MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (May 24, 2017) – Racing continued today on the Cooper River in Charleston Harbor in the second day of the Sperry Women’s Semifinals. Thirty-six collegiate sailing teams from across the nation qualified to compete in these semifinals to determine the top 18 teams who will advance to the finals, which begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. The 36 teams are divided into two fleets of 18 teams, Western and Eastern Semifinal groups, the top nine from each fleet will make up the 18 teams who compete in the final championship.
Today the Eastern and Western fleets sailed in FJs and Z420s on windward leeward courses with three, four and five legs. Both fleets completed five races today for a total of nine races for the regatta.
The morning racing started just after 9 a.m. with winds from the southwest around 8-12 knots. Winds built significantly to 15 knots and then up to 30 knots at the end of the ninth B-division race, which made for some excitement and capsizing in the end. The cut off time for racing today was 5 p.m., however the high winds and thunder around the area halted racing early and the regatta was called at 4 p.m.
The top three teams in the Eastern fleet after yesterday’s racing are the same today, but rearranged. The University of Rhode Island finished the day on top, moving up from second place yesterday. Boston College also moved up to second place and Boston University, who was in the lead after racing yesterday, moved down to third place.
Because this is a qualifying regatta for the finals, the most important finishes are the top nine teams and the ninth place team in particular, who makes the cut to move onto the finals. In the Eastern fleet that team is Bowdoin College.
“We had a good day today,” says Frank Pizzo, head coach for Bowdoin College. “We knew the weather would be an issue this afternoon, so we were looking for consistent results, to use our boat speed and keep it simple.”
“The current here is significant and has made starting challenging,” says Pizzo, “And tomorrow will be that much more competitive with an even stronger fleet, so we are going to have a team dinner tonight, rest up and get ready for the next event.”
Sailing for Bowdoin is Mary Paz '17 with Nora Cullen '18 in A-division and Catherine Price '18 with Dana Bloch '17 and Isabelle Austin-Green '19 in B-division.
“We sailed mostly well,” says Skip Whyte, head coach for the University of Rhode Island, “We need to start better in our B-division and focus on facing our demons on the race course and doing a good job.”
“We have sailed at this venue before, so we will apply the basics we know about sailing to this venue and learn from our past experiences,” Whyte says.
Sailing for URI is Rachel Bryer ’17 with Hannah Scanlon ’18 in A-division and Sarah Hermus ’18 with Kathryn Nota '19 and Marisa DeCollibus ’17 in B-division.
Yale University moved up the leader board today in the Western fleet followed by Brown University in second place and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in third. Finishing in ninth place and moving on with the top of the fleet is the University of California Santa Barbara.
“We liked the breeze today and in particular we have really good crews in these conditions,” says Bill Healy, assistant coach for Yale. “The current was still a big factor today too and we had simulated practices for it before this event, so we felt prepared.”
“Now there will be 18 really good schools to compete against, so we will look to minimize mistakes and not take big risks on the starting line,” Healy says. “We will focus on ourselves and what we have learned about the sails, boats and the venue moving forward.”
Sailing for Yale is Casey Klingler '18 with Natalya Doris '17 and Christine Klingler '20 in A-division and Louisa Nordstrom '20 with Isabelle Rossi De Leon '17 and Claire Huebner '18 in B-division.
“We have had our ups and downs in the racing the last two days,” says Brad Schaupeter, head coach for the University of California Santa Barbara, “And today it was a fight all the way to the end to qualify for the finals.”
“We have not sailed our best yet, so we are excited for what is to come over the next two days,” Schaupeter says.
Sailing for Santa Barbara is Simone Staff '18 with Ellen Gable '17 and Marina Fennell ‘17 in A-division and Olivia Godfrey '17 with Sarah Scoffone '19 and Elizabeth Moody '20 in B-division.
All of the teams going into the finals are very good and it’s anyone’s regatta to win. The top teams in the semifinal fleets today are also the teams who finished in the top of the finals last year, so tough competition and good racing will be expected over the next two days.
The scoreboard is wiped clean for the finals tomorrow and racing is set to begin at 10 a.m. The top 18 teams will be competing for the Gerald C. Miller Trophy over the next two days.
Final Nine Teams Eastern Semifinal:
1. University of Rhode Island, 73
2. Boston College, 87
3. Boston University, 89
4. Stanford University, 98
5. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 104
6. Tufts University, 121
7. George Washington University, 128
8. University of South Florida, 136*
9. Bowdoin College, 136*
Final Nine Teams Western Semifinal:
1. Yale University, 61
2. Brown University, 74
3. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 87
4. College of Charleston, 95
5. Dartmouth College, 98
6. University of Vermont, 117
7. Georgetown University, 127
8. U.S. Naval Academy, 163
9. University of California Santa Barbara, 170
To learn more about the teams competing in all of the events and to follow the racing and results visit the event website: http://2017nationals.collegesailing.org/
Dan Egan, of Degan Media, will provide live coverage for the events powered by U.S. Sailing starting on the last day of Sperry Women’s National Championship Finals (May 26), streaming from the event website (http://2017nationals.collegesailing.org/). Additional live coverage and social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.
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The ICSA sponsors and partners through the 2016-2017 season are: LaserPerformance (www.laserperformance.com), title sponsor of “LaserPerformance Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded National Championship”, title sponsor of “LaserPerformance College Sailing Team Race National Championship” and Official Boat Supplier of the ICSA Spring National Championships. Sperry (www.sperry.com), title sponsor of the “Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Championship”. Gill North American (gillna.com), title sponsor of “The Gill College Sailing National Championship”. Quantum Sail Design Group (www.quantumsails.com), official sponsor of the “Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year”. Marlow Ropes (www.marlowropes.com), presenting sponsor of the “Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year Award” and “Official Rope of College Sailing”. US Sailing (www.ussailing.org), “The Robert H. Hobbs Sportsman of the Year Sponsored by US Sailing”.