College Sailing: Fall Season Update

Published on September 18th, 2018

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

As light and variable conditions were afflicting dinghy sailing on the east coast, singlehanded sailors had their sights set on a berth at two of College Sailing’s six National Championships – Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded Championships – to be held November 2-4 in Holland, MI.

The women’s singlehanded championship will consist of 18 boats from around the nation, with 11 of the slots determined last weekend as the Mid-Atlantic (MAISA), New England (NEISA) and South-east (SEISA) women’s singlehanded conference championships were sailed.

Yale’s Louisa Nordstrom ‘20 won the NEISA Women’s Singlehanded Championship at Boston College over last year’s national champion, Sophia Reineke ‘21. Nordstrom, already on the shortlist for Quantum Women’s Sailor of the Year, is unquestionable one of the most naturally gifted sailors in the nation and, though not widely known as a Laser sailor, has the tactical know-how to win any event, women’s or coed, Laser or dinghy. She showed her talent in a statement win over the weekend.

Nordstrom started slow before stringing together three consecutive first place finishes to catch and surpass Reineke. Nordstrom was able to fend off the incumbent throughout the remainder of the 11 race regatta, finishing with 42 points to Reineke’s 44.

Finishing third was Connecticut College’s AnaLucia Clarkson ‘22, who, finishing only 1 point behind Reineke, was never more than 7 points some the New England title. First year sailors are always a wild-card at the singlehanded events. Consider Clarkson a dark horse candidate for a national championship come November.

Abbie Carlson ‘22 of Tufts finished 4th, Hannah Steadman ‘20 of Brown, 5th and Isabella Loosbrock ‘19 of Boston College finished 6th to round out the Radial Sailors headed to the National Championship from New England.

Faye Bennet MAISA Women’s Singles was sailed at the United States Naval Academy and qualifies the top 4 sailors to the Women’s Singlehanded National Championship.

George Washington’s Riley Legault ‘19 won the event with 54 points. Despite the final score tally, the late stages of the regatta were extremely close due to a late charge by University of Pennsylvania’s Lenox Butcher ‘20.

Legault got off to a hot start, winning the first race and scoring no races outside the top-5 through the first 8 races of the regatta, establishing a 12 point lead by the eventual regatta winner. However, Butcher would not go quietly as she caught fire and passed Legault after race 10, holding the lead for 2 races.

Between race 4 and 12, Butcher finished with a top-3 score in 8 of the 9 races. Legault showed resolve in finishing the regatta’s last two races ahead of Butcher and defending a one point lead going into the finish race of the event.

Butcher finished with 63 points, Carly Broussard ‘21 of Georgetown University finished third with 69 points, and Jessica McJones of Navy finished 4th with 74, rounding out those heading to the national championship.

The NEISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship, sailed at Boston College, occurred alongside the NEISA women’s championship. The top-4 finishers qualify and move on to nationals.

Harvard’s Henry Marshall ‘22 ran away with the event late, finishing with 4 points in the regatta’s final three races, finishing with 37 points overall. The freshman showed poise in an extremely tough fleet, besting the 2016 Singlehanded National Champion, Scott Rasmussen ‘20 of Boston College, who finished 10 points behind the winner. Marshall had no races outside the top-9 in a 20 boat fleet and finished in the top-3 in 8 of the 11 races.

Rasmussen finished with 47 points, Brown’s Patrick Shanahan ‘19 finished 3rd with 56 points and Boston University’s Javier De Urganibia Panos ‘21 finished 4th with 67. Notably, Nicolas Baird ‘19 of Yale, one of the best sailors in the nation, fell short of qualifying despite finishing in the top-10 in two of the previous three Singlehanded National Championships, showing the depth of competition at the regatta.

The SEISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship was hosted by Texas A&M Galveston where only the top boat at the 6-sailor event would move on to the Championship. Five of the 6 competing boats were from the host school, Texas A&M Galveston with the lone competitor sailing away from home was Erik Schumann ‘22 of Tulane.

John Hanna ‘19 dominated the familiar faced field, putting up all first place finishes in the 7-race event. Hanna will be one of two SEISA sailors representing the conference at the National Championship as Tulane’s Ciara Rodriguez-Horan won the SEISA Women’s Singlehanded Championship, besting the one other boat sailing each of the seven races of the regatta.

On the dinghy side, not much sailing was completed. Dartmouth College won both of the NEISA In-conference regattas, coed and women’s, sailed on the Charles River, showing their depth. Hobart and William Smith and Georgetown won the two MAISA In-conference regattas sailed at Fordham and St. Mary’s, respectively. Neither regatta featured more than five different schools as the new college sailing schedule presents no opportunities for the presumptive top teams across the nation to compete against each other.

Background: The 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).

2018 Fall Nationals
November 2-4 – Singlehanded – Holland, MI
November 16-18 – Match Racing – Newport Beach, CA

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