College Sailing: Spring Season Update

Published on March 20th, 2018

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

Last weekend #1 Roger Williams University won the Graham Hall Team Race, hosted by the United State Naval Academy. Once deemed the spring season opener, due to its placement on the college sailing schedule, the Graham Hall remains as the first big-time team race of the season.

It now serves as a double point-earning regatta for the newly formed Mid Atlantic Team Race League as well as the first opportunity for the best of Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic and New England conference teams to get together on the same body of water. Moreover, the Naval Academy runs some of the best regattas on the circuit.

Unfortunately, this year the conditions forced a truncated version of the epic regatta. Typically the 16 teams sail a single round robin followed by a gold/ silver round (top-8 and bottom-8) and then a championship round with the final four. This format is identical to the ideal format at the ICSA Team Race National Championship and is part of the reason this regatta tends to be so exciting.

Roger Williams started strong, dropping only 2 races in the first 15 sailed, one versus #5 Hobart and Williams Smith College and another surprising loss to University of Virginia to open their event. However, despite a strong start, the Hawks, who have been dominant to start the season, were looking up at an undefeated, 15-0 Hobart and William Smith.

When conditions were flat, HWS was tough to beat. “When we were behind in the first round, it was typically in the 2,3,6 combo, trying to beat the 1,4,5,” said HWS Head Coach, Scott Ikle. “We knew what we needed to do and we executed.”

After an extremely strong fleet race season in the fall, it is widely known that HWS has two of the best in the game today. Hector Guzman ‘20 with Maya Weber ‘20 is one of the fastest boats in the nation. In Guzman and Weber, coupled with the experience of College Sailor of the Year darkhorse, Greiner Hobbs ‘18 with Haley Okun ‘18, HWS also has two of the best boats on the team race circuit.

The key to this team’s championship bid looks to be Charles Miller ‘19 and Lindsey Kloc ‘19. Kloc has already established herself as one of the best in the front of the boat, Miller is more of a question mark due to inconsistency. You need three great boats to compete this year and, though still early, Roger Williams has shown that is exactly what they have.

For Roger Williams, Martim Anderson ‘18 with Rebecca Anderson ‘18 and Mack Bryan ‘18 with Jennifer Agell ’19 are as fast as any other two boats on the water. Connor Harding ‘19 and Michael McBrien ‘18 are now well versed in the subtle art of beating another boat and are the perfect compliment to the two aforementioned speedsters. The lessons this team learned throughout the offseason, including last summer, have proven critical for putting together performances capable of winning major regattas.

Despite falling behind in the first round, including a rare loss to UVA, Roger Williams seemed unphased and finished strong, 4-1 in the round of 6. HWS went 1-4 in the same round.

“In the round of 6 we did not get off the starting line nearly as well,” stated Ikle. “On top of that, we were spinning a lot. Against those top teams, if you’re getting beat off the starting line and are looking at a break-away 1-2 due to penalties, you’re not going to win many races.” HWS finished with a record of 16-4 while RWU snuck past them at 17-3.

#4 Yale finished in 3rd at 15-5, with a perfect 5-0 final 6 round. Do not sleep on this team! Coming off a spring break where recent Yale alums flock to Florida to battle with the current team, this still young team may just be coming into their own.

Backed by perhaps one of the best team racers in college, 2-time champion Malcolm Lamphere ‘18 and College Sailor of the Year contender Nic Baird ‘19, Yale is capable of beating anyone – they proved just that at the Graham Hall. Commenting on Yale’s embarrassment of riches, former College Sailor of the Year and Yale Alumni Graham Landy said, “That kid Sean Harvey is going to be good by the end of the spring. I bet Malcolm [Lamphere] is the best team racer in college. He’s got some skills.”

Notably, #2 Georgetown and #3 College of Charleston did not sail as well as we have come to expect at Navy, especially Charleston who finished the regatta with a 12-8 overall record.

The Cougars sailed with the same six sailors throughout the event, and despite filling the voids left from last year’s championship team with capable hands in Augie Dale ‘19 and Katherine Lounsbury ‘20, it is clear there is still work to be done to return the three boats in maroon and white to the level they found at the end of last spring.

Like they say, the other teams have coaches too. The following weeks should prove pivotal in the development of the teams vying for the 10 east coast spots at the Team Race National Championship held at Old Dominion University, May 26-28.

Note: Team race rankings taken from the Sail1Design College Team Race Rankings published March 9, 2018.
#2 Boston College won the St. Mary’s Women’s Interconference held at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Squeaking out a 3 point victory over the #4 College of Charleston Cougars. The Eagles put together a team effort in the win with a 5th place finish by Isabella Loosbrock ‘19 and Emma Perry ‘19 in the most competitive A-Division we have seen yet this young season. The regatta win, however, was punctuated by an impressive B-Division victory by Sophia Reineke ‘21 and Lily McGrath ‘18.

With the continued improvement of Lossbrock and Reineke, it is hard to predict how good the BC Eagles can be on the women’s circuit. The standard, however, is the Yale women’s team. Though the Bulldogs finished 4th and 27 points behind the lead, they did so without their top women’s sailor, Casey Klingler, a senior this year.

It was impressive to see the depth of the Yale team sailing sophomores Louisa Nordstrom and Christine Klingler sailing A and B respectively. Coupled with senior KB Knapp and freshman Catherine Mollerus in the front, the performance of such a young team bodes well for Yale in the future.

Finishing second at the event, close behind the lead, was the College of Charleston women who before Boston College showed up, had been atop the women’s scene early in the spring. Also a team effort, both Charleston boats finished in the top three of each division, with A Division team Alie Toppa ‘20 with Annabel Carrington ‘19 only 3 points off the lead, again held by Coast Guard’s Dana Rohde ‘18 and Maddie Ekin ‘20.

#5 Brown University finished 3rd overall with 98 points.
#18 Harvard University won the Southern New England Team Race hosted by Connecticut College. The Crimson finished with a record of 14-4. The conditions were sporadic, according to the regatta report, featuring “SW-NNW with about 3 knots to 22 knots of breeze,” during racing on Saturday with less puffiness on Sunday but colder. One, 10-team round robin was completed on each day resulting in a total of 18 races sailed for each team.

Harvard was extremely solid throughout the weekend, going 7-2 on each day. #8 MIT finished second at 13-5 and #19 Boston University finished tied with the home team, Connecticut College for third place at 12-6.

Though this regatta was deemed an interconference regatta, it was filled almost exclusively by New England schools. The schools competing are those vying for the last spot or two allotted to New England as it seems like a foregone conclusion that, based on recent successes and a history of excellence on the team race circuit, the first two spots will be claimed by Roger Williams and Yale.

Boston College seems like the likely choice to claim the third New England spot, but they have a lot of turnover from last year, and therefore harder to forecast. It’ll be interesting to see how they fair in the coming weekends after a win in the Mid Atlantic conference last weekend.

All New England teams competing – Harvard, MIT, BU, Conn College, Bowdoin, Brown, Tufts and Coast Guard – will be looking to steal some wins from the perennial favorites with hopes of claiming one of the remaining, highly coveted spots. The big question mark remaining is #13 Dartmouth, who has yet to make an appearance this spring.

Meanwhile, in the Mid Atlantic, two of the four spots granted will likely be claimed by Georgetown and Hobart and William Smith. The teams that will take the final two spots are much harder to predict. Due to the parameters of their team race league, it seems like the conference championship, the Prosser Trophy, will feature HWS, Georgetown, George Washington, Navy and St. Mary’s all competing for the top-4 and a trip to nationals.

Old Dominion, Kings Point, SUNY, Fordham and Cornell will all be contending for the last pre-qualifying spot next weekend and later will be duking it out for the two spots granted to the MAISA Championship by the MAISA Team Race Challenge, held at Cornell.

Watching these teams develop over the coming weeks will be very interesting as the gains made in the near future will help give us an idea of who will be representing each conference come 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).

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