Dartmouth and Navy lead Nationals
Published on May 30th, 2017
Mount Pleasant, SC (May 30, 2017) – The 2016-17 college season comes to a close with the Gill College Sailing National Semi-Final and Final Championship which began today on the Cooper River. The top 36 college sailing teams in the nation are vying for 18 spots in the championship finals, which will be held June 1 and 2.
The semifinals are divided into two fleets, an Eastern and Western, each with 18 teams. The sailors are racing on windward leeward courses in FJs and Z420s. The top nine teams from each fleet will advance to the finals.
Racing got underway around 10:30 a.m. in light winds about 6 knots. Temperatures were in the low to mid 80s for most of the day. The race committee was able to complete four races in A-division and two in B-division when the wind became too light for the boats to sail against the current.
After a wind postponement, competitors went out to sail again at about 3:00pm, but the northerly wind that filled in was still too light to fight the ebb current, so the race committee abandoned the race and postponed again.
Another breeze line came in and racing got started once again. The race officials were able to complete six races in A- division in both semifinal fleets and four races in B-division in both of the fleets. Racing finished up just before 7 p.m.
Dartmouth College is leading the Eastern fleet after today closely followed by Roger Williams University and George Washington University in third. Holding on to a qualifying spot, in ninth place after racing today is the University of Rhode Island.
“Going into this event our team was prepared that it could be long days of racing,” says Justin Assad, head coach for Dartmouth. “Something we focused on today, which we have been doing all year, is the process; taking it one race and one step at a time.
“We don’t have current at our home venue, so we tried to assess the current and figure out how much to factor it into the racing. We made some mistakes today, especially downwind, we know now we want to stay in the top third on those legs and we will continue to learn and get better tomorrow.”
Sailing for Dartmouth is: Charlie Lalumiere ’17 with Rebecca McElvain ’19 in A-division and Pat Floyd ’17 with Madeleine Cooney ’17 in B-division.
On top of the Western fleet is the U.S. Naval Academy, who has a 12-point lead over Yale University in second place followed by the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in third. University of California Santa Barbara is holding on to a qualifying spot in ninth place.
“We had good boat speed in the Z420s, but it was a long day, with long delays, so we were glad to be able to hang in there,” says Ian Burman, head coach for Navy. “For this event we are looking to make it through to the finals, so we aim to do as well as we can and learn for the next round. We try not to take too many chances and stay in the races.”
Sailing for Navy is: Patrick Snow ’17 with Mary Morocco ’19 in A-division and Gary Prieto ’18 with Ana Mier ’19 in B-division.
There are still 12 races to sail in A-division and 14 races in B-division in each fleet. The first warning for racing is at 10 a.m. tomorrow. No race can start after 5 p.m.
Top Nine Eastern Semifinals (6A, 4B races):
1. Dartmouth College, 55
2. Roger Williams University, 57
3. George Washington University, 61
4. College of Charleston, 62
5. Boston University, 63
6. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 63
7. Stanford University, 74
8. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, 76
9. University of Rhode Island, 78
Top Nine Western Semifinal (6A, 4B races):
1. U.S. Naval Academy, 41
2. Yale University, 53
3. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 57
4. Tufts University, 59
5. Georgetown University, 70
6. Brown University, 71
7. Boston College, 74
8. Old Dominion University, 83
9. University of California Santa Barbara, 88
Livestream Broadcast on Thursday, June 1 through Friday, June 2 @ 9:30 am EDT (2 days):
Source: Jennifer Mitchell (words), Michael Wiser (photos)