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Breaking Ice the Sailing Way: A Weekend on St. Joe’s

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

Amidst a multitude of random play school stickers, empty cream cheese tubs, and some freezing cold fingers and toes, the Freshman Icebreaker 2014 was well under way this weekend on St. Joe’s lake. Being named “Regatta of the Year” in 2013, expectations were high for Notre Dame’s only home-based regatta.

At this regatta, the first regatta of the 2014 Midwest Collegiate Sailing Association spring season, competitors were ready to sail. Most of the teams came to South Bend for the weekend sailed against Notre Dame in prior regattas and arrived to find friends on competing teams. While returning sailors showed excitement for another round of the legendary regatta that is the “Freshmen Icebreaker,” freshmen sailors arrived looking forward to their first collegiate sailing race.

Intuitive to its name, the Freshman Icebreaker Regatta only allows first-year sailors to compete.  However, upperclassmen and experienced sailors from all the teams joined their first-years for the festivities of the weekend.

Six university teams participated in this year’s regatta: the Fighting Irish, the Wolverines, the Broncos, the Buckeyes, the Rockets, and the Lakers. These teams all took to St. Joe’s lake early Saturday morning. 7 a.m. wake-up calls and a plethora of Studebagel prepared the sailors to race the shifty waters of St. Joe’s Lake. Once the boats were rigged and ready to go, skippers and crews rotated in and out for some varied and excellent sailing. Sailing through A and B rotations starting with race 1A, Saturday’s sailing went through 8B, starting with 9A on Sunday morning.

Notre Dame had over 30 freshman participate with new skippers Michael Hull, Katie Schneeberger, Conor Bradley, Patty Morrow, Bizzy Berg, Benny Richmond, Gabby Yelton, and Sarah Devitt. Despite intense competition, vice captain Michael Hull was able to pull off an impressive first place finish during the seventh race. 

As a member of Saturday’s “crash boat” and Sunday’s race committee, I had a fantastic, freezing time watching all the sailors take on St. Joe’s without fear. While shifty winds caused changes to the race course, below-freezing temperatures required waterproof gloves. However, between meeting new sailors from other universities and the overall camaraderie of the sailing crowd through the weekend, the regatta was a great time for all.

The freshmen survived their Icebreaker regatta with no capsizes or protests, and former Icebreaker participants soaked up the mix of sun and snow as spectators, surrounded by great company and new friends.

The Western Michigan Broncos took home the homemade-first place burgee trophy with 62 points, with Ohio State in second, and Toledo in third. The Irish came in fourth place, with it’s second team in eighth. All in all, the regatta was a great success and the Notre Dame freshman learned of the tough competition they will sail against for the next four years.

The full score results from the 2014 Freshman Icebreaker can be found by clicking on the link below.


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Photos provided by the author

Hannah Drinkall is a Saint Mary’s College contributor to Her Campus Notre Dame.

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Hannah Drinkall

Saint Mary's

Hannah graduated Saint Mary's College (May 2016) with a major in Communication Studies & a minor in Public Relations & Advertising. She was the Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Saint Mary's, which she co-founded in December 2013. She's from Florida, and she is now working in New York City with New York Times best selling author, Adriana Trigiani. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter, @hannahdrinkall!