Sailing Places in Top Ten of Great Lakes


L. Ramirez

Senior Yago Echevarria-Robinson, and Junior Natalia Bretones, trying to gain speed mid racing at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Yago Echevarria, Writer

As the fall sports season winds up, Loyola sailing club competed in the Great Lakes sailing championships.

The Great Lakes championship is the top tier fall sailing championship in the Midwest. Only the top 20 teams from the Midwest make it, coming from as far east as Ohio and as far west as Minnesota. Loyola Academy placed 3rd at the qualifier regatta in October to be able to make it to the Great Lakes Championships.

The event was hosted at Chicago Yacht Club Monroe station last weekend. The Yacht club is enclosed by a cement break wall meaning that there were no waves in the racing area. This contrasts the conditions of the qualifier where Loyola did well in extremely heavy waves and heavy wind.

The team started the first day with 12 total races. The conditions were difficult with a packed starting line and shifty wind.

“It was really hard to get in phase,” said sophomore James Sohigian talking about the shifting. “You could be in the lead for the first half of the race, then miscalculate a wind shift and half the fleet has passed you in one minute.”

The shifting winds cause advantages and disadvantages for sailors on the course. Over the weekend Loyola used the shifty wind to their advantage on the first day. The second day Loyola raced 14 total races with the same windy, flat, and shifty conditions.

Senior Lexi Chigas complained about the slow race committee saying that “if they’d run more races we most likely could have done better, but they were slow and could have definitely run more races.”

Chigas cites the fact that Loyola this season has an upward sloping curve when it comes to regatta scores, where they start off slow and improve the more time they have on the water.

In the end Loyola finished off with a 12th place in A fleet, a 5th place in B fleet and a combined score of 7th overall. With the top teams in the Midwest all attending, this means that Loyola is one of the top sailing teams in the Midwest.

Although this is the last regatta of the fall season, this puts Loyola in a good position for the spring season with nationals. Having to race all these teams again, Loyola will now most likely be somewhere in the top 10 next spring where they will have the opportunity to qualify for nationals with a score of top 8 or above.