the breeze shut off for half an hour before doing a 180 and filling in at 7 to 10 from the south.  Villanova fought hard all day, with everyone making major contributions.  While our record was only 4 wins and 10 losses, we sailed much better than our win total would indicate.  Except for two early races against the teams that wound up being first and second and one later race where we had a boat erroneously called over early we held the lead in every race.  We were particularly good downwind, often turning a losing situation into a winning one.  Unfortunately we struggled with play recognition and winning the last beats; two sure signs of a young team in its first team race. 
We finished the regatta tied for fifth with Columbia but losing the tie breaker to place sixth.  If we had won all of the races that we were winning late we would have had at least 4 or 5 more wins, but as they say, ifs just won't cut it.  The team is looking forward to building off of our team race experience this year and doing much better in this (and other team race regattas) in years to come.  Next up for the team is a weekend of practice at Corinthian Yacht Club in anticipation of our qualifier for the Americas Trophy at the end of the month.