Anteater Open Regatta
The UC Irvine Sailing Team hosted the Anteater Open Regatta on February 20th and 21st, 2016 at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. 25 boats from ten different colleges competed in a course filled with moored boats and idle buoys. A floating dock near the middle of the course is one of the highlights of the venue. While teams wait on the dock for their turn to sail, they get a close up view of the racing, with boats often tacking only a foot away from the dock. The proximity of the dock to the course also allows for faster rotations and less waiting time between races.
The wind on Saturday was initially light and steadily increased to 8-10 knots throughout the day. The long course and wind shifts led to multiple tacks in the upwind leg, which in turn led to boats crossing and ducking every which way. Clear air became a priority in order to not be bogged down by a wall of boats to windward. A-division and B-division both finished six races in a hectic day of sailing. On Sunday, the wind was lighter, ranging from 4-8 knots, which was sufficient to finish four more races for A and B division. The lighter conditions on the second day led to more trouble on the starting line. Many boats were unable to speed up before the start and inevitably ended up bunching together and colliding near the ends of the line. Overall with the A and B-division scores combined, the three Triton boats took 4th, 20th, and 22nd. Congratulations to USC for taking home the win!
Our team took many new crew out this weekend to give them an experience in college racing. Racing brings out some aspects of sailing which never really arise in practicing – the camaraderie of facing tough situations together, meeting other teams, and the tension and excitement of passing other boats and trying not to be passed. I’m glad our new members were able to experience a new side of sailing and I look forward to this event next year!