The Charles River Open Team Racing News!
The Charles River Open Team Race hosted by MIT returned after a 1 year hiatus. Due in part to the large number of people required to run an event of its size, the Charles River Open exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism in sailing. In order to be eligible, all competitors must either be current college or high school sailors or have volunteered to help coach, judge, or run races in the past year. In fact, the winning team from the previous event returns to run races and this weekend, defending champs Danny Pletch, Cardwell Potts, and Julia Southworth (the Larch of Team Larchbone) PRO’d one of the race courses and helped organize the event. The team received a berth in the semifinal knockout round.
The volunteers who made the CRO possible were:
Harvard for use of their fleet of FJ’s, coaches Mike O’Connor and Bern Noack, alum’s Megan Watson, Roberta Steele , Kyle Kovacs, Matt Knowles (BU) and Brad Churchill for use of their motorboats and race committee help, (Janel Zarkowsky and BU staff for delivery). Alvar Saenz-Otoro, Ellen Pratt, Sue Ostrowski, and Eric Gibber for format, scoring, registration, weigh-in, and general overall managment MIT Dockstaff-Wally Corwin, Greg and Brittney Dolan, Conan Hom, Patrick Joyce, Sam Madden, Gwen Capron RC help-John Pratt (PRO course A), Danny Rabin, Carl Zimba, John Laiosa, Tom Robinson, JT Lendon, Robbie Moore, Christian Manchester MIT Coaches Matt, Matty and Fran.
This year, 30 teams competed in 233 races on 2 race courses with 36 FJ’s and 6 catboats. Each team sailed 15 races in a modified swiss league format to seed the top 3 teams for the semifinal knockout race. Saturday’s conditions were light and only 1 round was completed. Saturday evening feature Redbones BBQ and a harbor cruise on the Lexington Paddlewheel boat. Sunday’s conditions were 5 knots from the northeast that allowed the 3 round format to be completed and a semi final and final series to be held.
The finals were held in MIT’s brand new fleet of 16.5′ Ayres Pond Catboats with colored sails (Tanbark and cream). Live, on-board race commentary was provided by Ken Legler speaking into a VHF hooked into a PA speaker system. In an epic best of 3 series, Team Extreme won the first race as a huge lefty filled and launched 2 of the boats to a commanding lead. In race 2, things looked grim for Team Indecisive but somehow they were able to over come a 3-4-5 combo to win the race with a 1-3 and tie the series at 1-all. In the final race, Team Indecisive was able to use momentum and big boat tactics to narrowly win with a 1-4-5 combination. Congratulations to Matt Duggan, Allie Bittl, Brian Kamilar, Adrienne Pattison, John Storck, Keisha Pearson, and Baker Potts (sailed the first rounds and had to catch a flight.) We look forward to having them back next year to help run the regatta!