Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chix Only Team Race

On the college scene as team racing and women's fleet racing has been developing in recent years, one frontier has yet to be seen. The hybrid of these two college specialties, women's team racing, has yet to be widely seen.

In the four years I was a part of college sailing, I saw a big shift in perception of women skippers in team racing. My freshman year, it was rare for women skippers to be able to hold their own with the coed team racers. With a few exceptions, the best women's skippers weren't expected to hold their own in team racing. On my own team the coed division was less than inviting to make women's skippers good team racers and on top of that women skippers were needed during the spring to fleet race at women's events. Thus it is nearly impossible to sail both the women's and team race circuit.

However by 2011 both Annie Haegar and Megan Magill, the winner and close runner up for Woman's College Sailor of the Year were doing exactly that. Holding down the fort of their woman's team and being one of the three central team race skippers- they managed to walk the line. With both Boston College and St. Mary's relying on their girl skippers for team racing, there was a noticeable change in the way college sailors talked. Before it was the exception to use a girl skipper as a part of the "team race team" but by this spring it became a normalcy. No one could question whether girls could team race- as the leading teams were proving differently.

The Chix Only Team Race is a necessary event for more girls looking to compete on the high school or college circuit to consider team racing. With plenty of young team racers, the Chix Only gives a chance for girls to at least test out if they're interested in team racing. With the enthusiasm and attitude of Liz Powers at the lead, the Chix Only Team Race has grown exponentially to 60 competitors. Team racing for women is on the rise, and the Chix Only Team Race is an event enabling more girls to get valuable experience. The numbers speak for themselves, and hopefully the Chix Only Team Race will continue to grow.


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