SDYC was represented by skippers Andy Reiter, Will La Dow, and Scott Sinks, and crews Molly Pleskus, Carissa Crawford, and Rebecca McElvain respectively. We would like to start by saying thank you. Our privilege to represent SDYC at the 2018 US Team Racing Championship would not have been possible without the support of our amazing members, board of directors, and the Competition Fund. We would also like to thank our generous hosts, the Barker family who provided housing, transportation, food, and managed to run the regatta at the same time!
Our team landed in Cleveland early the morning of October 4th jet lagged, but excited to get on the water for racing. We spent Thursday acclimating to the time change, boats, and venue. Our priority was getting the dust off with boat handling practice in the Zim 420s (imagine a club 420 that is much lighter and without a kite and trapeze) and to get an idea of what the conditions would be like. We were sailing in a protected harbor close to land. This meant flat water and the breeze would likely be shifty. After a few practice races against other teams we were feeling fresh, had a good idea of the conditions, and hungry for racing the following days.
The regatta format called for two round robins, a gold/silver round, a round of four knock out, and the final head to head for the championship. Our first round went well, finishing second behind then undefeated College of Charleston. The only two teams we lost to were Jet Lag and College of Charleston, due to a blow out at the start. We felt great and saw how well we matched up against all of the teams, building our confidence. The second round robin went well, but we dropped to 4th place. Our speed was great, but our starting and small mistakes around the course cost us. Regardless, we were in a good place going into the Gold round, and likely to qualify for the final four.
The gold round of 6 teams was where things went awry. We lost every race except for the Stanford undergraduate team. Our biggest issue was starting and first beats. The conditions were especially puffy and shifty, and our team did not adjust well to the new conditions. Unfortunately, our losses in the gold round made sure we did not continue into the final four. We unfortunately were sent home, finishing in 5th place at the 2018 US Team Race National Championships.
As expected, we are very unpleased with our result. We went into the regatta with a national championship in mind, and unfortunately fell short on the last day. With that being said, we are an incredibly talented team that is more than capable of winning in the future. I can guarantee we will be fighting for the gold next year.
Thank you SDYC for all of your continued support of our sailing over the years. Our trip to Ohio would not have been made possible if it were not for the competition fund! Although we did not win, we walked away with many lessons learned and as hungry as ever for the next opportunity to sail!