The UCSD Tritons competed at the Anteater Open February 18-19, hosted by University of California Irvine at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Twenty-five individual vessels competed from 12 different schools with USC clenching the top two spots. A torrential downpour, coupled with gusting winds was forecasted for this year’s annual Anteater Open. Our team of collegiate sailors slept bunkered down in San Diego Friday night due to one of the strongest storms to hit California in the last decade. Luckily for us (and our worried mothers), the weather cleared and the regatta commenced with little to no postponement. Apart from the residual shifty, gusty winds, the Newport Harbor turning basin, posed several new obstacles which made the races a little more, let’s say, interesting. Moored yachts, strong currents, and dead zones dominated the windward part of the course while a neighboring fleet of racing Harbor 20s compounded the frenzy of caffeinated, competitive sailors. UC San Diego scored well with boats placing 8th, 11th, 18th, and 22nd with the team overall finishing 5th. Skippers Yan Rui Goheen, Erika Barth, Brett Farrell, Sam Rohrbach, and Natalie Hopper all had finishes within the top 5 boats. Shock ‘em Tritons!
As our team has still much to learn, the unexpected dimensions of this regatta were challenging but good experience. The wind shifts, currents, and larger racing boats (some of which had the audacity to call right of way on port tack) all presented new valuable experiences.