11 November 2010

Excitement Builds for KP Match Racing Team

Match racing is a new challenge for the Kings Point sailing team that has been enjoyed by everyone that was involved in the training process. We are proud that our efforts have led us to be a nationally competitive match racing team! At the beginning of the season a combination of offshore and dinghy sailors competed in several drills and races to determine who would be chosen to represent Kings Point at the MAISA Sloop Race Championship. Since two of the members on the sloop team are also members of the dinghy team we knew we would have to manage our time wisely in order to be competitive not only at MAISA Sloops, but also during our normal dinghy season.

Once the real training had begun, we started putting in time to learn to sail Sonars well, since it was a new boat to the tactician and the skipper. To accomplish this, our team started participating in local fleet regattas in Manhasset Bay to help our boat handling and straight line speed. The next part of our training was learning the ins and outs of the Match Race Call Book so we would be comfortable sparring with our opponents in the pre-start. This aspect took a much longer time as this was the first time any of our team members have been involved in match racing. Our new offshore coach, Jon Singsen, was a tremendous help with getting us up to speed because he has been match racing for a long time and is very knowledgeable in the sport. In most of our practices he skippered the B boat, which was comprised of the back up team for MAISA Sloops, and sparred against us doing small drills to full on races. Other coaches, Blaine Pedlow, Michael Collins and Rick Dominique, took turns skippering the B boat during several practices took give us a look at different styles that we might see at the MAISA and ICSA Match Race Championships. The USMMA Sailing Foundation was also a huge asset to us in our training and preparation for the regatta and their support of six new Sonars is a huge part of what is allowing us to run a top-tier event.

Along with the many hard hours we put into match racing in Sonars, our coach paralleled them with opportunities in exciting boats on several occasions. During one of our practices we traveled to Larchmont Yacht Club when it was blowing twenty knots outside and sailed on shields. One of the coolest boats we got to sail on were Swedish Match 40s at Oak Cliff Yacht Club one weekend in a mock match race regatta. This helped everybody on the team just relax and enjoy sailing on fun boats.

Hopefully Match Racing will take off on the college scene, because our entire team has loved participating and learned many new things about sailing along the way. Match racing also gives college sailors something to look forward to after graduating due to the fact that you do not need to own a boat to be able to compete in most of the match racing events.
We are excited to play host to the 2010 ICSA Match Race National Championship and even more thrilled to be competing in this prestigious event. With our hard work and the support of our teammates and coaches, we hope that we can bring home a championship to the Academy!

- Chris Herring ’12, Joe Hoffman ’11, Misty Harris ’12 and Evan Siepert ‘13

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