University of Wisconsin Madison and UW Sailing Team to Host 2010 ICSA Collegiate Nationals
by Michelle Czarnecki

2010 ICSA national championship For the first time since 1997, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been chosen to host the 2010 ICSA Collegiate Nationals, the premier event in collegiate racing. During a ten-day period from May 25th to June 3rd, 2010, the Hoofer Sailing Club in partnership with the UW Sailing Team and the Memorial Union will accommodate almost 400 students from universities all across the country. This event will comprise of the three separate national champion competitions: Women's, Team Racing, and Co-eds. All events are determined by racing club 420s.

As well as hosting the collegiate nationals, the UW Sailing team will be hosting the 2010 ICSAAlumni Regatta, during which sailors past their college years are invited to come and compete. Two divisions, one in the Badger Tech and one in the Badger Sloop will be offered, allowing sailors to choose to sail by themselves (the Badger Tech) or to sail with a group of friends (the Badger Sloop). Honorary decade chairs have been chosen to promote the event among the sailors of their generation. After the regatta, there will be a banquet held to honor all collegiate sailing alumni.

Skipper Christine Porter and crew Allie Valentor sail fast while practicing for CSA Nationals 2009. Photo by Michelle Czarnecki. As a club program operating from a Midwestern location, the UW Sailing team sails competitively against varsity- level programs from schools such as St. Mary's, Hobart & Smith, and Yale. Even with such challenging competitors and no permanent coaching staff, the UW Sailing team attracts some of the top inland sailors from the Midwest to its team and consistently performs well in challenging regattas.

Though the UW Sailing team is completely student-run, it relies much upon support from its alumni and surrounding Midwest sailing clubs. During recent fundraising for nationals, the Inland Lake Yachting Association (ILYA) and its participant yacht clubs not only raised money for new boats, but will be actively involved in the success of nationals by letting the UW Sailing team use some of their motorboats and other regatta equipment. Many of the sailors on the team teach sailing at their home lakes during the summer and participate in inland lake racing themselves. These sailors adapt incredibly well to new conditions they experience, such as currents, sea breezes, and waves. One case in point would be the fall qualification of the UW Sailing team for Sloop Nationals in a boat none of the sailors had ever handled before, in conditions requiring manipulation of currents.

Competition was stiff during the Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta (2009) with Minnesota and Wisconsin mirroring each other in their duel to be the first around the windward mark. Photo by Michelle Czarnecki. This past Thanksgiving, the UW Sailing team won the Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta held annually at the Chicago Yacht Club for the second year in a row. Before this, the UW Sailing team had not won since 1953.

Some of our notable alumni include Peter Harken, Peter Barrett, who has an Olympic gold (1968) and silver (1964), and Art Mitchell. Several team sailors have been named sailing All-Americans, most recently Anna Bargren and Kevin Campbell.

With such a great tradition behind us, and with all the support we have received, the UW Sailing team looks forward to hosting a spectacular event. Not only will the ICSA 2010 Collegiate Nationals be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the best of the Midwest, it will be a time to recognize and thank the people who got us there.

Michelle Czarnecki, a Wisconsin native, is a sophomore on the University of Wisconsin's sailing team.