7/2002 Dear Mudheads,
The 2002 U.S. Junior Woman's Single-handed Championship for the Leiter cup was a success. I flew down to New Orleans with an open mind but also with a concern about the wind conditions on Lake Pontatrain. I had a feeling it would be a light wind, choppy and shifty regatta. This was the case during the first 2 days of the clinic. Thanks the Brian Doyle and a few other coaches I learned how to sail in these conditions whale keeping my speed up. The first two days were very frustrating and stressful because everyone thought the wind would never pick up. We were all was ready for a light wind regatta after the first disappointing two days of clinic. The first day of racing was considerably light. The first race I placed a 7th and I was really excited for the next race. Then suddenly the wind died right before the second race to about 3 knots. I had a second row start and was shot out the back. There was unfortunately no room for improvement so I placed a 40th. It was eventually thrown out. Throughout the second day of racing the velocity of the wind filled to about 20 to 25 knots. I was very happy with this amount of wind. We had 4 races which I placed a 23rd, 6th,18th,and a 4th. During the morning of the third day of racing we had postponement until around 11:00 because of strong winds, thunder and lightning. We did end up sailing 2 more races where I placed a 7th and a 13th. I finished a remarkable 8th place for the regatta. I was so psyched. I learned an incredible amount during this regatta thanks to the coaches, the large fleet, and my peers. I made many new friends and experienced some of New Orleans culture. Thank your Mudheads for supporting me in this national regatta. It was an experience I will never forget! Hopefully next year I will win the Leiter cup and compete in the 2004 Youth sailing ISAF world championships representing the U.S. Thanks Again
Dear Mystic River Mudheads,
Thanks so much for your generosity. Your donation towards my 470 sailing is much appreciated. It definitely makes the struggle to raise funds a lot easier.
I sailed the 470 North Americans in Ft. Pierce, Florida with Jen Morgan in December and we placed 5th. This was a great finish for us considering we hadn¹t sailed together in 2 years. Jen also hadn¹t been in a 470 in 2 years since we last sailed the trials together, but she quickly made the adjustment. It was a great learning experience. We had some great finishes, one of them being a first in the second race.We had three races we were over early in out of seven, so it made it difficult to come back.Who knows how well we could have done with a little starting practice.
I will be sailing my 470 on weekends this spring, trying out a new partner.Caitlin McCallister, a tufts graduate and three time Women¹s Collegiate All-American, has agreed to give 470 sailing a try with me. We will see how that pans out and if she likes the 470. I will be continuing to do some sailing with Jen Morgan as well in the spring and summer. Hopefully a fast combination will be reached by September when the 470 Worlds will be occurring in Sardinia. I am very excited to compete in that event with the next Olympic trials approaching in less than two years. Thanks again so much for your support.
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Junior Olympic Nationals was the most intense sailing event I have ever been a part of. Jo's was taken place at the Naval Academy for seven days from June 21 through the 27th 2001. On Wednesday was registration where we were given our room numbers for the Bankroft hall dorms (One of the biggest dorms in the world). Then on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we attended a clinic. Many of the coaches were past Olympians, Olympic coaches, college sailing coaches, and high school coaches. Every morning during the clinic we had a lecture in a lecture hall, a weather report, and then would split into groups for some water drills. It was a wonderful experience to have some of the best sailors in the whole United States telling you how you can prefect your skills to be come a better sailor. Listening to the coaches point of views about certain technical aspects within better boat speed, weight placement and different settings and sail trim was amazing. I learned so much, throughout the three days of the clinic and felt as though I perfected many of my weaknesses and was ready to sail the best I could for the next 4 days. By Sunday I knew exactly when the northeasterly wind would change to a sea breeze and which way the tide would change and which side of the coarse would most likely be more favored at certain times. I had figured out the area as if I lived in Annapolis. On Saturday night all of the sailors dressed up for an opening Ceremony at a lecture hall and ate burritos at Kings hall for dinner. On Sunday there was little wind and lots of chop. The first race was a practice race and we finished back in the pack and were not off to a good start. We had three races the first day all windward leeward twice around. We were racing against 38 of the best 420 sailors in the United States and was a little nerve racking at first. Our first race was not great Graham Merganthalor my skipper and I placed 24th and then a 19th and a 9th for the day. We kept getting better as the day went on. On Sunday night we went to a picnic dinner in Annapolis with footage of the past Olympics. On Monday we woke up to almost no wind ate some breakfast at kings hall and went out sailing. We only had two races because the wind died and the sea breeze was not going to fill in until later that day. We placed a horrible 33rd, which was thrown out, and then a 7th. On Monday there was a pool party with a DJ and some hot dogs and hamburgers. On Tuesday the 26th the wind was still light but we placed top 10 for the day with 2 4ths and a 7th. All of the courses were still windward leeward twice around. We were very happy with those scores. Tuesday night everyone ate dinner at the Annapolis yacht club, the girls wore skirts or dresses and guys wore a coat and tie. The yacht club was beautiful and the food was really good. On Wednesday our last race had to be before 1300 hours and we placed 6th the first race and a 17th the second race. Wednesday had the most wind we ever had the sea breeze came in around 11:30 and before then the water looked like glass with no wind at all. Some boats were even trapping. Overall Graham Merghantholor and I placed a respectable 9th place in Junior Olympic Nationals. We are very proud. Thanks to Mudheads I was able to reach one of my goals in life. I placed top ten at junior Olympics and had accomplished and learned so much within sailing thanks to you. This event makes me want to try and come back and sail 470s and one day have an Olympic campaign of my own and pursue my love of sailing in a whole new way. Thanks to your help I was able to have an experience of a lifetime. I can't say thank you enough times for how thankful I am for your help. Thank you so very much for your generosity!
Gretchen Hanna Freye
I was hoping that you could post this thank you letter on the Mudheads web site for me. Thanks, Whitney September 9, 1999
Dear Commodore Wilkinson, Thank you very much for your generous donation to our Olympic sailing campaign. Your financial support over the years has helped us do all that is necessary to rise to the top level. This recent donation will be put to use at our upcoming US Trials Regatta, which will be held in St. Petersburg, FL on October 14-26. In particular we will be using the money to purchase new sails. We are leaving this week to drive to Florida to begin our final month of preparation for the Trials. We will be training with a top men & #8217;s team from the USA and also with a top men & #8217;s team from Great Britain. We plan to focus on fine tuning our boat speed and boat handling and also to practice short course racing to keep our tactics sharp. Thank you again for your help. Donations from individuals and local organizations have made our entire campaign possible! With the help of our supporters we have been able to climb to a 9th Place Ranking in the International 470 World Rankings and to be ranked #1 and #2 in the USA for three consecutive years. We now plan to win the USA Trials Regatta next month and then continue on to win a Gold Medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia next September.
Whitney Connor & Elizabeth Kratzig
October 30, 1999
The 1999 US 470 Olympic Trials Regatta was held in St. Petersburg, Florida on October 14th - 24th. We placed third. Only the winner goes on to represent the United States at the Olympic Games, so unfortunately our Olympic campaign has come to an end. Though we are extremely disappointed not to have won this event, we know that we have given our absolute best effort trying to achieve this goal. We thank you for all of your help and support in allowing us to pursue our goal.
This Trials Regatta was the most competitive US 470 Women's Olympic Trials ever held and most likely the most challenging of all of the Trials Regattas being held in any other country as well. Four teams had the talent, ability, and determination needed to win this event and continue on to win a Gold Medal. It is quite rare for a Trials Regatta to ever have four teams of equal ability, and even more rare to have four teams that could all win Olympic Medals! The depth of talent in our fleet was astonishing. JJ Isler and Pease Glaser won the event. Between them they have done seven Olympic Campaigns and have won numerous World and European Titles. In addition, JJ won an Olympic Silver Medal in 1992 in 470's. Courtenay Dey and Alice Manard placed second. Courtenay also has done several Olympic Campaigns, holds many prestigious titles, and won an Olympic Bronze Medal in 1996. The fourth place team of Tracey Hayley and Louise Van Voorhis won a Silver Medal at the 1999 Pre Olympic Regatta held in Sydney, Australia just a few weeks before the Trials began. There was no lack of talent or experience in our fleet!
The racing at the trials was the most intense, exciting, and challenging sailing that we have ever experienced. Every race all four teams were within several boat lengths of each other and the lead changed almost every lap of the course. Often the fourth place boat would move into first, and likewise the first or second place boat would slip to fourth. Each team was racing their absolute best and was always poised to capitalize on the smallest mistake made by any of the other teams. In over half of the races the top four boats all finished within several seconds of each other after sailing a race that lasted for over sixty minutes. We were the only team to win a race from start to finish, and we won three of the fifteen races in this style, rounding the first mark in first place and then extending our lead through out the entire race.
Though we did not win the US Olympic Trials, we did accomplish many goals leading up to the event. We were ranked Number One in the USA for two years. We rose to a 9th place position in the International 470 World Ranking and were the only US team to break into the top 10 in the world. We entered the Trials fully confident that we had done everything necessary to prepare to win the event. JJ and Pease out sailed us and everybody else, and certainly earned their ticket to the Olympics. We congratulate them on an amazing series.
Over the past three years all of the top four teams in the US worked together and pushed each other to reach the top level of 470 racing in the world. This level of cooperation and training among the US Teams has contributed to the success of JJ and Pease. We feel proud knowing that our hard work and dedication has helped prepare JJ and Pease to win a Gold Medal for the USA. In helping to support and finance our campaign, you have also helped make this winning team stronger sailors. Donors are the foundation of the United States Olympic efforts. Individual supporters and sponsors are what make it possible for the United States to continue to produce the caliber of sailors that win Olympic Gold Medals.
We thank you for your generous contributions, letters, and encouragement over the past three years. You have enabled us to reach the top level of sailing and you have helped to send a team to the 2000 Olympic Games that will definitely return home with a Gold Medal! Thank you very much for everything you have done to make this all possible.
Whitney & Elizabeth, Connor-Kratzig Campaign