College Sailing: Spring Season Update

Published on March 15th, 2018

Chris Klevan provides this week’s update on activity in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA).


#4 College of Charleston won the Navy Spring Women’s regatta. Sailed at the venue of some of the premier regattas on the college sailing circuit, this was the first inter-conference hosted by the United States Naval Academy. Conditions were uncharacteristic of the Severn River and the top women in the nation had to be on their toes throughout the weekend.

Charleston did just that in both divisions, finishing second in A-Division in a tight race and the Cougars B-Division boat dominated once again. Junior Paris Henken has been on fire thus far this season, posting wins at two of the top women’s events to start the year.

Coupled with Liza Toppa ‘20, Henken won B-Division by 28 points, with 77 points after 16 races, including 4 firsts. An event where the scores were all over the place, no one could put together top-5 finishes like the Cougars B-Division boat.

Meanwhile, the other Charleston boat held their own to say the least. Alie Toppa and Annabel Carrington found their groove midway through Sunday when the northwesterly breeze swung around to to east and became even more unpredictable. Toppa and Carringan totaled 12 points in the easterly, the final six races of the event. That hot streak got them within 2 points of the A-Division win.

#3 Coast Guard’s A-Division stalwart, Dana Rohde and Maddie Ekin won A-Division with 77 points through 16 races. After an untouchable first 11 races where Rohde and Ekin only scored one race outside the top-5, the tandem faltered in the final 5 races, opening the door for Toppa and Carrigan.

If this type of racing is a forecaster for women’s sailing throughout the season, we’re in for some exciting stuff. It will be interesting to see what happens when #2 Boston College and #1 Yale join Charleston and Coast Guard in the fold.

Charleston won the Navy Fall Women’s with 156 points, Coast Guard finished second with 213 and the University of Rhode Island Rams finished 3rd with 237.
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#1 College of Charleston’s coed squad won the Charleston Spring decisively. The inter-conference regatta, held at Charleston, on the Cooper River, was mainly populated by South Atlantic schools and was well represented by the conference. The first non SAISA finisher was St. Mary’s, who finished 5th.

In the twenty total races that were sailed, the Cougars combined for only two races outside the top-5 and compiled an impressive seven bullets. Patrick Shannon ‘20 and Gerald Williams ‘19 shared helmsman duties throughout the A-Division win while Laure Masterson ‘20 assumed the crew role throughout, regardless of who was holding the tiller.

The three Cougars averaged a 2.6 score, totaling 26 points through 10 races. They won A-Division handily, 23 points ahead of second place. To add to the Cougars performance in A-Division, Lawson Willard ‘19 and McCloy Dickson ‘19 won B-Division by 13 points.

Charleston finished with 59 points, University of South Florida finished second with 95 points and Jacksonville finished 3rd overall with 98 points.
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The John Jackson Team Race at Georgetown was taken by #12 Boston College in a tight battle with the home team, the #4 ranked Georgetown Hoyas. Having to take care of business in the final four to secure the win, the Eagles beat both the Midshipmen of Navy and the Monarchs of ODU with the play-2.

A play that requires discipline and a deep understanding of the game, the Eagles, led by Scott Sinks, showed they have the stuff to, not only make it out of the New England conference but also compete on the highest level. The last race of the final-four was won by Georgetown, however, Boston College had already wrapped up the event.

“The win was a nice confidence boost for the team coming the weekend after spring break,” said coach Greg Wilkinson. “It showed the guys that the work put in over break has showed some dividends.”

The Eagles finished with a 13-4 record, Georgetown finished second with a 12-5 win, loss record and #13 Navy finished 3rd, two losses off the lead.

Unlike Boston College, both Navy and Georgetown experimented with lineups, sailing five skippers each and Georgetown showcased six different crews throughout the event. Such experimentation is not uncommon in these early season team races. Team racing is truly a full team effort. The school that has the most depth typically will come through come championship season in May.


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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