The Staake Trophy is the qualifier for the final 2 spots at the New England Team Race Championships, The Fowle Trophy. With all of the bad weather, we had no team racing events and no quality practice going in – we weren’t really ready. The weather at Conn College remained consistent: rain, sleet and snow on Saturday. Sub freezing temperatures on Sunday morning. Lovely!
The Ram team was Caleb Armstrong-Jack Hurly, Rachel Bryer-Hannah Scanlon, and Matt Coughlin-Kaity Norton with Matt Gibbs, Cam Tougas and Adam Piispanen ready for heavy conditions. The Rams lead after the first round robin, but faltered in the second round and slipped to third. Time was tight as the third round began. The Rams had learned a bit on the first two rounds and were in synch for the third and won 4 straight races. Unfortunately, time ran out and the round was not completed, so the round was discarded leaving the Rams in third and not qualifying for the Fowle. It was bitterly disappointing to lose the 4 wins which would have guaranteed the Rams a berth at the Fowle. Two more team racing events would follow, but the path to the New England Championships was blocked for another year.
The Lady Rams had their own team racing event, the Duplin Trophy at Brown. With Rachel and Hannah at the Staake our depth was strained. The Lady Rams are a young team. Senior Mackenzie Needham with junior Nellie Hamilton were joined by Freshman skippers Sarah Hermus and Lucy Jones with sophomore crews Sarah Leonard and Marisa Decollibus. The conditions were pretty much the same as the Staake: rain and snow. The ladies finish was poor but the experience will pay dividends going forward. The top teams were almost entirely upperclassmen. The Lady Rams will have their day!
URI was also at a Southern Series at Sacred Heart where more young Rams were in action. Top frosh Peter Girard and Ellis Havelock won B Division decisively and sophomores Patrick Isherwood and Julia Elson were 5th in A for a solid 2nd for the team. The inaugural event for Coast Guard’s new fleet of J/70s was on as well and we were there. Captain Matt Wordell had the tiller with Brad Carvalho, Patrick Penwell and Sarah Morin. They scored bullets in the first and last races, but had a few letters in their scores in between and finished 3rd in the 8 boat fleet.