As I’m sure everyone is aware, the worldwide pandemic of Covid 19 has shut down physical attendance at most venues across the nation. One truly unfortunate victim of the new health guidelines is the academic arena, as all students across the country have faced either temporary or total cancellation of personal attendance for classes. With that cancellation, so came the termination of our Spring Sailing season as ICSA did the prudent thing and cancelled all competition for the spring, a tough finish for the Rams after a great start.
One unique aspect of college sailing is the concentration on different disciplines for the Fall and Spring seasons. The Fall has Singlehanded, Match Race and Offshore Championships, while the Spring focuses on Dinghy and Team Racing Championships. We were able to get the majority of our FJ and 420 fleets into the water by the middle of February and had a quick dose of heavy air and Team Race practice before the first regattas the last weekend of February. Although we had worked on Team Racing after the dinghy season ended in the fall, we were a little slow off the mark for our first weekend, but took valuable lessons from the experience. Our second weekend was far better and was a harbinger of what we would achieve at our Spring Break Practice down at our host, St. Mary’s of Maryland.
Along with the incredible jump in team race performance, we also shined at the Navy Women’s Spring Invite. ‘A’ Division skipper and crew Delaney Bamford and Sadie Thomas were at or near the top of their fleet from the first race and only a WD prevented them from taking their division. For their efforts, the duo was named NEISA Women’s Sailors of the week. Becca Read and just named All NEISA crew Sage Walters sailed well in ‘B’ division as URI ended up 4th of 14 for the weekend.
Our Spring Break Practice was enlightening. 32 team members attended and worked on boat handling and speed drills. St. Mary’s and UVM both practiced with our team as we worked on multiple team race combinations, interspersed with fleet racing. The level of sailing across the board was impressive as we came together and ground out superior results. With 5 regattas on the board for the coming weekend, the team was pumped to put their hard work to good use. AS noted, while we were driving home we got the word that the season was done.
While Spring 2020 is in the books, the team looks forward to the Fall season and the opportunities that lie there. New team captains Luke Ingalls and Becca Read are already working with outgoing captains Chris Pearson and Ellie McClean to make sure the team is ready to hit the water in full stride in September. We’ll see you then.