ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (March 27, 2019) – Early Saturday morning, under cover of darkness, six sleepy Tars left the Rollins campus, and the friendly confines of Lake Virginia, to travel southwest to Tampa Bay and the final SAISA South Division points-regatta of the spring.
On the line for the Tars was a post season slot in the SAISA conference championship. Coming into Saturday, the Tars perched in 7th place in SAISA's southern division. To qualify for the championship, they needed to leapfrog Florida State University or University of Miami and move up to 6th.
The day's racing was hosted by the University of South Florida Bulls on their home waters in St. Petersburg.
Early on, winds were light and competition was delayed for an hour in hopes of better conditions.
By 10:10, winds showed enough promise for the competitors to begin to make their way out past big Coast Guard cruisers to the basin where the day's racing would take place.
From the first starting horn, the regatta hinted at the flavor of a national event as Division A and Division B raced together in a swarm of twenty boats.
In nearly four hours of racing in shifty winds and mostly falling tide, the Tars battled at every chance. It was a promising finish to the spring's points competition, and though it was not quite enough to push the Tars over the top into sixth place, the day had its highlights.
Tops among them was the Tars B-Division sailors who finished one slot ahead of the Seminoles and two atop the 'Canes.
"We've been knocking at the door all spring," said Coach Dave Herbster. "Today we started to pound on it."
Coming up, the Tars compete at home on the friendly confines when they host the Lake Virginia Spring Invitational on March 30 during alumni weekend.