Thursday May 26th, 2011
The University of Oregon Sailing Team made the trip up to Cascade Locks for Team Race Nationals. We knew that the following few days were going to be intense to say the least. So we turned in early and prepared for team racing the following day.
We rolled up to the Columbia River Gorge at 9am to watch the first round of team racing. We were in the second group with some of the top competitors at the regatta which included: Boston College, St. Marys, Hobart William Smith, Stanford, Wisconsin, and University of South Florida. We pumped ourselves up for the day as the first group went out to sail, and then we sat around.
We sat around for a long, long time. It rained, and then poured, and then rained some more. The wind was up and down going from zero to the high teens in a matter of minutes. The current was stronger than anyone had ever experienced. Needless to say, all of these conditions were going to make for interesting team racing. As 2pm approached, the first group came off the water, and we headed out to face USF in the first race.
Which we lost. In fact, we lost all of our races that day. That is not to say that we were shut out. All the races were extremely close, and we forced many teams into sticky situations as they came close to the finish. Every single race we showed some of the top teams in the nation that we were a force to be reckoned with. And every race, we learned valuable information that we put in to action almost immediately. We didn’t qualify for the Gold Round (or the finalists for the regatta), but we were ready for Saturday. It was time to show the country what us ducks were capable of.
Saturday was a clean slate. It didn’t matter what the outcome was for the day before. The team was ready to bring it our all in the Consolation Round. We faced off against USF for the first race. Again. All of the skills that we gained the day before took affect all at once, and we pulled off a win. It was an awesome moment for the team. We had won because of our skill, not because of luck. It was a testimony to not only how much we had learned and grown at the regatta, but how much we had grown since the beginning of the year. The day continued on in a similar fashion. UO won 3 our of 5 races, and the ones we lost were extremely close.
We placed 3rd in the Consolation Round and 11th overall. Yes, that means 11th in the nation! Fortunately, we are a young team. This regatta has motivated us to try even harder next year, qualify for more national events, and have an even better showing.
This was our final regatta for the year, and it was a great way to end the season for the members of the team that participated in the event. The roster is as listed below:
Special thanks to Hannah Darrow and Mike Karas. Mike has been a great coach and support system for the team throughout this year and his advice has been invaluable to us as a team. As for Hannah, even though she couldn’t sail this past weekend, she kept the team motivated throughout the whole regatta, and everyone truly appreciated it.
Photos of us at Nationals can be found here.
Also check out some footage and an interview on of us on Sailgroove.