Sailor of the Week: Oct. 8-14
The Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association (MCSA) had their Singlehanded Championships on Oct. 10-11 at the South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee, Wisc. Each regional qualifier sends their top finishing sailors to the National Championships. Those who have sailed at the collegiate level know how competitive it is. So much is on the line, while representing themselves as individual sailors, they are also competing on behalf of their team and their school.
However, the competitive nature of the MCSA Singlehanded Regionals last weekend did not jeopardize the sport of sailing’s Corinthian spirit and sportsmanship that was on display. In the women’s division, Michigan State’s Lauren-Alyssa Knoles was leading by a narrow margin on the final day of racing when disaster struck. Lauren’s mast broke at the rivet, and it appeared that not only would she not win, but her shot at qualifying for nationals had evaporated immediately. In a state of shock, Lauren was approached by Wisconsin sailor, Megan Six, who gave Lauren her boat to finish the race with since she was ahead and on track to qualify. Lauren graciously accepted and Megan towed in Lauren’s broken down Laser Radial. Lauren did not win the championship, but more importantly, she qualified for nationals.
“She was the only reason I qualified,” said Lauren. “Had she not given up her own boat, I would be sitting out the rest of the day.”
“I gave up my boat because I wanted to make sure that our best sailors could go to nationals and represent the Midwest,” explained Megan. “I hope that someone would do the same for me.”
Megan (Fontana, Wis.) began sailing when she was 11-years-old in a Pram. She took summer sessions at the Geneva Lake Sailing School in Fontana, where she has taught lessons for the last five years. Megan’s love for racing motivated her to help start a sailing team at her high school.
Megan is now a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, which is hosting the ICSA National Championships. “I’m really excited about having this event on the team’s home lake,” she added. “We’ve been working really hard planning, organizing, and fundraising for the regatta.”