Sailing glides to first-place finish at Iowa regatta

The Minnesota sail racing team sailed to a convincing, 13-point win at the Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association’s regional tournament last weekend.
Sixteen races (eight in division A, eight in division B) were held using the University of Iowa Flying Junior Dinghies at Lake McBride outside Iowa City.
The Division-B team, helmed by Tim Krech and Angie Ostbye, were new to college co-ed races but their 1-3 finishes in the first round helped the team to 14 points and a division win.
Minnesota’s Division-A team was a step behind second place with its total of 22 points. The combined A and B team total of 36 points gave the Gophers a 13-point win over second-place Purdue. Wisconsin finished third with 56 points.
The sailing team won the region last year and defended its title using a completely different team. Division-A helmsman Paul Kobs and Lyndsie Hakala sailed to a dramatic win in the second race, going from last to first with the slowest boat in the regatta.
“We knew our boat and sails for the first rotation were bad so we really had to concentrate and take advantage of the others’ mistakes for race two,” Kobs said.
Hakala saw most of the boats headed towards the wrong mark in the second race, so the team changed course, caught a win shift and won the race. Purdue, which won the first race, finished last in the second race.
“The first two races in A were a huge confidence builder,” coach Gordy Bowers said.
The team’s solid performance at the region may signal a big day at next spring’s national championships.
“Winning the area West with a completely new team … will really put the U of M sail racing team on the intercollegiate sailing map,” Bowers said.

— Submitted by Laura Ferdinandsen of the Minnesota sail racing team.