College Sailing: Spring Season Update

Published on April 25th, 2017

Chris Klevan reports on the countdown to the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Spring Nationals which will be held next month in Charleston, SC.


Women’s Conference Championships in both MAISA and NEISA
#12 St. Mary’s College of Maryland showed that they’re the best women’s team in Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAISA) with an emphatic win at the MAISA Women’s Championship at the Naval Academy.

Seniors Greer Wattson and Elizabeth Dennison put together an extremely impressive score-line with no race outside the top-7 and 8 race wins throughout the 15 race regatta. The two won B-division decisively and were the catalyst behind St. Mary’s championship effort. Watson and Dennison finished with 44 points.

Rose Edwards (‘18) and Emily Fung (‘17) won A-division with 51 points for #11 Georgetown. Edwards was also named MAISA Women’s Sailor of the Year.

St. Mary’s started strong, taking the lead after the first race of the regatta. They surrendered that lead only for two races throughout the rest of the event.

Georgetown University finished 2nd at the event with #13 George Washington finishing 3rd. #16 Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Fordham, #18 Navy and University of Virginia filled the 4th through 9th sport, accordingly, and will represent MAISA at the ICSA Semi-finals, May 23-24, in Charleston, SC.
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#5 Coast Guard showed up to win The Reed Trophy, the New England Conference (NEISA) Women’s Championship, hosted by Brown University, to defend their 2016 NEISA crown. The Bears of Coast Guard passed Boston College late on Saturday and were able to hold of the Eagles throughout Sunday.

The Bears finished the regatta with 112 points and scored only one double digit finish throughout the entire event.

Coast Guard, returned all but one sailor from their 2016 New England, Atlantic Coast and National Championship victory tour. When Nikki Barnes, Anna Morin and Dana Rohde are all on the race course together, the Bears are undefeated on the women’s circuit.

This year’s championship team was led by junior Dana Rohde and freshman Maddie Ekin in B-division. The two ladies put together an impressive scoreline with 45 points through 14 races.

Erika Reineke (‘17) and Allison Ferraris (‘17) won A-division with 63 points. NEISA’s A-Division featured some of the best sailors in the country and the Eagle’s victory in the division came down to the last race.  Reineke was named NEISA Women’s Sailor of the Year.

#2 Boston College finished second overall with 121 points and #1 Yale came in 3rd, 153 points.

#8 Boston University, #3 Brown, #4 Rhode Island, #14 Dartmouth, #10 Tufts, ,#9 Vermont, and Bowdoin finished 4th through 10th accordingly and will represent NEISA at the Women’s Semi-Final Nationals on May 23-24 in Charleston, SC.

Notably, #17 Harvard missed the cut by the narrowest of margins. Tied with the Bowdoin Polar Bears at the conclusion of racing, the two schools split head-to-head races. Moreover, they had the same number of 1st place finishes, seconds, thirds and fourths. Bowdoin had more 5th place finishes, the eventual tiebreaker that differentiates staying alive, heading to nationals and going home thoroughly disappointed.

“The fleet was stacked,” stated Bowdoin Head Coach Frank Pizzo. “The event could not have been much closer,” continued Pizzo. “For the Polar Bears, we really just tried to focus on our boats throughout the event. On Saturday, we simply tried to use our speed and conservative tactics to keep our team in the hunt. It was obviously tough to end the day with a DSQ in A division. As a team we focused on remaining positive and controlling the controllables.

“We knew the points were compressing throughout Sunday but really tried to just have good starts and sail smart conservative races. We had our best start of the day in A division in race 14 and it allowed for a great race. For the B race, we were able to get off okay in the middle but saw others teams that we were competing against over early or not having great starts. We were all pretty even at the second windward mark and new every single point would matter and did just enough. A tension convention for sure.”

MCSA and SEISA Coed Champs and NWICSA Team Racing headlines the coed weekend
University of Wisconsin won the Midwest Conference (MCSA) Coed Championship, hosted by Northwestern College with 54 points after 10 races in each division. Senior Charles Bocklet with Sophomore Maggie Houtz won B-Division for the Badgers with 24 points.

Mark Davies (‘20) and Michael Pauleen (‘18) won A-Division for the Northwestern University Wildcats. Northwestern finished 2nd overall at the event.

In addition to Wisconsin and Northwestern, UW Milwaukee, Michigan and Marquette will be heading to the Coed Semi-finals on May 30-31 in Charleston, SC.
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Texas A&M University at Galveston decisively won the Southeast Conference (SEISA) Coed Championship. The Aggies won all but 4 of the 18 total races, winning both divisions in the process. John Hanna (‘19) with Megan Ferguson (‘17) and Haley Walker (‘18) in A-division and Alexander Thompson (‘18) with Hannah Barlow (‘20) and Megan Ferguson (‘17) in B-division.

Texas A&M finished 2nd, claiming the last spot offered to the Semifinals with a 2 point finish over Tulane University.
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Oregon State University won the Northwest Conference (NWICSA) Team Race Championship in dramatic fashion over the University of Washington Huskies. After a 1-2 record against the Huskies during the first 3 round robins, the Beavers of Oregon State won both of the final two head to head races to secure a trip to Charleston for the Team Race Nationals in Charleston on May 27-29.


MIT won their home event over the weekend. After 33 total races on the Charles River only 1 point could discern The Engineers from the Boston College Eagles at the 82nd Boston Dinghy Challenge Cup. MIT charged after a slow start to take the lead after the 6th race of the regatta and never relinquished it thereafter.

Ty Ingram (‘18) and Sameena Shaffeeullah (’19) won A-Division for the home team with 50 points. Charles “Scotty” Sinks (‘18) and Lily McGrath (‘18) won B-Division for the Eagles after a tie-breaker with MIT’s Alexander Stewart (‘17) and Paige Omura (‘17). Wade Waddell (‘19) of BC with Emma Perry (‘19) won C-Division by nearly 30 points.


Background: The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. There are seven Conferences that schedule and administer regattas within their established geographic regions, with ICSA hosting two national championships in the fall (singlehanded, match racing) and three national championships in the spring (team, women’s, coed). collegesailing.org

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