Big Ten Team Race (4/7/18 – 4/8/18):
Last weekend Wisconsin sailing sent two teams to face off at the big ten team race at U Michigan against two Michigan teams, two Northwestern teams, and two Père Marquette teams. Wisco red was composed of (skipper/crew) Charlie/Olivia, Noah/River, Charles/Maggie with Blair as an alternate crew. Wisco white had Will/Kate B, Katy Z/Anna, Scott Saz/Zach C with Hayden as alternate crew.
The teams left in high-spirits Friday afternoon with phenomenal homemade cookies, yogurt (available $7.50/quart or $4/pint) and banana bread, only to wake early day one to a frosty 21° F and postponement to 10:30 in order to thaw out sheets. Despite the late start short courses allowed a full round robin and nearly a whole round robin amongst the top 4 and bottom 4. Wisconsin performed well in the medium shifty wind and cold temperatures placing both teams in the top four. That night saw a division of ideology in the studious students, who worked at the library, and the lazy loungers that huddled around a beer pot of soup and forgetting Sarah marshal for the night.
Navy Spring Women’s (3/10/18 – 3/11/18):
The Honey Badgers are back at it again, this time heading to the Naval Academy, and moral has never been higher. We started our trip at the beautiful hour of 6am, and after what seemed like an eternity on the Ohio Turnpike, miraculously arrived at our favorite Naval host family, Larry and Jana’s home, just a hop-skip-and a jump away from the Severn River, where we were to sail the next day. After a restful night’s sleep, we decided to take teammate’s Tye Rubin’s advice and have a lovely breakfast at Naval Bagels, where one team member had to go hungry because they didn’t have gluten free bagels, and honestly, its 2018, I’m pretty sure all bagel shops should sell gluten free bagels because some people feel left out, but it’s fine. We arrived at the Naval Academy, and both A division and B division got ready to hit the water, with A’s sailing FJs and B’s sailing 420’s the first day.
As A-division junior skipper Cailin Considine and sophomore crew CoCo Collins set off in their FJ, B-division freshman skipper Erin Sullivan and sophomore crew Emma Zalog were comfortable in their Z420, and the race was on. A-division crew CoCo Collins was a little weary at first, as she had never sailed an FJ, but ended up enjoying the boat almost more than her homey 420! Freshman crew Kate Britt subbed in for Collins, and sailed the next set of three races in the FJ. The wind proceeded to die off and shift left all day, causing the race committee to have to abandon three races in A-division the first day. At the end of the day, we were able to sail 10 races in each division, and we left the site with our heads high after a good, full day of sailing, and eager to hit the water the next day, hoping for more steady wind. The Honey Badgers were starving after a long day of racing, so we decided to fuel our bodies the right way, and carbo load at Noodles and Company, because for the women’s team, it’s always bulking season. Some team members are not into bulking season though, and ordered zucchini noodles, and were lame, but I won’t name names. Sunday brought some really light conditions, more noticeable current, which posed a tricky situation for the badgers who weren’t really familiar with these conditions. After abandoning a race in A division, race committee moved the course out to more open water, where there were regattas happening for keelboats, lasers, the 420’s and FJ’s all at the same time. Avoiding all the boats was challenging, but the Honey Badgers kept their head high, sailed through some very light and shifty conditions again, and finished off the weekend at around 3pm after completing 16 races in each division. B-division sailors Erin Sullivan and Emma Zalog sailed tough and fast, finishing off the weekend in 16th place.
The drive back was memorable and so scenic. Two of the six sailors that were in the car had made the 17-hour drive to Norfolk the weekend before, and were ecstatic to drive through Ohio and Indiana again on their 13-hour drive back to the Cheese State. Overall, tough conditions tired the honey badgers out, but we all really bonded and had a fun-filled weekend eating good food, enjoying the nice 50-degree weather, and doing our favorite sport. It was a young team that made the trip out to Maryland, but we agreed that it was a great learning experience, and got us all excited to hit the water again at Spring Break in Florida in two short weeks!
ODU Women’s (3/3/18 – 3/4/18):
After a late start on the road on Thursday night, the Honey Badgers arrived at the Janssen’s lovely aunts house at around 1am, where we all had a bed, which the freshman would appreciate later on in the trip. After some freshly brewed coffee and delicious bagels in the morning, we set off on the rest of our 17-hour drive to the scenic Norfolk, Virginia, with an infamous “bomb cyclone” waiting for us in the Appalachia Mountains. After having to detour due to some VERY strong winds and a certain driver thinking we were hitting families of frogs, which turned out to be leaves, we arrived to a HIGH quality Sleep Inn, and crashed. Knowing that the start time had been delayed until 12pm Saturday, we slept in, enjoyed some biscuits and gravy, that were FREE because clutch B-Crew Maggie Houtz got us a fabulous deal on the hotel, and did some homework because we are A-students.
We arrived at the site, only to have some lovely north winds at about 30mph, so RC postponed starting until 1:15, and then 2:15, and then 2:45, and then finally, after just sitting at the site, watching Netflix and doing homework, called the day, and we were free to go. So much time remained in the day, and of course, what else would the Honey Badgers do but go to Virginia Beach! After taking some nice sunset photos with an abandoned catamaran, because we are sailors of course, we decided to get face masks, chocolate, and do our nails, all while watching a scary movie that was so strange and twisted that none of us could even tell you what the plot was, but it was memorable. Sunday brought, what we all agreed on, even stronger wind, but in the famous words of the PRO, “We are just going to send it and see how it goes”. So that’s what they did, with Junior skipper Carolyn Keck and Freshman crew Rebekah Janssen starting us off in FJ’s in A-division. After taking a time and a half to launch because of so many different things, B-division sailors skipper Annie Sullivan and crew Maggie Houtz felt at home in their Z420, and both divisions made Wisco proud, with Annie and Maggie getting a bullet in the last race on Sunday, ending up in 2nd place in B-division, and Carolyn and Rebekah and sophomore crew Emma Zalog finishing in 9th in A-division, it was a successful weekend because none of us ended up in the hospital, although (freshman to the team) sophomore CoCo Collins did have to jump in and pull Carolyn and Emma and their boat in from hitting the rocks because of the hurricane winds, but nobody was injured.
The Honey Badgers left right at 3, drove until we reached Emma’s adorable cousin’s sorority house, where we were briefed that we were ROTC members, as that was the only way we were able to stay in the sorority house. 3.5 hours of sleep and a balmy 9 hour drive later, we arrived safely back to Wisco, with 3 of the 6 sailors ready to head to the Naval Academy or Charleston this Thursday!