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Regatta Reports a synopsis of the season

Looking Back an article from commodore Harmen Rockler

West to East two freshman’s first season experience

SAIL ORANGE magazine

THANK YOU to our team, contributors, alumni, and supporters DESIGN AND EDITING Makcnzie Danho COMMODORES Devin Chambers, AJ Murphy, Nick Pardini, Patrick Stege, & Nick Wovitiotis

ADVISOR Barbara Jones PHOTOGRAPHY Mackenzie Danho, Harmen Rockler, Nicholas Woviotis, and various other contributors THANK YOU to our team, contributors, alumni, and supporters

table of contents Letter from the Commodores


About Our Advisor


Regatta Reports


From the West Coast to the East Coast


Looking Back on a Great Team


SAIL ORANGE magazine

Nick Woviotis, Nick Pardini, Harmen Rockler, AJ Murphy, & Devin Chambers at end of year party, 2013


A Letter from the Commodores The 2013 campaign for the Syracuse University Sailing Team was one that will go down in the history books as a team that will never give up. We watched heartbreaking races, sailed in extreme conditions, and pushed the team farther than ever before. With the end of 2013, we saw the last of the great re-founding commodore, who put more effort and energy into this team than any man I have ever met, graduate. We are all now faced with the daunting task to make this the best Syracuse Sailing Team ever, but looking forward we know that our future can be brighter than our past. We have a long road ahead of us and the journey has just begun. We implore each and every one of you to give it your all on and off the water to make the coming years more than just a success for this team, but better than ever before. 2013, we thank you for all the great memories, friends, and races. 2014, get ready.

- Devin Chambers, AJ Murphy, Nick Pardini, Patrick Stege, & Nick Wovitiotis

about our advisor SU Sailing’s faculty advisor this year is Barbara Jones, a Professor of Practice in the TV/Radio/Film Department of the Newhouse School. Barbara is a long-time racer having competed as crew in 6 World Championships in J/24s – including two top 8 finishes at the Rolex. An SU Alumnae, she puddled on Onondaga Lake with the sailing club back in the late ‘80s. She’s also a former reporter and covered the 1987 America’s Cup in Perth, Australia for a Canadian radio network. In 2003, she hosted OLN Canada’s coverage of the Cup in New Zealand (from a studio in Toronto!). Her much neglected Etchells lives in Toronto, where she is a member and Past Commodore of Ashbridge’s Bay Yacht Club. Ridiculously impressed with the organization and passion of the SU Sailing executive, she’s working with them to ensure the long-term viability of the team and club.


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a synopsis of the semester’s races


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Laser North Kings Point September 14th-15th AJ Murphy drove down to Cornell to pick up the five laser sailors that they were also sending. They all went down and stayed in Irvington, NY with the family of a Cornell sailor who very graciously let the 6 of us stay there on just a couple days notice. In the morning the team drove 45 minutes to the US Merchant Marine Academy. The wind in the morning was blowing 10-15 knots out of the Northwest. AJ sailed decent in the first 6 races before lunch averaging a 13.5. After lunch the wind dropped to 5-8 knots with some gusts of


10+ making getting to the pressure very important. AJ improved throughout the day and averaged a 9th in the 6 races in the afternoon. Sunday morning the wind was from the northwest at 5-8 knots. One race was sailed before the pressure died and the fleet was sent in for an early lunch break. After lunch 5 more races were sailed before the time limit was met. AJ averaged an 8.5 throughout the last 6 races. Overall AJ finished 12th and 4 points out of 10th place. The top 6 boats qualified for the Van Duyne at Kings Point October 12-13th.

SUNY Maratime Fall Open September 15th-16th The conditions were challenging for the SUNY Maritime fall open. The combination of strong current and a light shifty breeze made it difficult to get races off in the morning. In the afternoon a more stable 12-16kt breeze from the NW allowed for eight races in each division. Skipper Erik Slawski and crew Kevin McCandles competed in A fleet. Skipper Patrick Stege and crew Chris DeMaria competed in B fleet.

The next day, sailors were sent out in a dying Northerly breeze and attempted race 9A which was quickly abandoned. After 2 hours spent on shore in postponement waiting for conditions to normalize, three races in each division were completed for a total of 11 races. The wind was incredibly strong toward the end of the racing day.


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North Fall Qualifier 1 September 28- 29 8 A races and 6 B races were sailed in a southerly wind from 6-14 knots. All courses were windward-leewards, twice around, with a leeward gate. Skipper Nick Woviotis and Crew Patrick Stege competed in A fleet. Skipper Nick Pardini and Crew Maggie Peck compete in B Fleet.

The following day, Seneca lake greeted sailors with a beautiful south wind. 12 races were sailed, 5 A and 7 B, in winds from 8-17knots. All courses were Windward/Leewards, twice around with a gate. Skipper Nick Woviotis and crew Claire Alex competed in A fleet. Skipper Patrick Stege and crew Marisa Freedman competed in B fleet.

KP Laser Qualifier September 28-29th AJ Murphy went down to Kings Point with 2 other sailors from the Cornell Sailing Team, stopping at Sheetz for gas and food. 11 races were sailed in light to moderate (510kt) winds from the NE clocking right to E throughout the day.Racing was very tricky once the winds were blowing over the Academy. Race #2 was discarded due to a procedural error and a redress hearing resulted in race #2 being re-sailed after race 20. Racing was over around 5 pm when the wind became too unstable to race. After day one AJ was in 11th Place, with three really bad races holding him outside of qualifying.

Sunday racing was similar to Saturday. Racing began in a 5kt easterly which then shifted to the NE, finally settling in from the NNE where it breached its peak speed of 9kts before lunch. After the lunch break the breeze had dropped off again and began shifting toward the East. The 18th and last race of the regatta saw the winds from south of East and get very light. The sailors got off the water and de-rigged around 4:30. AJ did not sail as well on Sunday and slipped to 14th in the very competitive fleet. Congratulations to Daniel Birmingham from Cornell for Qualifying for the Van Duyne in two weekends at KP.


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North Fall Qualifier 2 SUNY Maritime, Bronx AJ Murphy, Pat Stege, Marisa Freedman and Claire Alex headed down to NYC for a weekend of sailing in the shadows of the Throgs Neck. On Saturday after roughly a 2 hour wind delay the North 2 got underway on the East River in light to moderate SE breeze. In all six A races and four B races were completed with the fleet returning to the dock at 5PM. West winds of 8-12 knots were the story of the day on the East River, with relatively minimal current for the first few sets and


great racing. Races 9-10 in both divisons were much more dramatic, with the current picking up and doing a 180. In all, 10 races were completed in each division right before 3PM. Congrats to the King’s Point Mariners and the Buffalo Bulls for sailing themselves into the War Memorial at ODU on November 2-3. A big thanks goes out to Pier Langone (‘95) for letting us stay at her house for the weekend!

Cornell Fall Open Ithica, NY The second day of racing at the Cornell Fall open started with A fleet on the water first. Wind was South, isolating from south west to south east about 5-7knots. The Syracuse Sailing team started strong with a top 10 finish and continued consistent sailing throughout the day. A fleet for the orange on Sunday consisted of Skipper Nick Pardini ’16 and crews Marisa Freedman ’17 and Claire Alex ‘17.

The breeze faded as B fleet went out into ration with Skipper Elliot Greenwald ’16 and crew Meg Ross ’15 and Liz Grant ’15. Elliot continued his consistent sailing from the day before with two 11 place finishes in the fleet of 20 boats. Two rotations were completed on the second day of racing with the light shifty breeze making it hard to get races off. In the end Syracuse fished 14th overall.


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Colgate Fall Open, Cazenovia, New York October 5-6th The team took the short drive to WillowBank Yacht Club to compete against 8 teams. A fleet went out for one race, which was abandoned due to lack of wind. The fleet drifted around for 30 minutes until they were sent in for lunch. Syracuse University hosted a bbq for all of the teams down by the ramp. Around 2 pm racing was officially abandoned for the day as the wind continued to be absent and rain moved into the area.

The next morning there was a very puffy and shifty breeze from the southeast. Both A and B fleet sailed very consistently as they were tied for 1st with Colgate going into the last B fleet set without winning a race all day. Colgate’s B team sailed spectacular all day and ended the regatta with two bullets, beating Syracuse by 3 points to win the Colgate Fall Open. AJ Murphy and Patrick Stege sailed A, while Nick Pardini sailed in B with Ana Becerra and Claire Alex as crew.

MAISA Club Championships Toms River Y.C. New Jersey AJ Murphy and Pat Stege sailed in A. Nick Woviotis and Maggie Peck Sailed in B. Saturday provided great racing off of Toms’ River Yacht Club. The breeze varied from 4-11 knots, shifting from the WNW to due south. Racing was very tight in both fleets with Upenn and Fordham currently battling for the top spot with OCC right behind them in third. 8 races were completed in both fleets on W4s with offsets and a gate. Races were sailed until dark with a forecast of heavy breeze on the horizon for tomorrow. Both A and B for Syracuse sailed very consistently and finished the day in 7th, just a few points behind Princeton. Key moment of the day was when AJ and Pat were able to take full advantage of a 15 degree lefty to pass Fordham and Penn to finish 2nd in the last race. The team spent the night hanging out with the team from the University of Buffalo and had a great time (7 pizzas anyone?).

Sunday started off right on time at 9:20 with a brisk 12-16 knot breeze blowing down the river from the west. Two A and two B W4 races were completed in a building breeze that began gusting to near 30 during the final leg of race 10B. After sending the boats to the docks and watching the wind build into the 30s sustained the decision was made to abandon racing for the day. In A AJ and Pat scored an 8,4 while Nick and Maggie were able to score an 7,8 in increasingly ‘sketchy’ conditions. Overall the team was able to pass Princeton to finish 6th overall with a 20 point gap between us and 7th place. Much thanks goes to Mr. and Mrs. Peck for inviting us to their home on the way back where the team enjoyed watching the giants game and eating steak! Congrats to the Penn Quakers for winning the 2013 MAISA Club Championships.


SAIL ORANGE magazine Atlantic Coast Tournament Connecticut College This is the first year Syracuse has competed in the Atlantic Coast Tournament. This year, the ACT was hosted by Connecticut College, which also made this regatta the first NEISA regatta Syracuse has ever competed in. On Saturday the wind was patchy and light on the Thames River. The sun was out and the weather was warm. Eventually a southerly direction eventually filled in, with a strong current making the starts challenging for teams. Several general recalls in both divisions, until the fleets were able to get their timing down for the start. Two races were completed in both divisions, before the sun set behind the hill and the breeze died off again.


On Sunday, yet again, teams were met with minimal breeze on the Thames. However there was significant cloud coverage and it was much colder than the day before. The race committee waited until the forecasted east/southeast direction filled in. Two races were completed in each division, providing very interesting racing for the 18 teams. The breeze again became unreliable around 2:30, and racing was called for the weekend. Overall, a difficult weekend of conditions and difficult sailing against schools we have never competed before that were of a caliber we have never faced before. This year the ACT was won by the University of Rhode Island.

Cornell Fall Open Ithica, NY Nearly 450 college sailors gathered for the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) organized by the Storm Trysail Foundation, Storm Trysail Club and Larchmont Yacht Club over Columbus Day weekend. Sailed in 54 borrowed offshore boats, the IOR is the largest collegiate regatta in North America. The fleet was made up of 11 J/105s, 15 J/109s, five J/44s, and two 10-boat handicap divisions. A separate race course held a five-team match racing series in Swedish Match 40s borrowed from the Oakcliff Sailing Center. As a result of a stationary low, strong northeast winds blew for three days before the regatta as well as for the two days of racing, making conditions extreme – even for experienced Long Island Sound racers.

Syracuse sailed in the J/105 division aboard Planet Claire with boat owner John Koten. Once on the water, a string of gusts up to 35 knots kept the fleet postponed for half an hour, but when it was evident these gusts were not subsiding, the race committee decided to start with a no spinnaker rule in effect. In the first race, a less than favorable start put Syracuse directly behind Bowdoin and Columbia. But working our way back around the course, we finished 9th out of 11 boats. In the second race, Syracuse had a much better start off the line, but at the unfavored end. As such Syracuse got pushed out to the undesired side of the course. Again back against the fleet, and after some good downwind sailing, Syracuse got 8th in race 2. After two races were sailed on Saturday in winds blowing from 22-30 with higher gusts, the race committee sent the dwindling fleet back to the harbor in hopes of more benign conditions the next day. But on Sunday the low pressure system still refused to budge and conditions remained the same. Racing was finally called off after a 3 hour delay and that concluded the 2013 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta.


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From the West Coast To the East by Marisa Freedman and Claire Alex

Hi everyone! Claire and Marisa here! We are both from California and are freshman here at SU. Combined we have seven years of racing experience as crews in California’s competitive Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association. This high school league boasts a total of eighty eight teams and has fostered many notable sailors.

getting used to sailing on lakes versus oceans. At home, we are used to changing tides and constant current. On a lake, it is much different. We have noticed that lakes experience more wind shifts than the ocean and harbors of Southern California. We have had to strengthen our abilities to read the wind on the water, since it often changes multiple times during a race.

One of the biggest transitions we faced from high school sailing to collegiate sailing is transferring to a 420 from a CFJ. We quickly noticed the difference between the two boats. On the West Coast, in the CFJ it is common to sit facing your skipper, so we had to learn to orient ourselves to sit looking forward in the 420. Along with the change of perspective, we noticed the slight differences in the shape of the boat as well. The wider design allows for much more stability out of the 420s as opposed to the narrow design of the CFJ. The different design on the 420 makes it heavier than an CFJ which means we had to adjust our established roll tacking techniques. A 420 calls for a much harder roll in order to have a successful roll tack. Another big change we are adjusting to is the transition from sheeting in the jib with just a cleat instead of a block with a ratchet. Overall, our transition has been pretty smooth.

As first year members on the Syracuse Sailing Team, we have already been to five regattas. We have noticed that college regattas aren’t quite as social as high school ones, but we are working on making friends with other teams since we will be sailing for Syracuse for the next three years. The social aspect is definitely one of the things we miss most about high school sailing, along with the warm weather that we took for granted growing up on the West Coast. Although, because of the cold weather to come, we are allowed a much needed break from sailing in the middle of the year, a break that we would have welcomed on the West Coast since we sailed all through the school year.

The second biggest adjustment for us has been


We are excited to continue sailing for the Orange in the Spring and look forward to the coming years with the team, but for now we will are headed back to the West Coast to soak up the sun and have a little fun sailing at our home clubs on our winter break.


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When I arrived on campus four years ago, I was excited to join the sailing team. I had raced as a junior around Massachusetts Bay in dozens of Laser regattas. I was ready to keep going and move from junior sailing to college sailing. The summer of 2009, I tracked down the team’s website and sent an email. I got nothing back. That fall, I found out that the team was inactive. Nobody was leading it – many members had disappeared. Rather than spend college without sailing, four others and I made plans. Four years later, things are different. Our team has made plenty of progress. It still has far to go. I’ve had the honor of being one of the founding five commodores of the SU Sailing Team from 2010-2013. Seeing the team grow has been rewarding. My background growing up at a community sailing center helped when it came time to starting the team. The hard work and determination that went into my junior sailing experience was useful. As the sailing team grows, it will continue to need this from its members and leaders. During the summers, I coach a sailing team – the same team that I was on as a junior. I coach for Community Boating, Inc. (CBI ) in Boston – the nation’s oldest public sailing center. Unlike most yacht clubs, which focus on exclusivity, CBI’s motto is “Sailing for All.” The goal is to include more people in the sport by reducing the economic barriers in sailing. Sailing at CBI isn’t elitist, nor is it expensive. As a community sailing center, we don’t charge outrageous membership fees. Because of that, we didn’t have a massive budget for a junior racing team. We still don’t. Our boats aren’t the


newest, our sails not the crispest. It’s tough going to regattas knowing that most other sailors are better equipped. At my first regatta, Marblehead Junior Race Week, in 2006, a 9 year old Opti sailor had a noticeable reaction to our boats. He looked at them and said, “Your boats are old!” It was as if we didn’t know. He was right, though. The serial numbers showed the boats had been made in the mid-1980s. We also didn’t sail on the ocean. The shifty, unpredictable Charles River was vastly different. We were not well prepared for current, nor were we prepared for 4-to-5 foot waves. Yet, it never stopped us from working hard. We were always looking to make ourselves better. I’ve brought that same hard working attitude as one of the commodores of the SU Sailing team. We have continued expanding our schedule, going longer distances to regattas and setting higher goals. Growing the team and making it better isn’t just a short-term goal. We’re planning ahead. Every five years, we come up with a “Five Year Plan” – a vision for where we should be in the future. We’re already being looked as a possible varsity sport in the future, according to a quote from an SU Athletic Department in the Daily Orange. As sailing team alumni, we should all be able to come back to Syracuse in 10, 20 or even 50 years and see our sailing team doing well. To do that, we have to keep up the spirit of constant improvement. As a team, every member needs to have this drive. We will only become stronger as we work to become the best.

a look Back on a great team by Harmen Rockler


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Sail Orange Magazine | Fall 2013  

The Fall 2013 edition of Sail Orange Magazine - produced by the Syracuse University Sailing Team.

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