Webb Sailing – First at UMD 2-vs-2
May 8-9, 2010
By Seth Cooley '10
The Webb Sailing Team traveled to Annapolis, Maryland this past weekend to sail in the University of Maryland’s 2-vs-2 team race regatta. Upon their arrival to Severn Sailing Association, sailors were almost immediately greeted by windy, shifty conditions and Webb was pleasantly surprised to see that all the heavy air practicing they had done recently would be quite useful! Webb, again proving their big-breeze skills, amassed an undefeated record over the two days, winning the regatta over second place Ocean County College and third place Drexel. Congrats to sailors Don Rickerson, Nathan Fast, Dave Gross, Seth Cooley, Sean Murphy, and Roxanne Schacht!
On Saturday morning, the wind quickly built to ensure challenging conditions, especially given the East/North-east off-shore direction. Webb had three matches in the morning, winning these with comfortable margins. About 10 races were finished when the boats were held back on shore due to a drifting race committee boat. Racing was postponed for the day soon after as winds continued to build. Webb took advantage of the time and quickly relocated to Davis’ Pub for lunch
Sunday promised much of the same, regarding conditions. At first some difficulties with setting the Race Committee anchor threatened the completion of the regatta, but the University of Maryland made it happen and racing was soon underway. Throughout the day, teams went from maximum-full-hike to sitting in the boats as lulls and gusts meandered down the course. Auto-tacks were frequent as shifts of 30+ degrees would hit the boats. The weekend was not a test of finesse; it was often a fight to stay upright for competitors. I believe every team had at least one capsize/swamping issue.
Webb’s first match of the day, against Drexel, featured some of the better match racing of the regatta. Nate and Don got a nasty puff and went over soon after the start, leaving Seth and Dave to slow the Drexel team’s progress around the course. By closely tailing a Drexel boat, not allowing them to tack or jibe, and forcing them to the far left-hand side of the course, Nate and Don were able to catch up, and Webb subsequently held the lead and won the race.
The best match of the weekend was with continuous rival Ocean County. The lead changed multiple times and featured a foul or two. At the first downwind mark, after the third leg of the race, OCC was first and third—a winning position. The rounding after the reach mark was slow for the first three boats and the Seth and Dave, in last, made a fast rounding to gain some ground. In the end, the boats were nearly even going up the last upwind leg to the finish, with Nate and Don taking a penalty turn early in the beat. OCC went left, losing starboard advantage to both Webb boats, possibly in addition to owing a penalty. In the end, both Webb boats very narrowly took the lead, winning the race in first and second place!
At the conclusion of the regatta, Webb ended up winning all of their seven races for the weekend, six of them with one-two finishes. This is the second year in a row that Webb has won at the Maryland 2-on-2, last year with a close victory over Cornell. The team would like to thank recent alumni Niko and Diana for again allowing them to stay with them in their home for the weekend. And, of course, thanks to the University of Maryland sailing team for hosting and running the regatta and Severn Sailing Association for use of the facility.