From May 28 to June 3, the University of Wisconsin at Madison will host the 2010 ICSA Spring Nationals, college sailing's pinnacle regatta. Over the course of 10 days, Lake Mendota will see fierce competition in three back-to-back events: women's racing, team racing and the collegiate co-ed championships.
400 sailors on 59 teams from 18 schools will participate, with hundreds more spectators looking on. To qualify for the regatta, each team had to place at its district championships, held on the East and West coasts.
"This is the first time the ICSA Nationals have been in Wisconsin in 16 years," said Midwest College Sailing Association commodore Margaux Stutz. "We are excited to get to show off Lake Mendota and the great sailing we've got here in Madison."
Hosting the banner event will be no small task, and Wisconsin is the only club team to ever host an ICSA Nationals. Leading up to the event, the Wisconsin Sailing Team, working in cooperation with the University’s Hoofer Sailing Club and the Wisconsin Union, had to raise $40,000 to fund it. Terry Kohler, the CEO of North Sails, also pitched in with a donation of 12 new sets of 420 sails. Thus far, the team has raised $33,000 in donations and are accepting more here.
"We've been incredibly lucky to receive financial support from organizations like North Sails," said Stutz. "As a student-run club sport, we don't have the financial backing of some schools, so putting the event together was hugely challenging."
SAIL will be covering the event live from Madison, so be sure to check back in for more results and photos.