Women’s College Team Making History

Published on April 27th, 2016

The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association’s three national championships – Sperry Women’s Championship, LaserPerformance Team Race Championship, and the Gill Coed Championship – will be held May 24-June 3, with schools racing Club FJs at San Diego, CA.

The event begins with the Women’s Nationals wherein 36 schools have advanced from one of seven districts qualifiers to compete for the title. Among that field one school is making history. Jacksonville University alumna Mara Strobel-Lanka tells the story…

Over the past four years that Jacksonville University (Jacksonville, FL) has competed in Varsity sailing, the attention has been focused mostly on their quickly growing Co-ed team. There has been a lot of buzz generated by the “coolest team” in the country, and the immense progress they’ve made on a national level in collegiate sailing. But biding their time and putting in equally tough hours of work, the Women’s team has stayed mostly under the radar…until now.

After attending only one previous women’s event over the Spring season, JU’s Lady Dolphins had a spectacular showing at the SAISA Women’s Championship hosted by College of Charleston this past weekend. Placing in 4th overall after eighteen races between nine schools, the women’s team qualified for the National Championship for the first time in Jacksonville University history.

Junior driver Anna Palmer ‘17 and sophomore crew Kelsy Waack ‘18 kept things close with the tough A fleet, and a breakthrough performance in B fleet from freshman skipper Shaynah True ‘19 and her crew Lauri Niklason ‘17 brought the previously novice women’s team into the mix with the top sailing names in the country. A big assist also came from windy crews Victoria Caba ‘17 and Jess Schwartz ‘18.

This record performance marks a huge step forward for Jacksonville Sailing, who is now competing at the national level on all fronts. Their task now is to prepare to compete alongside thirty-five teams of the best women sailors in the country, and revel in the victories already won. However challenging the National Championship in San Diego may be for these young women, they have a historic feat to be proud of on a team that is rapidly gaining momentum.
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Nationals are hosted by San Diego Yacht Club and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference. Event details.

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