Tulane sailing finds winds of change in spring season opener

Carrigan English, Training Chair

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Tulane’s newest varsity sport began its first spring season this past weekend in Austin, Texas by participating in the South Eastern Intercollegiate Sailing Association Open. Though the team experienced struggles throughout its fall debut, the Green Wave sailors now seem to be finding their groove after taking second place.

The team came into the meet hoping to familiarize itself with new waters before it returns in April for the Women’s Conference Championship. In the SIESA Open itself, the Green Wave competed against 11 opposing boats from seven different schools.

Both Tulane’s division A and B teams, however, could not be stopped as its fleet gained four first-place victories out of its six races. Falling only to the University of Texas, the Green Wave sailing team made a name for itself throughout the SIESA.

Sophomore skipper Katherine Byrnes and freshman crew Grace Siwicki swiftly took first place in the first of their two Division A races, starting the competition and the season with a bang. Fortunately, the tides did not turn for the Green Wave as Siwicki took the skipper position with senior crew Sophie Ricker to finish the remaining races of the competition.

Ricker also aided junior Brinton Hoover in the first two Division B races before allowing  sophomore skipper/crew Alanna Austin to take over for the remaining four. The combination of Austin and Hoover led the Division B to second place at the conclusion of the six races.

This level of flexibility and adaptability allowed the Green Wave to finish in the top three spots in all but one of its attempted races, sending a wave of confidence through each of the young sailors. The Green Wave will take a three-week break before hosting the Nelson Roltsch Regatta, which takes place Feb. 16-17 on Lake Pontratrain. Tulane will host two more competitions on the massive lake, concluding with the SIESTA Team Race and Co-Ed Conference Championships, held Apr. 20-21.