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College Sailing: Fall Season Update

Published on October 24th, 2018

Chris Klevan provides this week’s update from the seven conferences of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA).

The Fiske-Harriman-Sleigh Trophy for the Coed Showcase Finals saw the two extremes that bookend sailing in general: light and breezy. Saturday’s light air rewarded the feather-weight quick and mentally resolute sailors while Sunday pushed the nation’s best to test their mettle against the elements in 18-28 knot winds.

The Coed Showcase Finals is a new rendition of the classic Atlantic Coast Championship. It even carries the namesake of the ACC’s trophy, the Fiske, Harrington, Sleigh. Like the ACCs, the Showcase Finals displayed the best in the nation.

However, unlike the ACCs, where each conference on the East Coast gets a set number of berths, the teams at the Showcase Finals are derived from a semi-final format or two 18 team regattas advancing the top-9 from each to the finals, allowing Stanford to get in the mix.

#1 Yale came out on top in an event that was tighter than the results show as the Bulldogs fended off a handful of challengers throughout the regatta. Defending champion, #7 MIT, #5 Stanford and #11 College of Charleston were all winning the event at some point. But while other teams rose and fell, Yale was always in the hunt.

Charleston had the lead from race 4A to 7A while MIT wrestled with it early in the find and hung around to grab it as late as race 12B. Even Stanford, who finished in 12th place had the lead towards the end of the day on Saturday. However, ultimately, the Championship belonged to Yale.

Yale’s sophomore Shawn Harvey split time on the tiller with Nick Hernandez ‘19. When Harvey was driving, Graceann Nicolosi ‘19 crewed from him. This duo is not young anymore as they appear to represent the team to beat in B-Division this year, giving the top-ranked Yale an edge on the rest of the nation.

Hernandez took the helm after race 12, as Harvey and Nicolosi were faltering in the big breeze. Harvey and Nicolosi finished the day on Saturday with 13 points in the final 5 races, four firsts and a ninth.

However, they started the day on Sunday with two 13s and assistant coach, Martim Anderson didn’t hesitate to make a move. He flipped Harvey to the front of the boat and put in Senior, Nicolas Hernandez in the driver’s seat. Hernandez and Harvey finished in the top-6 in 5 of the final 6 races to close the event for the Bulldogs. Harvey, Hernandez and Nicolosi won B-Division in what was truly a team effort.

“It showed that we have experience in the boats dealing with all conditions,” said coach Anderson. “In the lighter stuff we stayed more disciplined than other teams, and in the breeze our veteran pairs were great at controlling the boats in difficult conditions.”

“The regatta felt more competitive than ACCs of the past,” said Yale senior Nick Hernandez. “Everyone was just as aggressive and competitive as they would be at any other championship.

“Having Shawn Harvey crew was great because having two skippers in the same boat let us play to each of our relative strengths and figure out the tricky conditions before other boats. Although our boathandling was not great, he’s a beast crew and our speed/control around the course was unmatched. Our strength coach, TJ Belanger, has been working us hard in the weight room so that certainly helped too.

“It’s awesome to have an event where we can show our ability to be competitive in all wind strengths, and that it takes a full team to do so. On my high school team, we only had four sailors, so when we were out of our breeze ranges for the respective pairs we just had to make do. Getting everyone involved and getting to play to all our relative strengths is what makes college sailing so much more of a team sport.

“To come out on top after this event was awesome for the team. It’s a great metric of our progress this season, and that we can be consistently competitive in a wide range of conditions at the national level. Our current team is in a ideal spot. Our practices are as competitive as they have ever been, and having Martim as our third coach is steepening everyone’s learning curve. For fleet racing, we all have things we can improve on, but it is good to know where we stand in our current shape.”

#8 Bowdoin finished second with 275 points, 29 points behind Yale’s 246. Matt Kaplan ‘19 with Louisa Lindgren ‘19 and Matt Safford ‘20 finished second in A-Division to lead the Polar Bears’ efforts.

Augie Dale ‘19 with Katherine Lounsbury ‘20 and Carter Cameron ‘19 and Oliver Parsons ‘21 won A-Division, pushing Dale’s name into the conversation for Men’s Marlow Ropes Sailor of the Year. Dale, sailing primarily with Lounsbury, was one of the top B-Division sailors last year but has yet to make his mark on this fall season as the Cougar’s A-Division boat. Lounsbury and Dale are one of the fastest boats in the nation and they proved it last weekend on the biggest stage.

#2 Georgetown finished 3rd overall with 286 points due to a late charge in the big breeze. Led by Will Logue ‘20 sailing with Andy Reiter ‘19 on Sunday, Georgetown crawled back from 7th overall. Logue had been sailing with Sophomore Caroline Teare but as sailors were met with winds Sunday morning above 20 knots, Reiter stepped into the front of the boat. The tandem totaled 40 points in 8 races sailed on Sunday, recording the low point score for the day including 7 races within the top-6.

#3 Hobart and William Smith Colleges finished 4th with 288 points and #7 MIT finished 5th with 290.

#6 Cornell University won the MAISA Women’s Championship sailed on the home waters of Lake Cayuga. After a light and variable Saturday where only 7 races were completed, Sunday delivered 15-25 knot, full on conditions. The majority of the regatta’s scores came in the big breeze and the Big Red of Cornell proved at they know how to handle themselves in wind, winning the day on Sunday and the regatta despite an OCS scored.

Cornell had top-3 finishes in 11 of the 20 races sailed and only scored outside the top-5 in five of the races sailed.

“It’s the first conference championship for our program and a great benchmark for us but we still have to stay focused on improving,” said Cornell Head Coach Brian Clancy.

Daisy Holthus ‘21 and Kimberly Wong ‘19 started the event and sailed extremely well in the light air, scoring a 1,2,1 in the three races sailed. In the breeze on Sunday, Brooke Shachoy ‘22 and Becca Jordan ‘21 stepped in even though their teammates were winning the division showing the strength and depth of the Big Red team.

Shachoy and Jordan maintained the B-Division lead, an impressive feat due to an OCS scored. Their effort, coupled with a 3rd place finish by Gabby Rizika ‘20, Diana Otis ‘19 and Miranda Sannino ‘20 in A-Division was enough to squeak out a 2 point win over neighboring #4 William Smith.

#13 George Washington finished 3rd with 90 points, one point behind William Smith and 3 points behind Cornell. Riley Legault ‘19 of GW won A-Division sailing with Alexandra Fayer ‘19, Emma Mendenhall ‘19, and Sarah Noyes ‘20 by 3 points over Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year hopeful, Bailey Carter ‘19, who has yet to finish outside the top-3 at a women’s event yet this year, sailed with Sarah Smith ‘22 in the light stuff and Bridget Lawless ‘21 in the big breeze.

The 2018 PCCSC Match Race Championship was a one day regatta sailed out of Stanford University. The Match Race Championship for the Pacific Coast Conference advanced one team to the National Championship to be held in SoCal on November 16-18.

The format for the PCCSC Championship would be a 6 team round robin followed by a best of 3 knockout series. After the round robin, the California Maritime Academy Keelhaulers were 5-0, drawing the 1 seed.

Stanford advanced to the finals as the two seed set to battle the Keelhaulers for a spot at the national championship. The finals went to race 3 and after trailing due to a slow penalty kill, the Cardinal passed Cal Maritime on the second upwind to take the series and compete for the national championship.

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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