Rose Bowl

Five unique events not to miss in your college sailing career

The collegiate sailing calendar is a bounty of opportunities for fancy-free 18 – to 22 – year – olds to hit the road and enjoy the best years of their lives sailing and socializing. Sure, everyone wants to go to the flashy championship regattas, but the college sailing experience isnall about qualifying to compete for the big titles. In fact, its as much, if not more, about other distinctive annual events, especially those with offbeat appeal. These events embody the fun in college sailing, and the berths are highly sought after. It doesn t hurt that some of them are in great locations.

Rose Bowl

What: The California mashup

When: Winter break

Jay Golison, of Cal State University Long Beach, first hosted the Rose Bowl regatta on Alamitos Bay one New Years Day weekend in the early 1980s. However it wasncalled the Rose Bowl then, it was the Hangover Bowl. In 1985, Mike Segerblom, a friend of Golisonand the captain of the University of Southern California sailing team, began helping with the event and USC became a cohost. While it started life as a gathering for teams from local universities and colleges, it quickly attracted a broader following as collegiate teams across the nation caught wind of an event in the middle of winter in Southern California.

The problem for these far-flung teams, however, was convincing their administrations they needed funding to attend an event over Christmas vacation called the Hangover Bowl. Following the lead of a few other regattas that had already borrowed their names from famous football games —the Orange Bowl and the Sugar Bowl —the Hangover Bowl was rebranded the Rose Bowl Regatta.

In the early 1990s, Tim Hogan, president of the Interscholastic Sailing Association, got together with Segerblom, whomoved up to head coach at USC and liaison to the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference, and the two decided to add a high school fleet to the regatta.

The Rose Bowl is now the largest combined collegiate and high school regatta in the nation. As many as 30 collegiate teams and 60 high school teams —more than 300 sailors —compete in this event. Therea collegiate gold fleet and two high school fleets, a gold and silver.

Combining high school and college teams at the same event presents an opportunity for college coaches and sailors to speak with prospective West Coast students and, in turn, for the high school students and their families to learn about specific collegiate teams. are two fleets gathered on Belmont Pier and everyone is talking to everyone,”says Hogan.

Families of high school sailors have another opportunity to hear about college sailing at the dinner on Saturday night. A college forum takes place where representatives from each college sailing in the regatta team stand up and speak about what is going on at their school and in their sailing program.

For collegiate sailors from outside the PCCSC, the opportunity to compete in the Rose Bowl regatta is special. almost too typical of what youexpect of sailing in southern California,”says Meredith Nordhem, a Chicago native who attended St. MaryCollege in Maryland. right on the beach, thereflat water, light air, short courses, relaxed start times, launching and rotating right off  the shore. Itthis sort of day at the beach meets sailing atmosphere.”

Nordhem also notes that, along with the ideal locale and fantastic racing, breakfast burritos at the Alamitos Bay YC are as good as everyone brags about.”

The Rose Bowl is held at a beautiful venue with excellent hosts and event management. It is a large regatta by collegiate standards and poses a great opportunity to mix and mingle with a variety of sailors from different schools and ages. Add it to the list of cult regattas that are a lot of fun and have great roots but are special in that not everyone will check it off their college sailing bucket list before they graduate.

Rose BowlSt. MaryTeam Race

What: Serious training

When: Spring break

St. MaryCollege of Maryland has one of the best sailing venues in the country: a shiny new boathouse, clean water, quality boats, and fairly mild weather. The St. MaryTeam Race is held annually in March and falls around spring break.

If this regatta were a wedding, it would be a destination wedding. This team race intersectional gathers teams from all over the nation. Many will choose to add on a few days of practice before or after the event. The Tufts University squad sets up camp on the St. Marycampus for their annual spring break trip at this time, which adds an element of amusement.

Geiger Trophy

What: Spring frolick

When: April/May

The Geiger Trophy is an exclusive one – day event that usually only includes a handful of New England schools, hosted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to the host school, Harvard, Tufts, Boston College, Boston University, Brown, and Roger Williams are the schools most likely to be spotted at this regatta.

The exclusivity of the event is due to its unique format. While most collegiate regattas involve two divisions, the Geiger Trophy has five: two divisions of Tech Dinghies (single and doublehanded), Rhodes 19s or Cat Boats, 420s, and CJs. This year MIT is likely to also work into the mix its new fleet of Fireflies.

All teams are required to show up in a themed costume and there are repercussions if the rule is not taken seriously. racecourses are the norm,”says MIT coach Matt Lindblad. These may include races with a downwind start, a race to the Museum of Science, and a race around the islands at nearby Community Boating.

The event is typically one of the last regattas on the New England spring schedule and is the last chance for some seniors to race in a collegiate event. is a relaxed and fun event,”says Lindblad.

Moody Trophy

What: Survivor Island

When: October

The Moody Trophy, which is hosted each fall by the University of Rhode Island, is about pairing great competition with old-fashioned fun. The team takes over an island in the middle of Point Judith Pond, and uses it as the base of operations for the event.

move porta – johns and a dock to the island and it becomes an island of college sailing,”says URI head coach Nick Ewenson. Teams bring tents, chairs, and coolers and will build a fire if itcold. A little foraging isnout of the question either. At the 2011 regatta, Ewenson and others dined on clams that had been harvested from the pond and cooked over a fire. It has been dubbed Island.”

The URI Team works hard to pull it all together —ever try to move a portable toilet? —and the result is a weekend of racing and team bonding. top – tier college sailors in New England sail in the event at some point,”says Ewenson. a right of passage.”

Rainbow Invitational

What: Aloha sailing

When: Spring break

The Peter ”Wenner Jr. Rainbow Invitational is in Hawaii. Need we say more? The University of Hawaii Sailing Team hosts this regatta —college sailingonly tropical intersectional —in CJs at their venue in Keehi Lagoon. The regatta was originally named the Rainbow Invitational, but was recently renamed to honor Wenner, a beloved University of Hawaii Sailing Team member who died in a boating accident in 2008.

event is a chance for Hawaii to host a great event, sail against teams from within and outside our district, and show everyone just what we are up to on the island,”says Molly Vandemoer, an alumna of the Hawaii Sailing Team. Getting to this event often requires some special fundraising, but the beautiful weather and sailing conditions are ample reward for the extra effort.

strive to make it the most fun regatta of the year,”says Andy Johnson, Hawaiihead coach. At the barbeque during the 2011 event, Peter Wenner Sr. cooked for nearly 120 people. Another surprise guest was a team from Japan. had a blast,”says Johnson,want to come back next year.”

Generally the only thing that can mar the normally fabulous racing conditions is too much breeze. But that just gives the sailors a chance to hit the beach.