The intercollegiate sailing team has once again qualified for both the Sperry Women's National Championship and the Gill Coed National Championship. Sophomore Madelynn Widmeier will be giving an inside look on the team's trip to Charleston, SC during the championships.
Wednesday, May 24
Today the Bears were psyched to get more racing in. We originally set up camp on a midlevel deck of the aircraft carrier and had such a great view of the racecourse. It was very easy to see all the puffs coming down and see the angle changes between boats. Unfortunately we had to relocate because only the flight deck was reserved for the regatta. We had front row seats the rest of the day on the dock and it was closer to the rotation docks too.
The wind steadily increased throughout the day. By noon our skippers switched to our "heavy" crews, but we were still the lightest boats on the water. Luckily the Bears did not let weight affect our racing because we were able to beat out the competition with our strength and speed.
Around 1330 a storm system that was traveling up through Florida reached us. The last race of the day was sailed by Dana Rohde and me in an FJ. When the race started the wind was between 15-18 knots and by the end, it was 25-30 knots. The extreme conditions took out the back half of the fleet and many boats either capsized and/or did not finish the race. Due to our many practices out in Long Island Sound with big wind and waves, our hard work paid off and we were able to finish the race in 3rd. It will be one race we will never forget.
While the squall hit, we took shelter in the aircraft carrier, and toured the many antique aircraft on display. After an hour and a half delay off the water with no signs of the weather letting up, the race officials called sailing for the day.
The Bears finished 3rd and are ready for the first day of finals tomorrow. We are approaching the day with a lot of knowledge learned from the past couple days and are confident in our training up to this point. We have our eye on the prize and are going to take it one race at a time.
- Maddie Widmeier, Pipersville, PA
Link to final results of the semi-finals: