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1  The Fordham Forums / Fordham Sailing / End Of Season Wrap Up on: November 17, 2017, 02:52:02 pm
Dear Fellow Rams and Friends,
With the fall season coming to a close and the boats finally put away for the winter, I find this a good time to reflect on what we have achieved thus far and what we are still hoping to achieve as we progress towards the spring season and the three major national championships. The fall season is a time for development and growth. We attend a wide range of events and sail a large portion of our roster in a number of competitive events. Historically, in my time with the team, our fall season results have not been reflective of our spring season performance. We take a full year approach to our season knowing that while strong fall results are something to strive for, we are ultimately working towards being the most prepared for and peaking at our spring conference and then national championships. While the coed team did not see the end of season success they were hoping for, there were still many positive notes to take away from the year thus far. We made tremendous strides in narrowing the skill and knowledge gap of our team across the board, particularly with our crews, which was something we focused heavily on and became somewhat of a theme for the fall season. By the end of the season, we narrowed the boatspeed gap across the board to the point that any skipper/crew combination had the ability to win races in practice, a feat that is the envy of most college teams and a necessity for competitive practices to prepare our best sailors for major events.
With the women’s team we took a slightly different approach to the structure and schedule of the season than in years past. We opted not to travel to NEISA for their Women’s Interconference events, instead sailing in a number of middle tier coed events and one MAISA Women’s Interconference regatta. These events were more catered to our skill level and therefore offered better opportunities for growth than the always-challenging NEISA events. With a strong finish at the conference championship and a decent showing in the shortened 8-race Women’s ACCs, the Women’s team ended the season ranked in 18th, the highest we have been ranked in my time coaching the team!
With exams and the holiday season on the horizon, the team will taper off its schedule. We will continue workouts until Thanksgiving break but will give the students some much needed time off to focus on preparing for their exams between Thanksgiving and December break. We will hit the ground running with team workouts and weekly team meetings at the start of classes in January in preparation for getting back on the water in mid-late February (weather permitting). Once on the water in the spring, we will shift into team race mode for the first half of the season as we make a push to qualify for our second ever appearance at Team Race Nationals, and then jump back into fleet racing as we hope to qualify for both the Coed and Women’s National Semifinals and then Nationals.

Johnny Norfleet
Head Coach
2  The Fordham Forums / Fordham Sailing / Weekend Regatta Report: Rams Compete In Women's Atlantic Coast Championship on: November 17, 2017, 02:39:26 pm
Dear Fellow Rams and Friends,
This weekend marked the end of fall season competition as the Rams competed in the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship hosted by Connecticut College. Sailing for the Rams were Grace Howie ’20 and Elizabeth Hupp ’21 in A division, Charlotte Leclue ’19 and Gabi Mascio ’18 in B division, and Katherine Jones ’18 and Emma Archard ’18 as alternates.

The Thames River provides difficult racing on the best of days but this weekend was especially tricky, with a dying breeze and extremely strong current.  On Saturday morning, the breeze started out at 8-12 knots coming down the river from the North but quickly died to around 6-8. As the breeze died, the strong outgoing current became more and more of a factor, eventually leading to a one-track racecourse. By the second half of the day, the only way to be successful was to get off the line at the pin end and sail all the way to the left corner, well past the normal port tack lay line, and approach the windward mark tight on port tack. If, for whatever reason, you were forced to the right side of the fleet, often due to a poor start or bad breeze, you were sailing in significantly more adverse current and were therefore making less progress up the racecourse. Though we quickly identified the formula to success, that didn’t make it any easier to execute. Good starts that set us up for a lane to the left led to strong finishes and poor starts or lane management that forced us to the right of the fleet led to us playing a game of catch-up.  Six races were completed in A division but only five races could be completed in B division as final race was abandoned due to the breeze becoming to light to make progress upwind against the current.
On Sunday, the sailors arrived to another light northerly and strong outgoing current. Only one race in each division was completed before the breeze again became too light to make progress against the current. A long onshore postponement ensued and just as it looked like there would be no more racing for the day, the breeze filled in from the south around 1:30. The Final A division race and two final B division races were sailed in an 8 knot southerly, the best breeze of the weekend. Ultimately, the Rams finished in 16th place, just behind a number of their fellow MAISA teams.
Though we did not publish a regatta report, I also want to update you on the results of the coed team from a couple weekends ago. On the weekend of October 28-29, the Rams competed in the War Memorial regatta hosted by Hobart and William Smith. Sailing for the Rams in A division we had Eduardo Mintzias ’21 skippering with Lauren Holderman ’18, Matt Cappetta ’19, and William Dumke ’20 crewing. In B division we had Roberto Stevens ’19 and Matt Cappetta ’19 skippering, with Declan Lombard ’21, Cortney Rielly ’20, and Annika Ekholm ’20 crewing.
Over the course of the weekend, we saw a little bit of every condition HWS can offer. On Saturday morning, Seneca Lake provided by far the most wind we have seen this season and some truly epic conditions, with a sustained 20-25 knot breeze, gusts in the low 30s, and rolling waves from the 38 mile southerly fetch. In the afternoon the breeze died to around 10-12 and shifted to the west, creating a shifty breeze from over the large hill that borders the lake and an off-center chop with the waves still rushing in from the south. On Sunday the breeze was from the north-northwest and provided a shifty breeze with flat water. The Rams had streaks of greatness and spent most of the regatta in the hunt for one of the top 8 qualifying spots but ultimately fell short at the end, finishing 10th overall.

Be on the lookout for an end of season wrap-up to follow shortly.


Johnny Norfleet
Head Coach
3  The Fordham Forums / Fordham Sailing / Weekend Regatta Report: Rams Qualify for Women's ACCs on: October 26, 2017, 02:50:27 pm
Dear Fellow Rams and Friends,

This weekend the Rams sent twenty sailors to compete in three regattas. The premier event of the weekend was the MAISA Women’s Conference Championship hosted by NY Maritime. The Rams also sent a team to the Sherman Hoyt Trophy at Brown and three teams to compete in the King’s Point Dinghy Open.

Never in my memory has a fall season been so plagued by light wind weekends. Nearly every regatta this season has been afflicted with significant delays or whole days of no sailing. While this has certainly given the team many opportunities to practice racing in challenging, light wind conditions, it also means regattas with fewer races and therefore less data on which to identify the best teams. This can be scary as we approach the end of the season and the beginning of our championship events where qualifying spots are on the line and fewer races can mean more volatility in scores and more uncertainty.

Something we talk about from time to time with the team is the ironic fact that the time you are most likely to be forced to race in marginal un-sailable conditions is at the most important events of the year. In the early season events, there is very little pressure on the host teams to get in races so they typically don’t force races in such conditions; however, at the championship events, there is immense pressure on the host schools to complete enough races to constitute a regatta and then as many races after, so you are significantly more likely to race in borderline un-sailable conditions.

MAISA Women’s Fall Dinghy Championship

Competing for the Rams at the MAISA Women’s Championship were Grace Howie ’20 and Elizabeth Hupp ’21 in A division and Charlotte LeClue ’19 with Gabi Mascio ’18 in B division. The team arrived at NY Maritime with not a breath of wind on the East River and quickly entered what would be a long postponement ashore. At around 2:00, a light westerly filled and the teams hit the water. They were able to complete one A division race in a light/shifty breeze and significant upwind current. The breeze quickly died and the teams waited on the water until around 4:00 when the sea breeze finally filled. Though the light was dwindling, the East River provided two hours of spectacular sailing conditions with 8-10 knots with slack current and the RC was able to compete three races in each division to constitute a regatta. It ultimately ended up being important that we were able to complete an official regatta on Saturday evening as we arrived on Sunday to another day of no wind on the river. For much of the day it looked as though the regatta would end with only three races in each division; however, the sea breeze filled around 1:00 and the teams hit the water in an attempt to get as many races as possible before the 3:00 deadline. After one abandonment due to drifting marks, it became clear that there was only time for one race in each division.  The regatta ended with only four races in each division but the Rams were able to post some consistent scores to finish in 5th place, only 9 points out of 1st. This finish qualifies our team for the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship at Connecticut College on November 11/12.

King’s Point Dinghy Open

Just across the Throgs Neck Bridge, The Rams had three teams competing in the KPDO hosted by King’s Point. Below are the rosters for each of the teams.

Fordham Rams #1
A: Thomas Cooper ’19/Paige Hoffman ‘21
B: Matt Alfano ‘21/Emma Archard ‘18
Fordham Rams #2
A: Thomas Capozzi ‘19/Brigid Murphy ‘20
B: Eamonn Austin ‘19/Sarah Jackman ‘21
Fordham Rams # 3
A: Brad Seferian ‘19/Declan Lombard ‘21
B: Sam Johnsen ‘21/Jacqueline Tobin ‘20

The teams at KP faced much the same conditions as our team at NY maritime and spend much of Saturday in postponement. Unfortunately, the race committee made a decision to call racing for the day and send everyone home at 2:30, so the teams missed the opportunity to race in the breeze that filled just an hour and a half later. On Sunday, the teams again arrived to glassy conditions. Finally, at 1:00 the breeze filled, and due to having two fleets of boats on the water at the same time, the RC was able to cram in four races in each division before the 3:00 deadline.  The Rams finished in 9th, 12th and 14th place. Many thanks to the NY Maritime team who ferried all 12 of our sailors over by water, enabling us to sail multiple teams in the regatta this weekend.

Sherman Hoyt Trophy

Sailing for the Rams at the Hoyt were Roberto Stevens ’19 and Cortney Rielly ’20 in A division and Tucker Hersam ’20 with Makena Masterson ’19 in B division. The Hoyt is the last of the major competitive coed intersectionals before the NEISA and MAISA conferences hold their respective championships and qualifiers for the Atlantic Coast Championship. As such, it serves as an opportunity for many teams to send their best sailors out for one last tune-up regatta prior to the major fall season events. The event provided great breeze on Saturday and the ability to sail in two fleets of boats meant the RC was able to compete the maximum allowed 10 races in each division. On Sunday, the sailors arrived to no wind and were delayed on shore. The breeze finally filled around 1:00 and they were able to complete four more races in each division. The Rams finished in 17th. Many thanks to Anne Wachowicz ’15 for chaperoning and to the Masterson family for hosting the team this weekend.

This weekend the rams compete in the War Memorial Trophy hosted by Hobart and William Smith. This event serves at the Fall MAISA Coed Conference Championship and the top eight teams qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championship to be hosted by NY Maritime on November 11/12. Follow the scores at the link below


Johnny Norfleet
Head Coach
4  The Fordham Forums / Fordham Sailing / Weekend Regatta Report: Rams compete at Dartmouth and Navy and win Coho Memorial on: October 18, 2017, 08:48:15 pm
Dear Fellow Rams and Friends,
This weekend the rams competed in three events up and down the eastern United States as far north as Dartmouth in Hanover, NH and as far south as the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, while also competing locally at Webb Institute in Glen Cove, NY.
At Dartmouth, the team competed in the three division Captain Hurst Regatta. Sailing for the rams were Roberto Stevens ’19 and Cortney Rielly ’20 in A division, Eduardo Mintzias ’21 and Will Dumke ’20 in B division, and Pep Costa ’21 with Lauren Holderman ’19 in C division. Once again, the team was plagued by light wind. Though many attempts were made, ultimately only one C division race was completed in marginal breeze all day Saturday, which left ample time for getting work done, catching up with friends, and enjoying the beautiful scenery on Lake Mascoma. On Sunday, the report time was pushed a half hour earlier to accommodate more races but the teams arrived to more of the same and it looked as though there might be no racing for the entire weekend. Luckily, the breeze quickly filled and the Dartmouth Race Committee was able to knock off a total of 26 races before 3:00 P.M. to end with 9 races in each division. The wind coming over the hills on the west side of the lake made for tricky sailing conditions and combined with the shortened regatta, made it difficult to develop a groove and maintain consistent scores throughout the day. Despite this, the rams sailed well, finishing in 12th overall.
At Navy, the team competed in the four division Captain Hurst Regatta. Sailing for the rams were Matt Cappetta ’19 and Annika Ekholm ’20 in A division, Tucker Hersam ’20 and Declan Lombard ’21 in B division, Thomas Cooper ’19 sailing the Laser Full-Rig in C division, and Brad Seferian ’19 sailing the Laser Radial in D division. Light wind and choppy conditions made for difficult racing on Saturday with only four races in each division. The breeze cooperated slightly better on Sunday and allowed for 9 races to be completed in each division for a total of 13 races. The rams posted some strong finishes in each division but ultimately ended the regatta in 18th place. A big thanks to Joe Lombard and Cliona O’Callaghan, parents of Declan, for hosting the team over the weekend and to Addy Ferguson ’17 for chaperoning.
Finally, a group of upperclassmen skippers and underclassmen crews traveled to Long Island to compete in the Coho Memorial hosted by Webb. Sailing for Fordham was Thomas Capozzi ’19 and Brigid Murphy ’20 in A division and Eamonn Austin ’19 with Sarah Jackman ’21 in B division. The Rams dominated the regatta from start to finish, and despite having to overcome a DSQ, won the regatta by 18 points. A huge congrats to the team and to Eamonn and Sarah who put up straight 1st place finishes to picket fence the regatta.
This weekend the rams will be competing in the MAISA Fall Women’s Championship at NY Maritime, the King’s Point Dinghy Open at KP, and the Hoyt Trophy at Brown. This is the first of three upcoming championship weekends and the top seven teams at the Women’s champs move on to compete at the Women’s ACCs at Connecticut College in November.

Johnny Norfleet
Head Coach
5  The Fordham Forums / Fordham Sailing / Weekend Regatta Report: Rams Compete in Moody Trophy and Jen Harris Regatta on: October 10, 2017, 02:41:40 pm
Dear Fellow Rams and Friends,

This weekend the rams competed in two regattas, The Moody Trophy hosted by URI and The Jen Harris Navy Fall Women’s Regatta, recently renamed in memory of a 2000 USNA graduate.

Sailing for Fordham at the Jen Harris Memorial were Grace Howie ’20 and Elizabeth Hupp ’21 in A division, Charlotte LeClue ’19 and Gabi Mascio ’18 in B division, and Annika Ekholm dutifully taking on the role of C division Laser sailor.  This event was the first true women’s regatta our ladies have sailed this semester as we have had the opportunity to field a women’s team in two previous coed events. The Navy Women’s regatta is always a difficult event and provides an opportunity for our girls to practice against the best women’s teams on the east coast as we prepare for our conference championship in two weeks. In addition to a competitive field, Annapolis provided challenging sailing conditions. Outgoing current opposing the breeze created significant chop, which was amplified by the boat traffic from the Annapolis Boat Show. This put a premium on clean starts and strong boat-speed through a challenging sea state and made it difficult to recover from mistakes. Despite the challenging conditions, the girls finished strong to take 12th place overall with solid finishes in both double-handed divisions. Many thanks to the Hupp family who generously offered up their house to the team despite being out of the country.

Sailing for Fordham at the Moody Trophy were Eduardo Mintzias ’21 and Will Dumke ’20 in A division with Brad Seferian ’19 and Lauren Holderman ’18 in B division. The Moody is one of a kind in terms of the logistics surrounding the event. Due to the location of their sailing facility, the URI team must sail or tow their boats roughly 30 minutes out in order to get to an adequate sailing area, both for practice and regattas. As such, it is not practical to run rotations from their sailing center docks, which is otherwise the norm at college regattas. In order to circumvent this, they stage rotations from a tiny uninhabited island near their racing area. It has no shelter, no bathrooms, barely any clear beach space, and is therefore aptly dubbed “Survivor Island” by competitors who have been to the event. In addition to the unique rotation conditions, the rams faced difficult sailing conditions with upwind current, which made for a challenging starting line and many OCS starts. Despite this and a short regatta, which never gave the team time to get their legs under them, the Rams finished in a strong 8th place overall. Many thanks to Connor Godfrey ’16 for chaperoning the team this weekend and to the Capozzi family for generously hosting the team.

This weekend the rams are competing at the Truxton Umsted Regatta at Navy, the Captain Hurst at Dartmouth, and the Coho Memorial at Webb. Our top coed sailors will be spread across the combined seven divisions at the Hurst and Truxt, both of which are elite level intersectional regattas. This marks the last year that Navy will host regattas with C or D division laser fleets and we intend to make the most of it!


Johnny Norfleet
Head Coach

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