Truss constructed using straws sustains high load.
As I sit here on the plane heading back to Boston I have some time to reflect on the sailing I have done over this winter break. After the conclusion of the fall academic semester I packed my bags, picked up my trailer, and began the long drive down to Florida. On the trailer sat both the F18 and Nacra dealer Todd Riccardi’s Carbon 20 FCS, the 20 foot foiling catamaran on which I have the majority of my foiling experience. I arrived on Christmas Eve and during the afternoon of Christmas day headed down to the Sarasota Sailing Squadron to rig up the Nacra 20. I couldn’t wait to get out on this boat as every day on the foils is as exhilarating as last, if not more.
After a week of demo rides and practicing in all conditions, mixing distance and short course racing as well as straight line speed runs, it was time to pack up again and head down to Miami for the first M32 Winter Series event. I raced with team Escape Velocity on which my BU sailing coach is a member. Several days of boat prep and practice led up to the event and we were feeling quite happy with how we were doing in racing, but unfortunately disaster struck near the finish of the second race. A large front had pressed into the area earlier than expected and brought with it a very strong 20+ knot breeze. As we made our final approach to the mark before the last reaching leg a huge gust came down and both our and another team's masts broke. This brought an early end to our weekend, but allowed me to reassemble the Nacra 20 at Miami Yacht Club and head home early. Time on the water practicing is always beneficial and the days leading up to the regatta as well as the racing taught me more about how the M32 sails and how tactics change in this type of fleet.
Photos taken by M32 North America
I spent my last week in Florida coaching a young sailor from my former club, Sarasota Youth Sailing. He is new to the Sarasota multihull program and I took him under my wing for the week, coaching him in the F16. We ended the week by racing in a local multihull regatta, the 1st Annual Bluster on the Bay, and after 3 days of racing he had improved tremendously. It is great seeing how my Alma mater sailing program is continuing to thrive and how the younger generation of multihull sailors loves going fast as much as I do.
Now that I am returning to school my focus will shift back to my studies as I am taking my first classes in the Aerospace concentration. Balancing schoolwork will be tough, but I’m always up for the challenge.
I have made a few updates to my social media.
My biggest focus in sailing right now is raising funds for a MK2 Nacra 17. I intend to sell the Viper F16 and possibly the C2 F18 in order to afford this, but would also like to raise funds through sponsorships and donations.
Stay tuned for more!
After competing in the Hinman and a week of pre-season training with the BU sailing team in Newport the school semester began. Back to 8am classes, practice on the Charles, and late nights in the gym and hitting the books, all things that are necessary and that I enjoy. Our first college regatta came earlier than years past landing on the first official weekend of the season and we were off traveling.
Early in the college sailing season I chose to take a break from the slower boats raced regularly on the weekend in order to travel to San Francisco There, I raced with team 13Fifty on the M32 for the Rolex Big Boat Series. We used this event to practice our large catamaran skills in preparation for our Red Bull Youth America's Cup evaluation. SF delivered powerful conditions like we expected, but we knew how to handle them and were confident in our abilities. The format for this event was different than I was used to. There were one or two races in the mixed catamaran fleet a day, which were longer and spanned the entire bay, taking over an hour to complete. Sailing in a mixed fleet was both positive and negative. It was positive in the sense that we started on the same line as another M32, an Extreme 40, and a MOD 70 trimaran, but negative in that we had to wait a long time for the slower catamarans to finish before we could start our next race. The event was moving along smoothly until the start of the second race when conditions really began to build up. Unfortunately our mast came down shortly after the starting gun went off and put an early end to our regatta. The same mast failure occurred with the other M32 later on in the same race, causing many sailors to leave the boat park less that satisfied.
On a more positive note, the remainder of the college sailing season went very well. I ended the season placing 4th in A-division at the Fall New England Championship and our women's team placed a solid 5th place in their Atlantic Coast Championship. At the beginning of this semester I was worried about how we would perform as we lost a large and talented senior class. However, we rose up to the challenge and I am very proud of our team's success. College sailing is a team effort and it takes hard work from every sailor to push each other in practice and bring out great results in regattas.
Following the conclusion of the college sailing for the semester I shifted my focus to the Red Bull Youth America's Cup. I am working with team 13Fifty in this campaign and our next step towards making this happen was to have our skills evaluated while sailing a GC32. We traveled to the base of Groupama Team France in Brest, France where we met with Hans-Peter Steinacher, one of the founders of the RBYAC. My teammates and I have written many articles on our experience during each day and I will list these at the end of this post. Mine is also linked here. As a whole this was an amazing experience both on and off the water and opened so many doors into new future sailing opportunities. We even got to practice next to the Groupama AC45 turbo!
We were also able to see some spectacular sights while in France including Mont St-Michel, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. We spent a little over 12 hours in Paris enjoying delicious pastries and chocolates before heading home.
The amount of sailing I have done since summer surpasses all other semesters of school so far, and along with this comes many lessons learned. I missed a substantial amount of class for sailing opportunities and as a result, I have learned how to balance traveling with academics. I have also begun taking more specialized engineering classes and I applied their concepts while sailing the GC32 and learning to efficiently foil. Now that I can combine my studies and passion I look forward to attending each class more and more. I am entering this winter and spring ready to embrace new challenges with academics, college sailing, the RBYAC, and anything else I choose to take on.
My new Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/raviparent/
Links to all articles from trip to France
Below is my full recap of our trip to Best:
|Arc de Triomphe|
|Paris at night|
Summer of 2016 is coming down to its final weeks and it has been a blast so far. It began with post season practice with my college sailing team. We spent the two weeks leading up to the ICSA National Championship practicing out on Boston Harbor with the Tufts team. After we brought the boats back onto the river we made one final trip down to Roger Williams University for a joint practice with several other schools.
|Mark rounding at ICSA Nationals.|
Nationals was definitely one of the most difficult regattas I have ever sailed in. The morning of each day of racing brought a light southerly wind that soon died and filled into the steady westerly San Diego is known for. These reliable sailing conditions and tough competition brought top level racing to the semifinals and final championship. I raced in the A-Division and at the end of the semifinals the BUDS finished 11th in A, 6th in B, and 8th overall. By the end of the finals we finished strong especially in the B-Division and placed 15th in A, 4th in B, and 8th overall. Several of our teammates received All-American awards later in the summer, which show they exemplify the true spirit of collegiate competition as well as high performance on the water.
After racing finished in California I returned to my home in Florida for a week before driving back to Boston with the F18 in tow. Once back up North I began practicing in the carbon Nacra 20 FCS, M32 (Marstrom 32), and F18. I have since joined 13Fifty Racing in their campaign for the American spot at the 2017 Red Bull Youth America's Cup. In order to prepare ourselves for this competition we have practiced in the FCS in order to get used to foiling and high speeds in a catamaran. The FCS is a 20 foot, all carbon catamaran with curved J-shaped main foils and long T-shaped rudders that lift the boat completely out of the water while sailing, greatly reducing friction between the boat and the water and raising the top speed the boat can achieve. It is not uncommon to average 25kts while sailing downwind with the spinnaker hoisted and exceeding 30kts on a run with just the main and jib. I have become quite comfortable sailing this boat on the foils and will use this experience to help my teammates progress.
The M32 has provided an excellent training platform for teams preparing for the Youth America's Cup. These boats are 32 feet long, approximately 18 feet wide, close to 1000lbs, fully carbon fiber, and are sailed with only a mainsail, furling gennaker, and 4-5 crew. They are also the same boats currently used on the World Match Racing Tour. We have used the M32 to work out team dynamics, try out new sailors, build endurance and strength outside the gym, and learn new tactics. The courses we sail during M32 regattas are nearly the same as those used in the America's Cup, allowing us to learn how to handle these unique tactical situations in a big fleet of catamarans. Reaching starts, upwind gates, and a revised set of sailing rules have made the racing all the more intense and fast paced.
|The Young Guns|
Next began a tour of the midwest and the first stop was Harbor Springs, Michigan where I intended to race on Escape Velocity, a privately owned M32 on which my BU coach sails. Unfortunately, during the practice day before the event I sprained my ankle and was not able to walk well for several days. This took me out of the racing, but even with only 4 crew members the Escape Velocity team sailed very well through the event. I spent that week on various support and mark boats, taking notes on both EV's and 13Fifty's performance. Since I couldn't sail I made the most of my time off the boat by learning from observing racing as well as sharing notes with my teammates to help them improve.
Following the Harbor Springs regatta I made a quick trip back to Boston in order to catch up with missed summer class work before heading to Wayzata, Minneapolis. At this venue I worked as part of 13Fifty Racing with the World Match Racing Tour to host a match racing expedition event on Lake Minnetonka. We assembled two M32s, attended several sponsor-hosted events, interviewed with local and regional news programs, took VIPs out for rides, spoke with junior sailors at the youth sailing center, and put on a show for the locals with eight match races. The goal of the event was to help set up a tour stop in Wayzata, beginning with a qualifying event, to bring more high performance racing to Lake Minnetonka, and to show younger sailors one pathway into professional sailing. The event was a huge success and I really enjoyed the time we spent there. The hospitality and support from the locals, sailors or non-mariners, made the event as fun as it was and I am looking for the next opportunity to return to the lake soon.
After missing nearly half of my classes this summer term I have to spend a week here in Boston to get caught up. Fortunately, I have kept up with the work and will finish strongly. Next weekend I will be competing in the US Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy with a group of Tufts sailors. This will be a very challenging event and will help prepare me for team racing in the Spring college sailing season. The following week the BUDS will be reuniting in Newport for preseason practice where we will focus on getting more open water experience in 420s. At the end of that week I will resume my college academic and sailing schedule, but will continue working with 13Fifty Racing in our challenge for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup.
The BU sailing team reached many successes this spring season and despite not qualifying for the Team Racing National Championship we did qualify for the Women's National Championship and the Co-ed National Championship. All three of these events will be held in San Diego and the Co-ed Championship will be raced in 2 parts: semi-finals from May 31-June 1 and the finals from June 2-3. In order to qualify for the Co-ed National Championship we had to place in the top 9 at our own New England Conference Championship which was raced at Dartmouth. With no racing on Saturday due to a lack of wind, we had to squeeze in four races in light conditions on Sunday and I placed 3rd in A division, helping our team reach a 2nd overall finish. We were rewarded for our hard work all season at the awards ceremony where our head coach Stan Schreyer was named NEISA coach of the year. We also had 2 members of our team named 2nd team all-NEISA crews and I was named a 2nd team all-NEISA skipper. These accomplishments show how our team is quickly rising through the ranks and becoming one of the strongest in college sailing.
|2nd team all-NEISA skippers|
In order to practice for the National Championships our team is spending two full weeks sailing out of Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop, MA. We towed our boats down the river and through the locks, rigged them at Courageous Sailing Center, and sailed them around Logan Airport to the club. Sailing out on the harbor provides us many training opportunities that could not be had on the river. We can spend much more time speed testing and fine tuning our boat settings to maximize speed and pointing ability as we have much more space to sail in a straight line. We can also practice judging laylines and making tactical decisions in current. Finally, and arguably the most significant point of all, we can sail in more consistent wind conditions. On the river we have large city obstructions causing large variations in wind direction, but out in the harbor we have a more consistent sea breeze and smoother land masses. The Tufts sailing team has joined our practices and this is very helpful as it allows us to sail all 18 boats and simulate real regatta conditions in a competitive fleet.
After Nationals I will be returning home to Florida for a short time before driving back North. I will be taking a summer class during the second session in order to stay on track with my degree and on weekends will be racing in the F18 circuit like last year. My goals for this summer include gaining more experience on foiling catamarans, Marstrom 32, and in kiteboarding. I will place links to the event page of the National Championships at the bottom of this post when they become available.
BU Sailing Team Facebook page
New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association Facebook page
Intercollegiate Sailing Association Facebook page
|Shot from the Tradwinds Regatta in January.|
During the sailing season I was able to practice 3 of our 4 scheduled days during the week and sailed a regatta every weekend, taking one Sunday off near the end of the season on a lighter competition weekend. Sailing this much has helped the entire team improve and this can be seen in our season's results. We earned top finishes and wins at many events including the Fall New England Championship at the Schell Trophy. This was a big accomplishment for us as it shows we have great potential for the Spring season and how our team is growing in strength. We may travel South to some regattas in February and March as the Charles River will most likely be frozen over and our next major event on our calendars is the Spring break trip to Miami where we spend a full week practicing on Biscayne Bay. This will be a very productive week for us as it was last year and will help us knock the rust off as we prepare for the next sailing season.
Balancing sailing and classes was tough like usual, but I made it work and ended the semester maintaining high grades. I am close to finishing the general engineering prerequisites and am excited to begin taking more specialized classes. In one of my classes this past semester I finally got into a shop to build parts and use machines, something I always love to do. As the classes get more interesting and specialized they will continue to get harder and creating the proper balance between sailing and school will become even more difficult, but this is a challenge I am always ready to tackle.
Now that I am back in Florida I have been sailing as much as I can and plan to do the Tradewinds Regatta again this year in Islamorada before school begins on the 19th. Below I have listed an ad for the F16 Viper that I have for sale. Please contact me if you know of anyone who would be interested in this boat.
F16 Viper for sale
|BU campus during summer.|
Now at the end of the summer I am focusing on training in the foiling catamarans before I head back to school to resume college sailing and classes. These boats are extremely fun and are among the fastest sailboats on the water, flying above it most of the time. The learning curve has been quite steep and initially there was a bit of a fear hurdle to overcome, but after a few more days on the boat and some building confidence it has become easier to push the boat harder and reach higher speeds. Crew work on this catamaran is different than others I have sailed in the past with tacking boards, constantly adjusting foil rake, and the rapid speed changes, but these challenges have elicited harder work and a much more rewarding sailing experience. Foiling is the future of high performance sailing and I am happy to be involved, I will be posting a video of sailing the foiling catamaran later this week.
I will be returning back to Boston soon and moving into my new housing accommodations. Classes this year will be more difficult, but I am ready to learn even more both in the classroom and on the water.
|View from the Statue Race.|
|Ronstan Rocket at Newport Regatta.|
|Weight training in Oyster Bay.|
|Foiling catamaran training.|