GW sailors catch you up on the past several weeks of regatta action!
CAPTAIN'S CORNER (11/7/14)
It's hard to believe that the fall season is coming to a close in the next week! There has been a lot to keep us busy over the last few months - welcoming new team members, attending more than 20 regattas, and most recently, adding a new fleet of 18 boats. This semester showed just how far the team has progressed in the few years since going varsity. Having top finishes at multiple regattas throughout the season has propelled our growth for the spring semester and for the years to come. As we head into our last two weekends of regattas, there will be lots to cap off the season. Sophomore Brendan Shanahan will be travelling to Washington state to compete in the ICSA Men's Singlehanded Nationals this weekend, the first nationals trip for GW since the 1950's. Meanwhile, in two weeks the women's team will compete in the Atlantic Coast Women's Championship at MIT while the coed team will be competing at the Atlantic Coast Tournament in New York. All around this season has been exciting and has set us up for a great future! As we head into our few months of offseason, we will be preparing for the coming spring season where we will be hosting our first-ever regatta. In the meantime, we're focused on finishing out the season strong! Raise High!
- Senior captain Alex Hitchcock
WAR MEMORIAL MAISA COED CHAMPIONSHIP (11/4/14)
This past weekend GW Sailing traveled to SUNY Maritime in New York City for the infamous War Memorial Regatta. The forecast was calling for a small craft advisory for the whole weekend - a nor'easter storm. It was going to be a real war! Conditions on Saturday were super shifty with breeze around 10-15 knots and strong current. Puffs streaked across the water traveling in different directions and velocities, it was quite frustrating for everybody. The hardest part was being in the right place at the right time to catch the most of the shift, transitioning through puffs and lulls, and getting into a rhythm. The race committee was trying to get in as many races as it could because Sunday was forecasted to be windier. Sunday, we drove up to the sailing center, walked upstairs to the deck, looked over the water and saw puffs lifting water up and blowing it into the air. We were in postponement until around Noon. B Division did one set, which helped us move up one spot and that was it. The wind was from the same direction with 15-20 knots with gusts up to 25. The water was white at times because of all the whitecaps. However, the shifts and puffs were similar to Saturday. It was tough. We did not finish as well as we had hoped, but we still worked together to keep morale high and drank as much hot chocolate as we could to keep warm! We still have a lot of work to do so that we consistently stay at the top.
- Sophomore Daniel DelBello
STU NELSON WOMEN'S REGATTA (10/29/14)
This past weekend GW sent five women to the Stu Nelson Women's Regatta at Connecticut College. Hannah McNomee skippered for Jennifer Wilson in A Division with Kia Olsson as heavy-air crew. India Johnstone skippered in B Division with Belle Strachan crewing. Saturday morning began with a wind delay and stayed light enough throughout the day that each division only completed two sets/four races. Sunday was significantly windier, with gusts around 25 knots. Before the 3 p.m. drop dead time, each division completed five races to end the regatta. Varied conditions left the women with a 10th-place finish overall for the weekend.
- Freshman Kia Olsson
KINGS POINT DINGHY OPEN (10/29/14)
This past weekend the team went to the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. Four sailors were sent: Riley Engelberger, Chapin Graham, Meagan Murphy, and I. Conditions were straight forward despite conflicting forecasts. Saturday turned out to be sunny and a light 5-10 knot NW breeze that was shifting west all day. The day was all about spotting the puffs way off in the distance, staying on the favored tack and getting off the line with options and speed. We did 10 races, though it did not feel that way. Sunday was #RaiseHighSunday, with the implication of putting 110 percent into every race to better our scores. It was breeze on! 15 knots with gusts maxing out at 25 from the north. It was the same deal as Saturday: go for puffs, get off the line with speed, and stay on lifted tack. It has been a while since the whole team has sailed in big breeze and big chop, but we did not let the fear of capsizing get in the way of sailing fast and smart. Unfortunately, the race committee called racing for the day at 10:30 a.m. after doing one set. Coach Sant had said, when we got in, that we were closing in on top five, fast. Overall, this regatta allowed Riley and Chapin to gain more experience on the college sailing race course. In addition, it allowed Meagan and I to continue improving and get closer to reaching our goals for the season.
- Sophomore Daniel DelBello
MAISA MATCH RACE CHAMPIONSHIP (10/29/14)
Over the past weekend, GW competed in its first college match racing regatta, finishing third behind St. Mary's and Georgetown, one place out of qualifying for the national championships. On the crew we had Madison Oleson on the traveler, Matt Homa as the bowman, Brendan Shanahan as the trimmer, and finally myself as the skipper. For those of you who do not know, match racing is different than the normal style of racing in college because match racing is one boat against another boat. At most regattas we are fleet racing where it is 18 boats and it is every boat for itself and each boat is jockeying for the best position, whereas in match racing it only matters if you beat the other boat. Not only is the racing style different, but it is also sailed in Sonars, which are a four-person keelboats that use a spinnaker unlike the rest of college sailing.The regatta contained eight teams where each team sailed against each other in a round-robin series where the top four teams move on to a semifinals series. After finishing the round robin losing to SUNY Maritime, Georgetown and St. Mary's, and beating Queen's University, Kings Point, Navy and Old Dominion; we finished in fourth place where we moved onto the semifinals against first place Georgetown. Although the racing was close and well fought, current University World Champions Georgetown beat us 2-0 in a best-of-three series. Then to determine the third-place finisher, we faced off against SUNY Maritime who had lost to St. Mary's. After losing the first race to SUNY, we were able to come back and win the next two, giving us the 2-1 victory in another best-of-three series. GW was extremely excited to come away with a podium finish in an extremely tough event, but is ready for next year knowing with more time on the water we will be able to get to nationals!
- Sophomore Colin Kennedy
A scholastic star at Anacostia High School in the late '70s, Wilbert Skipper returned to the district to play for GW in 1980 after two standout seasons at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. Skipper, a 6-foot-3 guard, was an Eastern Eight (precursor to the Atlantic 10) All-Rookie Team selection in 1981 when he averaged 13.9 points as a reserve, highlighted by a career-best 34 points in a win over George Mason. He then averaged 14.6 points and shot 54 percent as a senior backcourt teammate with Mike Brey in 1981-82, completing his 48-game career with 686 points on 50 percent shooting.
Upon graduation, Skipper was a prominent D.C.-area businessman, motivational speaker and self-empowerment coach. He was CEO of Positive Empowerment Seminars, co-hosted the Roland Grimes Sports and Entertainment Show and authored "Life's Constant Struggles to Success - A Journey to Self Empowerment."
Wilbert Skipper (#14) with classmates Mike Brey (#15) and Paul Gracza (#22) on the back cover of GW's 1981-82 basketball media guide.
MAISA South Fall Qualifier: "This past weekend, GW sailing traveled to St. Mary's College of Maryland to compete in the MAISA South Qualifier. Our expectations of heavy breeze were not met, and we were faced with a shifty breeze littered with substantial puffs. At the end of the first day, the team sat comfortably in third place overall, with A and B Division sailors both in secon. Twelve races were sailed on Saturday, leaving only three to complete on Sunday. The team faced similar conditions on Sunday, and finished the day in third overall, just points behind Georgetown (1st) and St. Mary's (2nd). This regatta qualified GW to compete in the War Memorial at SUNY Maritime on November 1-2, and we look forward to the challenges ahead!" -Freshman Roger Dorr
Jesuit Open: "Saturday morning brought strong winds and thick fog on the course. After a great set from Shira and Dan, Colin and Sam's first race in B Division saw the wind velocity and wave height nearly double. After swamping the boat with water just before the finish line, they ended up sailing backwards across the finish line into a respectable 10th to avoid taking in any more water. Racing was called off early, but the next day five quality sets were completed in breeze that lessened throughout the day, resulting in a 10th place finish." - Freshman Sam White
Fifth place Women's team in MAISA, and 2nd in B-Division! pic.twitter.com/LHYEdqCRNk-- GW Sailing (@GW_Sailing) October 5, 2014
MAISA South Qualifiers: Matt Ricci (sr), Roger Dorr (fr), Miranda Bakos (fr), Brendan Shanahan (so), HenryYoung (jr)
Jesuit Open: Richard Sant (assistant coach), Sam White (fr), Kelly Dong (so), Shira Golub (fr), Daniel DelBello (so), Colin Kennedy (so)