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Learning the Ropes

(Athletics, Class of 2019) Permanent link   All Posts
Deborah King

At the Academy, it is often said that the days drag on but weeks fly by. I would beg to differ. It really should be that the days fly by but the weeks go by even faster. I cannot believe that it is already October and it’s been seven weeks since the conclusion of Swab Summer. In this short period so much has happened: Parents’ Weekend, the Merchant Marine game, and Labor Day. Sometimes I wonder how I can even keep up! School has been hard but that was to be expected.

One of the biggest events for me was my first real regatta. Early in September, we did a scrimmage regatta, which was really fun. It was nothing like the real thing. We went to the Annual Off Soundings Regatta, a race from New London to Rhode Island along the sound. I was on the Seahawk, one of our L-44s. What made it really cool was that our team was made up of all 4/c (freshmen) and a mentor. On the team, I operate in the pit, which means I work with a lot of the lines and halyards. I guess you could say (pun intended) that I am learning the ropes. My secondary job is to read wind patterns for the boat and call out waves. It’s great – I think I learned more about the weather and currents in the five hours of sailing than I have in a classroom.

This regatta was a great experience. First, I got to learn how a race really works, which is way different than practice. I also got to bond with my teammates. You could see that by the end of the race, we were working together better than we were before the race. Finally, I got to get firsthand knowledge on meteorology. It was an awesome time, and I can’t wait until the next regatta.