University of Michigan sailor Kirsten Corneliussen checks in from the early season college sailing circuit.
This past weekend, the University of Michigan Sailing Team was invited to compete in the Spring Intersectional hosted by the College of Charleston. This was one of the first collegiate regattas of the spring season, and we sent six team members to this event: Matt Graham and Kirsten Corneliussen in the A division, Ryan Seago and Evelyn Hull in the B division, and Will Cyr and Tanner DePriest rounding out our team.
We set off on our 14-hour road trip at about 1:30 on Friday afternoon, armed with our homework and some Shark Week DVDs to keep us entertained. We were given housing with a few members of the College of Charleston sailing team, and arrived at their apartment around 3:30 on Saturday morning. After a scramble to claim air mattresses led to Will getting poked in the eye and several hushed swear words, we finally were able to sleep for about 4 hours before racing on Saturday.
8 a.m. came way too fast the next day, but we were anxious to get back on the water. Our competition looked stiff, with schools like Yale, Stanford, and Georgetown all in attendance in an 18-school fleet. By the 10 AM start, the breeze was a shifty ENE’ly with huge variations in velocity – the typical morning breeze in Chucktown’s gorgeous spring.
Both Michigan divisions started strong, with our A’s grabbing a bullet in the first race, and a combined fourth place by the end of the day. After some much needed showers and bonding with the C of C girls, we went out to dinner at a local margarita bar called Juanita’s for some burritos and coronas.
Sunday saw a return to Charleston’s famous champagne sea breeze, but not before a couple of light wind races in the morning and a long delay around lunch to let the thermal start kicking. It sat on a steady 12-15 for a spirited end to the regatta, with U of M taking ninth place – our Sunday results just didn’t have the consistency we started the regatta with.
30 hours of driving, sunburns, and mosquito bites were no obstacle to our total enjoyment of this kickoff to the spring season, and our huge thanks to the C of C team for running such an awesome event in one of America’s great sailing destinations. And also thanks to the other schools for providing such stiff competition!