By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer
The sailing team will compete in an overseas competition.
The team will leave April 12 for La Rochelle, France, to race in the 44th annual Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales du Nord Sailing Cup, said Teresa Holman, sailing team quartermaster and administrative assistant of university church relations.
It will be the team’s third time to compete at the EDHEC Sailing Cup.
“The event is huge,” she said. “It’s a very prestigious and recognized competition in the sports’ world.”
The team’s seven members will switch from their usual two-crew boat to a larger sailboat, where they all will be assigned specific positions, Holman said. The competition is based on endurance and how each crew fairs against the elements.
The crew’s members are prepared for the competition and possess talents which qualify them as world class sailors, Holman said.
“The university should be proud of these students,” she said. “They will represent their school, Oklahoma, and the United States well in this competition.”
Heidi Ventresca, clarinet performance freshman, said after falling in love with the sport at the beginning of the year, she is ready for the upcoming tournament in France. Ventresca will be the foredeck, which means she will be in charge of maneuvering the front sail.
“I am looking forward to being a part of the biggest collegiate competition ever and competing with international students,” she said. “We will be one out of the three American sailing teams to go.”
The team has prepared since the beginning of Fall 2011 for this competition, Holman said. If they are not attending a regatta, they most likely are practicing at Lake Hefner.
The team competed at the Sugar Bowl Regatta in New Orleans, Holman said. Though they did not perform as well as they’d hoped, the team was recognized for much more than their athletic ability.
“The organizers wanted to let us know we had the most polite team on the water,” she said. “Our students really have fabulous sportsmanship.”
Holman said she expects great things from the team after they finished in the top third of the competition at the EDHEC Sailing Cup last year,
“I think they will do wonderfully,” she said. “No matter how good you become at sailing, you learn for a lifetime.”