Mitchell College had a wonderful weekend of sailing at the Providence College Invite up at Rhode Island Yacht Club in Warwick, Rhode Island on October 13-14.
On Saturday, we were treated to light, shifty winds from the west/northwest coming off the shore. On Sunday, we had a building shifty, breeze from the west/southwest. Brendan Griffiths and Deborah Lee sailed all the races in A-Division, and Alex Hering and Alexandra Bollella sailed B-Division with Chelsea Abbenante subbing in for the last two races on Sunday when the breeze picked up. There were nine teams at the event.
Going into the regatta, we had focussed on starts and mark roundings. Our goal for this event was consistency - we did not have to win every race, but we had to beat the boats we were capable of beating. With these three ideas in mind, we took to the water.
Brendan and Deb sailed solid races in A-Division on Saturday, dealing with the light, shifty breezes. Being patient and consistently sailing smart downwind kept Brendan right where he should have been. His finishes -- mostly sixths and a few sevenths, but highlighted by a fifth -- were the consistent finishes I had hoped for from this quickly improving skipper. He sailed six races on Saturday.
Alex and Alex took to the water on Saturday to see what was working and not working on the race course. In their four races they had finishes of 4,4,4,2. These were the finishes expected of them considering that Brown, Tufts, and Providence came with solid teams to the event. We left the day content with our fifth place in the standings.
On Sunday, we left New London seeing winds in the 20s on our river and were excited for the adventure that lay ahead of us. However, when we arrived at the RI venue, the winds there were only 5-7 and shifty.
Alex and Alex started the day and came out on fire. Their first set was a 2,2. It was his clean tacks and excellent mark roundings that made the difference on this day. Brendan took to the water knowing that we were within striking distance of Northeastern, which was in fourth place. His 6,6 was the consistent effort we needed from him in A-Division. While still in fifth going into the last race, we could only hope for the best.
With the breeze suddenly gusting and A-Division boats littering the last leg of the course, Chelsea was called in to sail the last series. We knew that to get fourth we needed to sail smart and hope Northeastern had a bad set, something that had not happened the whole regatta. Alex and Chelsea prospered in the heavy air, ending the regatta with a 1,1! Northeastern helped us out by earning a 6,6 and we ended the regatta tied with them. Because we as a team had more firsts then Northeastern, the tie was broken and we finished fourth overall in the nine boat fleet.
While the finish is excellent and worth celebrating, it is the fact we applied what we had been working on in practice all week so well during this regatta that has me most excited. I believe that more success is just around the corner. Go MARINERS!
Brown won the event, with Providence and Tufts rounding out the top three. Brendan and Deborah finished 6th in A-Division, one point out of fifth. Alex, Alex and Chelsea finished second in B-Division, two points out of first.
Thanks to Deborah's dad and Chelsea's parents and grandma for making the trip to the event -- we always love to have fans!
For the full breakdown of the results please visit: