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Blind Worlds 2015

Recap of the 2015 Blind Fleet Racing World Championship

 

The team struggled on Sunday as the breeze was considerably lighter and we had to contend with large wind shifts. At one point a race was abandoned after a series of significant shifts completely turned the fleet around.

 

The British team did well in the lighter conditions and worked their way up on us in the points until we slipped into third. After a near collision with the New Zealand team we began to sail defensively knowing they were near enough to begin attacking us when the opportunity arose. Unfortunately by the time we had begun to dial in the tuning for the lighter conditions the races were abandoned for the day.

 

As a team we are very proud of our performance. This was BJ's first regatta and only second year of sailing and while Jason has been sailing for decades this was also his first regatta above club level. The training we did in August certainly made a difference and our crew work was solid considering our short time sailing together. We are extremely proud to take home a bronze medal and second place in the Squadron Cup.

 

- Matt Wierzbach, Tactician

 

Cumulative Results

Squadron Cup Results

From left: Jason Berdyck, BJ Blahnik, Matt Wierzbach, Kris Scheppe

 

Blind Worlds Update #6 September 12, 2015

bw2015 Saturday was a no go for racing. The weather was too rough.

Today is looking good if not a little light. Two more races needed for a throw out

Matt Wierzbach, Tactician

 

 

Check out this report from WBEZ Chicago

And another from Scuttlebutt Sailing News

bwc

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA  Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA

 

Blind Worlds Update #5 September 11, 2015

bw2015 Our team is in second place in category 3 after the first five races in strong breeze and wavy conditions. The conditions were so rough we had issues with water filling in the hull and all have bumps and bruises but we preformed well and look forward to the next few days.

We are also in first place for the Squadron Cup which consists of the best national team overall between the 3 categories. We are on one of two U.S. Teams competing for that title.

We rounded out the night with some more Chicago deep dish pizza and are all ready for an early night.

- Matt Wierzbach, Tactician

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA  Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA

Blind Worlds Update #4 September 10, 2015

bw2015 This morning had a great start with a promising breeze and clear skies but just as the warning signal was to be raised the AP appeared instead and the races were postponed. We waited as the Race Committee dealt with challenging conditions and ultimately storms have kept us off the water. The races have been canceled for the day. The forecast looks like a variety of conditions moving forward.

 

Chicago Weather Radar 9/10/2015

 

The pressure is off until tomorrow, now its time to head into town and waste some time as tourists.

 

- Matt Wierzbach, Tactician

The Sail Sheboygan Sonars sitting in the rain.

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA 121 Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA

Blind Worlds Update #3 September 9, 2015

bw2015 We had a great day of practice on the water. The winds were variable starting out strong and easing off as the day progressed which helped us experience a variety of conditions. We are seeing the typical choppy conditions that Chicago is famous for.

We also picked up our jackets this morning!

"SEAS Adaptive Sailing Team" Jackets have arrived and the team models them at the event!

The opening ceremonies were great and the Chicago Yacht Club had a nice burger and hot dog buffet laid out. Now its time for the real racing to start. We are looking forward to tomorrow!

 

- Matt Wierzbach, Tactician

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA 121 Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA

 

BJ Interviewed by RedEye Chicago

bw2015 Sheboygan sailor BJ Blahnik conducted an interview with RedEye Chicago yesterday before practice.

Here is what he had to say: RedEye Chicago

BJ Blahnik and Matt Wierzbach prepare for practice.

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA 121 Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA

 

Blind Worlds Update # 2 September 8, 2015

bw2015 September 8, 2015

 

Shortly after my first post we managed to get out on the water for our first taste of sailing the Tom 28. We started slow at the dock familiarizing ourselves with the boat, BJ and Kris feeling everything in their section of the boat to prepare for our time on the water.

 

The Tom 28s are a more performance oriented boat than the Sonar and getting used to the layout and heel took a bit of time. The sail area is also larger which will take some small adjustment moving forward. Luckily none of the teams are overly familiar with the boats and the extra room in the cockpit makes the movement of four sailors slightly less like a round of bumper cars than in the Sonar cockpit.

 

We did a bit of speed testing with four of the Tom’s out in a formation. We are confident we can do well with our speed and its looking likely that good starts and roundings are going to make the difference just like in any other race. What I’ve learned from sailing with the blind teams is that we have to stop thinking of it as a different form of sailing; the sailing is the same and the changes for safety are really minor and have more to do with avoiding collisions than anything.

 

After the required Chicago deep dish pizza for dinner we made a quick stop at Target to pick up a few snacks and ran into our big fan Chewbacca who is looking forward to his new movie release.

 

Chewbacca cheers on the team.

Chewbacca cheers on the team.

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA 121 Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA

Blind Worlds Update #1 September 8, 2015

  bw2015

 

 

 

After registration the team signs some banners.

Belmont Station Chicago Yacht Club- We have arrived at Belmont Station and have registered this morning. The staff and volunteers have been great and we snuck a short interview in on one of the Sonars with RedEye Chicago before the storms rolled in. Right now we are waiting to see if the storm passes through early enough for us to get some practice on the Tom 28s. If not we still have a practice day tomorrow and the forecast is looking nice.

 

Rumor has it they are releasing the boats in 10 minutes, we may get out today yet! Matt Wierzbach, Tactician

Screen shot of the radar!!!

 

For more information please visit these links:

2015 IFDS Blind Sailing World & International Championship Entries

 

SEAS USA 121 Team

Crew Info


Name Position ISAF Country

Jason Berdyck Headsail Trimmer Group 1 USA
BJ Blahnik Main Trimmer Group 1 USA
Kris Scheppe Helm Group 1 USA
Matthew Wierzbach Tactician USA