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College Sailing: Fall Season Update

Published on October 30th, 2019

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


Unfortunately, we must start by paying tribute to a legend and a multi-decade servant to College Sailing, Dan Winters, who passed over the weekend. In an email forwarded by ICSA President, Mitch Bridley, Maxwell Plarr, Head Coach at Christopher Newport University and successor to Winters had the following to say about his colleague and mentor; “Dan H. Winters fulfilled many roles in his life. He was a husband, a father, a coach, a friend, a sailmaker, an animal lover, and when he was passionate about something, a well respected adversary.

“Of all the titles and roles that Dan held during his eighty years on this earth we will remember him because of the great knowledge he bestowed upon us and his selfless dedication to the causes he upheld. A man of moral and principle he taught thousands of people life lessons while becoming better sailors in the process.”

Coach Plarr continued, “Dan operated Winters Sailmakers for forty years and was the head sailing coach at Christopher Newport University for twenty two years. He was a two-time inductee to the College Sailing Hall of Fame being recognized in 2003 for the Graham Hall Outstanding Service by a Professional and in 2013 he received the Campbell Family Lifetime of Service Award.

“After retiring from coaching in 2012, Dan continued to be the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s scheduler until his passing. He constantly tried to improve the multi-faceted layers of the conference to bring better and equal competition to all levels.”

“There will be no service at Dan’s request, and the family asks that expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to the CNU Sailing Foundation.”
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Yale University won The Victorian Coffee Urn, New England’s Fall Conference Championship. The two day event, held at Harvard featured a variety of conditions, ranging from light and variable to puffy and shifty. Harvard can be one of the hardest places to sail, located in the Northeastern Corner of the Charles River, surrounded by development in Boston to the South and Cambridge to the North. The construction of each new building on in Cambridge, across the river from Boston proper makes this venue even more difficult each successive year.

Despite the challenging weather, the Bulldogs of Yale University showed that they are a legitimate contender for next Spring’s Women’s National Championship as they defeated reigning champion, Brown in both divisions. Yale won the first race sailed and proceeded to hold the regatta lead throughout the entirety of the championship, completing the rare wire-to-wire victory.

Yale won the Urn by 25 points behind a strong performance in both A and B-divisions. One of the Women’s Sailor of the Year Finalist last year, Louisa Nordstrom, sailing with Claudia Loiacono ‘21, Catherine Mollerus ‘21 and Kathryn Clulo ‘21 won A-Division with 41 points after 12 races. The Yale A-boat found their stride midway through the event scoring all top-4 finishes from race 4A to 9A.

Yale’s B-Division boat of Christine Klingler ‘20, Catherine Webb ‘22 and Catherine Mollerus ‘21 won B-Division with 50 points in 12 races. Klingler won B-Division at 3 different regattas including the Jen Harris Women’s Showcase Finals at Navy two weekends ago. She won 3 for 3 of her B-Division attempts and won 2 for 3 in A-Division proving she’s not only one of the best B-Division sailors in the Nation but also one of the best Women’s sailors in the nation.

Brown finished second, 25 points behind Yale despite missing their best Women’s sailor and reigning Women’s College Sailor of the Year, Ragna Agerup ‘20. Hannah Steadman ‘20 shifted up to A-Division in Agerup’s stead and finished second with Annabelle Hutchinson ‘21 and Caroline Bayless ‘23.

Dartmouth finished 3rd with 151 points, URI was fourth with 155, winning a tie-breaker over fifth place finishing Harvard.
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Cornell won the MAISA Women’s Fall Dinghy Championship by 9 points over UPenn. The Big Red jumped in front, winning 5 of the first 6 races sailed and 10 of the 24 races sailed to establish an early lead. UPenn would eventually catch and pass Cornell going into the last two races of the regatta but were disqualified from the final race in A-Division, giving the win to Cornell.

“We have had a strong group of lady sailors for a while now and we’ve completed well on the women’s circuit,” said Cornell Head Coach Brian Clancy. “We have really good speed, they’re smart and we have a lot of talent on this team. Last weekend we were well prepared and we worked well together as a team.”

Gabby Rizika ‘20 and Adeline Sutton ‘21 won A-Division over Katherine Cox, Audrey Morin and Anna Flaherty of William Smith. Rizika and Sutton won five of the first six races and were in the top-4 in 7 of the 12 races sailed. Some deeper finishes prevented the Big Red tandem from running away with the regatta.

In B-Division, Daisy Holthus ‘21, Gabbi DelBello ‘23 and Jana Laurendeau ‘23 also narrowly won finishing one point ahead of Amanda Majernik ‘22 and Laura Whelan ‘20 of UPenn. Holthus has been sailing intermittently behind Rizika alongside Brooke Shacoy, who, this past weekend was sailing Coed B-Division at the War.

“Sailing Brooke in B at War was simple the best decision for the team. Sailing with Ethan in all races made it special, as his ability in the front of the boat is top notch in all conditions,” continued Coach Clancy. “The challenge was the event, not the personnel. We are deep at the women’s skipper position and therefore were well equipped for both events.”

William Smith finished 3rd with 103 points.
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Brown University won The 79th Professor Erwin Schell Trophy at MIT. MIT hosts the historic event every other year now.

John Mollicone, head coach at Brown had the following to say about the Schell. “The Erwin Schell Trophy is one of NEISA’s most historic and prestigious trophies and our New England Fall Dinghy Championship. It is also one of the hardest ones to win. The Charles River, the Fireflies, the late season weather always makes it a difficult and exciting event, especially when it is at MIT every odd year.”

“My favorite Schell Trophy was in 2004 after the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918,” continued Mollicone. “During the Schell Trophy, they shut everything down in Boston and had the entire Red Sox organization out on the Charles River in duck boats. They all came right by the MIT docks in the duck boats while everyone watched from the docks and sailing was postponed for a bit. We got to see the World Series Trophy and all of the players right off the docks. Their have also been years with the first snowfall of the year at the Schell and tons of breeze, going to storm jibs on the FJs and small mains on the old Techs. A lot of great memories at the Schell.”

Like Yale at the Urn and Cornell at the MAISA Women’s, Brown won both divisions. What was especially impressive was Ragna Agerup ‘20, Julia Reynolds ‘21 and Emma Montgomery’s ‘22 win in A-Division by 20 points over Shawn Harvey ‘21 and Graceann Nicolosi ‘20. Brown finished 2nd at the Women’s Champs without their reigning sailor of the year. This was the ninth full regatta sailed for Agerup, her 3rd division victory and her 7th top 5 as she’s not just a favorite for Women’s College Sailor of the Year for the second time running. In contrast, the other finalist for last year’s best female sailor, Allie Toppa only sailed 3 regattas this fall.

Brown’s Connor Nelson ‘23 with Madeleine McGrath ‘22 won B-Division. The young Brown boat found their stride late as they finished the regatta with a picket fence, three straight bullets.

“Our entire team has been working really hard all fall and we have a ton of team depth this season,” said Coach Mollicone. “Our other teams also finished 2nd at the Urn Trophy, 2nd at the Nickerson, and 2nd at the Dave Perry Team Race at Yale over the weekend, so it was a great weekend for the entire Brown team as they all work together and push and learn from each other. It was great to see everything come together at the Schell for the win with a huge strength being good starts, making good decisions, and making comebacks when necessary. They all sailed the boats really well and when it got windier on Sunday the Bears love breeze!”

When asked about the change to the fall season, now in its second year, Mollicone said, “I don’t think the feeling has changed too much. Before the change from ACC’s to the new Showcase format in recent years, doing well at the Schell meant qualifying for ACC’s more than anything. Now it is the final major dinghy event of the fall in NEISA, the New England Fall Dinghy Championship, and our biggest event in NEISA of the fall season in terms of performance ranking and scheduling for the next year. It’s a great way to end the fall season and all of the hard work that the student-athletes put into the season.”

Yale was second with 137, 31 points back from Brown. Boston University was 3rd with 175, Dartmouth fourth with 183 and Harvard was 5th with 186.
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St. Mary’s won the War Memorial by 8 points over Navy at King’s Point. The Seahawks traded blows with almost half of MAISA as Navy, Georgetown, HWS and Fordham all held the lead at some point during the event. St. Mary’s sailed great when it mattered most, scoring only inside the top seven throughout the final 10 races sailed of the 26 race regatta.

While Saturday’s racing was rather pedestrian, Sunday was anything but. According to the regatta report, seven races were sailed in 25 knots, falling to 12 throughout the day and MAISA sat out sailing when breeze got above 25.

Hector Guzman ‘20, sailing with Maya Weber ‘20 and Charles Carraway ‘22 won A-Division with 63 points- 1 point ahead of Sean Segerblom, Annabelle Ayer, Edward Cook and Jack Hogan of Georgetown.

Lewis Cooper ‘21, Sophia Taczak ‘21 and Thoms Walker ‘21 of St. Mary’s won B-Division by 13 points. The Seahawk boat never finished outside of the top-9.

Navy finished second with 131, Georgetown was 3rd with 144, HWS fourth with 144 and Fordham was 5th with 185.
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Stanford won the Women’s Pacific Coast Championship hosted by Cal Poly. The nine team, 18 total race event featured light air and strong current. Stanford’s B-Divsion boat of Hallie Schiffman ‘23 and Laurel Foster ‘22 were the standouts winning 8 of the nine races sailed in B and finished second in the only race they did not win. Stanford’s 23 point victory over USC was propelled by Schiffman and Foster’s 30 point B-Division victory.

Emi Stephanoff ‘21 and Gabrielle Harrington ‘23 of California Maritime won A-Division with 20 points. The Keelhauler tandem won 6 of the 9 races sailed in A-Division. Cal Maritime finished third, three points behind USC.
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College of Charleston won the SAISA Fall Women’s Champs at UNC Wilmington. Chalreston won both divisions as Alie Toppa ‘20 and Laura Masterson ‘20 topped Charlotte Rose ‘22 and Caroline Bourgeois ‘22 of Jacksonville in the 8 race series. Toppa and Masterson won 4 of the 8 races.

Marian Frances Williams ‘21 and Natasha Scott Morton ‘22 won B-Division for the Cougars, winning all but two races sailed. Charleston finished with 27 points overall. Jacksonville had 43 and South Florida had 51.


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). collegesailing.org

2019 Fall Nationals
November 1-3 – Match Racing – Marblehead, MA
November 8-10 – Singlehanded – Santa Barbara, CA

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