Tom Etheridge, Alex Ramos, Emily Gazall, Meredith Wiles, Mason Wolters, and Sarah Sloan traveled south this past weekend for the first regatta of the season, Charleston Spring. The team left Ann Arbor at 10 AM on Friday morning and arrived shortly after midnight in Charleston. The team was thrilled to step out of the car and experience weather that was fifty degrees warmer than where they left (even though it was still only slightly above freezing).
Racing was postponed Saturday morning at the College of Charleston Sailing Center due to lack of wind until 1 PM. The team spent the morning on the dock enjoying the 50 degree weather and carbo-loading on PB&Js until the fleet was finally sent out. The wind fluctuated between 3 and 6 knots over the course of the afternoon, and every team's heavy weight crews hunkered down for the long haul, as they were most certainly not going to be switched in. Racing was called off for the day at 4:30 after the wind died; four races were completed in the A and B divisions, with As sailing FJs and Bs sailing 420s. Michigan sat in 10th out of seventeen teams at the end of the day, and it was decided by team members that Mexican food was the perfect way to end the day after leaving the sailing center.
Sunday saw stronger and more consistent winds, with speeds reaching a downright blustery 6 knots. Sailors left the dock shortly after 9 with As sailing 420s and Bs sailing FJs. The wind was incredibly shifty all day, keeping the RC boat busy with course changes. The sun and heat were out in full force, and our skippers and crews alike quickly abandoned spray pants and tops in order to better absorb the rays we've been so desperately missing. After the wind died at the gate for the final B race, racing was called for the day at 3 PM. We found our sea legs after three months off the water, and finished the weekend in 10th overall.
The team got on the road shortly before 4 PM and arrived home in Ann Arbor at 6 AM, ready for a day of classes and eagerly looking forward to heading south again at the end of the week for our Spring Break training trip in St. Petersburg, FL.
A huge thank you to the Verner family for hosting us over the weekend!
-Sarah Sloan, '16