The rock star University of Rhode Island Rams just took off for France on Sunday, after winning the Kennedy Cup hosted by the US Naval Academy in November 2008 (eleventh time in URI history!) which put them on a Grand Surprise 31′ to represent the United States in the 2009 Student Yachting World Cup in Marseilles this week. For the past 5 months the Rams have been on the ball about organization and fundraising to get their rear in gear. They have also been cranking out 3 hour practices for the past two weeks straight, at the well equipped and supportive public sailing center, Sail Newport (I know, I work there and watched them rig, drill, and de-rig each afternoon).
Their U.S. equivalent and practice ride to the french Grand Surprise was a very generously donated Farr 30 (Nelson Stephenson’s "Team Bold") and the Rams have been utilizing and pushing the rig to it’s potential. Whether is was light, wet, or "blowing the dog off the chain", they practiced. They were all over Narragansett Bay; surfing in the swell near the Atlantic, playing the strong currents of the deep channel, and using the short courses of Newport’s Harbor to tack, set, jibe, and douse over and over and over. They have great support from; University alumni, staff, teammates, students, even members of the nearby yachting industries and they deserve as much support from the entire college circuit and U.S. as possible to bring home the hardware. So . . . check out their bios, visit the Teams site (http://www.urisailing.org/), request more info and email Skipper Jessie Fielding – [email protected] with your words of support, check their scores (http://www.sywoc.org/), the videos(youtube.com and dailymotion.com), the photos, their own blog where you can support our team and watch for our daily reports and video from France: www.sywc2009.blogspot.com Give the world hell Rams! Words and Photos: Matthew Cohen/cohenphotography.com