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University sails to third place in Ensey Memorial Regatta

Sept. 27, 1996

Elizabet Benavides, a Zapata sophomore, and Brent Marsden, a Laporte freshman, sail on course in Lake Waco Saturday. For membership information about the Baylor Sailing Team, contact Kyle Rush at 757-1145.

Story and photos by Jennifer Paschal/ The Lariat

Blue skies and a good wind pushed the Ensey Memorial Regatta off to a smooth start Saturday morning.

The Baylor Sailing Team hosted the regatta for six of the major teams from the South Eastern Intercollegiate Sailing Association. Baylor usually hosts about two regattas each semester, including this one, which was a qualifier for several national events.

'Competition was tough this weekend,' said Becky Balsom, the commodore of the Baylor team and a Bakersfield, Calif., senior.

The Baylor team finished third behind Texas A&M, in first place, and Tulane. This position did not qualify Baylor for the national events. Southern Methodist, North Texas, Rice and Kansas universities also participated in the regatta.

The University of Texas is also a regular participant in the SEISA regattas, but because the team members forgot to R.S.V.P. to this regatta, no boat was reserved for them to sail when they arrived.

The Baylor team just moved from their old marina in Speegleville, due to complications with their old dock, to a new marina near the Waco airport. Both marinas are located on Lake Waco.

'People have been really friendly at the new marina,' said Brock Foreman, a two-year member of the team and a White Bear, Minn., senior. 'Besides, the wind is better over there.'

The team owns five '420 sailboats,' which can hold two crew members. The regatta utilized all five of Baylor's boats, one of Texas A&M's 420s and one of Rice's 420s.

The process of the regatta is very organized. Each school has an 'A team' and a 'B team.' There are seven rotations in the entire competition, and one rotation contains two different races, one for the A team and one for the B team.

After each race, the teams switch boats so that by the end of the seven rotations, both the A and B team from each school will have sailed in each of the seven boats.

Each team must follow a course around a set number of markers, and the first team to finish the course wins that particular race and points are earned.

After the completion of all seven rotations, the points are tallied to determine the regatta winner.

Foreman said that he has been happy with the turnout for the team this year.

'We had a lot more people this year in the beginning than in past years,' Foreman said.

'In the past there has just been an A and B team,' he said. 'Now we have a lot more depth.'

The Baylor Sailing Team practices three official times a week, but often times there are members of the team practicing as much as five days a week.

'I think we have a really strong base this year,' Balsom said. 'Everyone is really dedicated.'

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