College Sailing: Laser Nationals

About a month ago Sail Newport hosted a national college sailing event out of Fort Adams, the ICSA LaserPerformance Singlehanded Championship.  This event hosted college sailors from across the nation as they competed in cold and wind for the women's and men's division trophies.  It was early November but it was one of the first truly brisk days of the season, with temps barely reaching the 40s and winds 20+ knots making it feel like it was below freezing.  The sun helped keep everyone's blood warm, but as soon as those clouds rolled in, it was another story.  

I don't know if I saw a single drysuit out there!  Mostly fleece layers and a few spray tops.  Some weren't even sailing with hats, gloves or boots!  I don't know if these kids were brave or downright crazy, but it was tight competition for the first half of both fleets.  

Sailors from the Northeast, Georgetown, Stanford, and Charleston commanded most of the racing.  Sunday saw some of the busiest sailing with the ICSA event, a college fleet racing event as well as the usual Newport frostbite fleet all being hosted out of Sail Newport.  Dinghies were crowding the end of Fort Adams and the entrance to Newport Harbor but that didn't slow any of the racing down!  After three days straight of sailing in these frostbiting conditions, Georgetown sophomore Greg Martinez came out on top in the Men's Division and US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider member and Boston College sophomore Erika Reineke (last image) won the Women's Division for the second year in a row.  Men's Results and Women's Results can be found on the regatta website.  

While it was my first and last college sailing event of the year, I was actually very glad I braved the cold!  I was very happy with several shots and am hoping to get out on the water for the spring sailing season.  All my images can be found in the Regatta Viewing Gallery on my website!

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