By Airwaves HS Reporter Camille White
The MASSA District Championship in Kings Point, NY was a two day event in which 18 of the best teams from the Mid-atlantic region came to compete at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The top four schools would qualify for Fleet Race Nationals at MIT on May 13-14. The competitors raced in USMMA’s fleet of z420’s and FJ’s.
The first day of racing had a consistent breeze of 15 knots with gusts up to 28 knots. Due to the heavy breeze and chop, A division and B division both sailed z420’s and rotated off of a dock, instead of on the water. All 8 sets were raced on a W4 on Saturday. On the windward legs of the course, it was very important to connect with the pressure coming down, especially because of the large fluctuation of breeze that the gusts brought in. On the second leg of the course, it was very important to round the favored gate mark as boats who rounded the unfavored mark would be passed and were in danger of sailing out of phase the entire third leg. The open water conditions on Saturday allowed for an exhausting, but quality day of racing.
The second day of racing had drastically different conditions than the first day with flat water and no breeze. The race committee hoped to expedite more racing by utilizing both z420’s and FJ’s, and by rotating on the water. Sailors waited patiently on land for a couple of hours for pressure to fill in from the Southwest. Around 1 o’clock, a small amount of pressure filled in from the West, so the race committee launched both A and B division. A race was attempted in A division, but uneven pressure and major shifts caused unfair racing conditions. The race committee abandoned the race on the first leg. Some pressure started to fill in from the Southwest, but this quickly died out. The race committee sent the sailors in and concluded the regatta just before 2:00 pm (no race could be started after this time).
Qualifying for the Mallory National Championship, Severn School placed first, Christian Brothers Academy placed second, Christchurch School placed third, and Ranney School placed fourth. Congratulations to all the schools who qualified for Nationals, and thank you again to the U.S Merchant Marine Academy for being great hosts, as well as the race committee and volunteers who made this regatta possible!
For full results: http://scores.hssailing.org/s17/massa-mallory-qualifier/