Boston College Wins Match Race Nationals

Published on November 12th, 2017

Mt. Pleasant, SC (November 17, 2017) – Chilly air and a strong northerly breeze greeted the 10 teams as they arrived for day one of the 2017 ICSA College Match Race Nationals for the Cornellius Shields Sr. Trophy. Charleston Harbor did not disappoint as it served as the perfect arena for some thrilling match racing with 15-20kts of brisk cool breeze out of the North.

The Race Committee was a bit short staffed due to the absence of PRO Ryan Davidson who had a work commitment. Nonetheless, led by College of Charleston sailing program director, Greg Fisher, they completed 8 of 9 flights of the round robin.

“We were blessed with some phenomenal match race conditions and got to see some really action packed racing!” Fisher remarked. The College of Charleston Cougars took advantage of the home waters turning in a perfect 8-0 for the day. Led by the two time US Youth Match Race Champion and reigning Governors Cup champion Christophe Killian, the Cougars had strong boat handling and dominant pre starts.

At the end of the first day of competition, the scoreboard showed a tie for second, Stanford Cardinal and USF Bulls with 6-2 record. Racing was completed with one more flight to finish in the round robin and then the repechage would start between the teams ranked 7-10 on day 2.

The format after the repechage is as follows:
Quarter finals – first to 3
Semi finals – first to 3
Finals – first 3

The second day of racing greeted the sailors with another brisk day on Charleston harbor with temperatures flirting with the 30s and breeze out of the north at 15-20. The repechage produced the Boston College Eagles who won with an impressive 3-0 record. Following them into the quarter finals were the Washington Huskies who went 2-1.

In the quarter finals, USF beat Georgetown, Charleston bested Washington, Bowdoin defeated Navy, and in a surprising 5 match series Boston College took down the #2 ranked Stanford Cardinal. The Race Committee did a great job adjusting to the easterly that came in for the start of the semi finals. PRO Ryan Davidson and his team were on point transition to the changing breeze direction.

In the semi finals, Boston College continued their momentum by winning two races against USF. Charleston also kept the ball rolling going two races up on Bowdoin. The semi finals are first to 3 wins. The rest of the semi finals, finals, and consolation races took place on the third and last day of racing.

After finishing off the South Florida Bulls, the Eagles led by skipper Scotty Sinks used their remarkable speed to best Christophe Killian and team of Elizabeth Pemberton, Jack Thompson, and Stefano Peschiera. The teams took very different routes to the finals as the Cougars blazed through the round robin, quarter finals, and semi finals with a perfect record.

The Eagles had a rough round robin tallying only 3 wins but dominated the repechage and had a great 5 race set against the Stanford Cardinal in the quarter finals to advance to the semis. There they defeated Sean Cornell and his USF team to face Charleston in the finals. The Boston College Eagles reclaimed the Cornelluis Shields Sr. Trophy to become the national match race champions and upset the previously unbeaten Charleston Cougars 3-1.

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Source: Stefan Kuehn, Will Curtiss

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