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College Sailing Finals Begin Next Week

Published on May 20th, 2015

The Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) three national championships, Sperry Women’s National Semi-Final and Final Championship, LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship, and the Gill Coed Dinghy National Semi-Final and Final Championship will be held May 25-June 4 on the waters of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay in Newport, RI.

Sperry Women’s Nationals: May 25-28, 2015
LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals: May 29-31, 2015
Gill Coed Nationals: June 1-4, 2015

The events will be sailed in Brown University’s LaserPerformance Z420s and Salve Regina University’s Club Flying Juniors (CFJs). New York Yacht Club, Brown University and Salve Regina University will be sharing the hosting duties for the three events in Newport, R.I. These championships are the culmination of the 2014-15 school year race schedule and include the top schools from across the nation that have qualified through the seven ICSA districts.

The 28 teams for the Sperry Women’s regatta begin with two days of racing in the semi-final round that holds two 14-team regattas. The top nine teams from each group will then advance to the finals round – an 18-boat regatta – that takes place on the last two days of the championship, May 27-28.

New York Yacht Club, Brown and Salve Regina last hosted these events together in the spring of 2008. “It has made the planning a little bit easier,” says John Mollicone, head coach of the Brown sailing team, of hosting the championships for the second time. “We are not starting from scratch like we had to do last time. We have an idea of the availability of boats, where the course will be and where we will be rotating – we know how it all works.”

Sixteen teams have qualified to compete in the LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals which will use Z420s and CFJs. The first round of racing is a single round robin with all the teams competing against each other. The top eight from this round will advance to a single “championship” round robin followed by a “final four” round robin, which will determine the top three teams and name the national champion.

“They only thing that has changed [in the national’s format] is team race umpiring,” says Mollicone. “It is full umpiring now instead of limited umpiring, so no yellow flag anymore, it’s either red of green.” This will be the first year where full umpiring is being used at the team race nationals.

The Gill Coed Championship will again compete in Z420s and CFJs, with the 36 qualified team competing on the first two days in the semi-final regatta, with the field divided into two 18-team regattas. The top nine teams in each semi-final round will advance to the finals round, an 18-boat regatta on the last two days of the championship, June 3-4. This will determine the podium spots and name the national champion.

“This time of year, Newport is known for its sea breeze and ideally that is what we will have,” Mollicone says. “It ranges from 12 to 18 knots because the water is still pretty cold – we hope to see that more than anything else, but there are fronts that come in and play a role.”

A video feed will be available for some portions of the Sperry Women’s Nationals and LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals and live coverage and social media updates also available throughout the events.

Gary Jobson and Chris Love Productions will be filming portions of the Gill Coed Nationals for an ESPNU segment, which will first air on Friday, July 10 at 5:30 pm ET.

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