HAMPTON, VA (March 22-23, 2014): Great conditions greeted sailors on Saturday morning at the MAISA/SAISA Interconference Regatta hosted by Hampton University featuring teams from both the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association conferences. With wind 10-15 knots and sunny skies, NC State sailors were led in A-Division by junior skipper and Women's Team captain Nikki Palen (Greensboro, NC) and junior crew Annalisa Kristoffersen (Raleigh, NC) with senior crew Juan Calvino (Buenos Aires, AR) rotating in for several races during the day. In B-Division, freshman skipper Matthew Dockstader was joined by sophomore crew Kristin Neill (Greensboro, NC) with senior crew Jesse Blackmon (Arapahoe, NC) rotating in throughout the day, as well. This was the first college regatta for both Calvino and Blackmon who, like their teammates, performed with great poise in very challenging conditions over the two-day regatta.
NC State A-Division skipper Nikki Palen and crew Annalisa Kristoffersen
Facing a very strong field of competitors including St. Mary's, University of Virginia, Washington College, CNU, Eckerd College, Jacksonville, Kings Point and USF, NC State sailors were aggressive from the start but found themselves near the back of the pack in early racing. As he day progressed however, Wolfpack sailors were able to pick off one or two teams in each race to make the event all the more exciting for the young squad that travelled to the Tidewater for the regatta.
Rigging at the start of racing on Sunday where the only technical challenges faced were getting pinnies on backwards.
By the end of racing on Saturday, the race committee had been able to hold ten races in A-Division and 8 in B-Division.
Palen and Calvino in-between races on Saturday
On Sunday morning, sailors faced stronger winds upwards of 20 knots sustained with gusts and very squirrely shifts. The RC began the day with B-Division and attempted to address the conditions with a triangle course. Despite this, numerous boats capsized before, during and after these initial races. On-shore viewers could see at least 2 or 3 boats flipped - or flipping - at any one point in the morning. NC State's B-Division sailors were no exception and they were forced to retire from the first two races of the day. These proved to be the only two races sailed on Sunday as the Race Committee brought the regatta to a close in consideration of the dangerous conditions. After two days of racing, NC State finished the regatta 14 of 14 with A-Division behind Hampton University's second squad by five, and B-Division behind Villanova by seven points. Full scores from the regatta are available here.
Skipper Matthew Dockstader and crew Kristin Neill head downwind on Saturday
"Our sailors faced extremely challenging conditions above and beyond their experience level over the weekend, yet they showed great courage, enthusiasm, determination and learned a lot," said NC State coach Dana Magliola. "Their positivity was contagious and I am extremely proud of how they represented themselves, NC State, and our program."
Dockstader and Blackmon on the race course during racing at Hampton
This was the final regatta of the regular season for the SailPack who will travel to Jacksonville in April to compete in the SAISA Conference Championships hosted by Jacksonville University. Special thanks to Hampton's coaches Alex, Mike and George, as well as the entire Hampton University sailing team for their hospitality. Several photos used above provided by George Tatum.