Midwest Team Wins Timme Angsten
by Allie Valentor
Early in the afternoon on Black Friday (November 28, 2008) in Chicago, sailors braved the cold and the crowds of determined, bargain-hungry shoppers and convened at the Chicago Yacht Club's Monroe Street station. Northeastern teams from Middlebury College, Tufts University and Salve Regina University joined the MCSA qualifying teams for the regatta. John Carroll University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Notre Dame University, Ohio State University, St. Thomas University and University of Wisconsin represented the Midwest at the regatta.
Racing on Friday was lackluster. The wind, forecasted at 15-20 knots from the northeast, was actually ranging from 2-7 knots from the southeast and then shifting to east later in the day. The breeze was difficult to predict, and the skippers and crews fought through the variable conditions until racing was stopped at around 4:30 pm. Salve Regina was in the lead at the end of Friday, with Tufts in second and Wisconsin following closely in third.
Saturday, the weather yielded similar conditions to Friday: light, variable winds out of the west. It was a beautiful day, despite the lackluster sailing conditions, and the spectators gathered outside, watching the racing in the mild 40 degree temperatures and bright sunshine. The A division sailors seemed to suffer most of the variable breeze, as it seemed to fill in and become more consistent during the B sets. The sailors fought on for the second day until about 4:00 pm when racing was called for the day. Wisconsin gained points on Tufts University to finish the day in second, trailing only ten points behind first-place Salve Regina.
Sunday's conditions were more representative of fall sailing in the Midwest. The wind howled outside as whitecaps swept across Monroe's inner harbor. Many teams opted to switch in their heavy-air crews if they had them, and so began the final day of the Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta. Only three races in each division were required to complete the regatta, so teams arrived early and began sailing right away. The wind and waves were a struggle for many of the teams, with numerous capsizes and overturned boats towards the end of the day. Wisconsin's team gained points on Salve Regina throughout the day, and going into the final race of B division, they were one mere point behind Salve Regina. Spectators anxiously gathered inside, awaiting the final race of the regatta. The last Midwestern victory at the regatta had been fourteen years prior, so plenty of emotions were on the line. The breeze built and many teams struggled to keep their boats upright, but Wisconsin pulled off a first place finish, with Minnesota finishing behind them in second, putting a one-point barrier between Wisconsin and Salve Regina. For the first time since 1994, a Midwestern team won the regatta! Congratulations to the Wisconsin sailing team, consisting of seniors Rob Pickens, Jenny Koningisor, Matt Kirley, and Kevin Campbell, junior Allie Valentor, and freshmen Joe Kutschenreuter and Molly Forbes, as well as all of the teams that participated in an exciting regatta!
Allie Valentor, a Chicago native, sailed on the winning team from the University of Wisconsin.