V15 Midsummer Team Race

Dear Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation,

It has been several months since the V15 Midsummer Team Race which you made it possible for me to race at; however, I am realizing that I never adequately thanked you for the opportunity. I spent last summer interning in Denver, Colorado, and, while I had an extremely valuable experience there, the land-locked state did not offer me many chances to go sailing. Your financial support prevented me from going an entire summer without time in a boat.

The V15 Midsummer Team Race, hosted by New York Yacht Club in Newport, Rhode Island, was a competitive regatta. I joined a team of St. Mary's College of Maryland sailors who were looking for a third skipper, hence our team name-- "Victory Hawks." Although we by no means won the regatta, our results steadily improved over the course of the weekend. Saturday was not only my first day back on the water in two months, but also my first time in a Vanguard 15, ever. We ended Saturday with a losing record and missed making the Gold fleet, but all races were close. It was great to get thinking tactically again and I learned a lot about V15 boat handling.

Our Sunday results show how much we learned on Saturday. With every race, the three skippers on our team, including myself, became noticeably more comfortable working together and we won some good races against the top teams in the silver fleet. In the end, we finished in a three-way tie for second in silver.

As I mentioned before, my primary goal for this regatta was to gain experience sailing Vanguard 15s in preparation for the Hinman Team Race, which Chris Barnard, Mac Mace and I submitted an application for. Unfortunately, our application was placed at the top of the waiting list, but not quite accepted into the event. We were hopeful as the first alternate team, but not surprised when no teams dropped out of the most competitive team race regatta in the world. We intend to continue team racing at the highest level and we hope to prove our worth next year when the Hinman is hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

Although I have not put my new V15 skills to further use, the top-notch team racing experience I gained at the Midsummer Team Race has had a doubtless impact on my more recent sailing results. Transitioning back into college sailing competition at the end of the summer was much easier than it would have been had I not sailed at all over the break. Furthermore, I gathered valuable knowledge of the Newport, R.I., racing venue at the Midsummer Team Race which paid dividends for me this fall. My experience racing in Newport over the summer helped me to win the New England Sloop Championship in Newport in October and qualify for the ICSA Match Racing Championship. There is no question that the Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation is responsible for much of my success as a competitive sailor. Thank you so much for your continued support!

Chris Segerblom