Stanford wins Match Race Nationals

Published on November 3rd, 2019

Stanford University won the Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) 2019 Match Race National Championship, held November 1-3 in Marblehead, MA. Ten teams raced in Sonars for the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy.

Jack Parkin along with his team of Wiley Rogers, Jacob Rosenberg, and Victoria Thompson led the Cardinal over the Georgetown Hoyas with Sean Segerblom, Jack Reiter, Scott Mais, and Annabelle Ayer.

After the Hoyas were perfect through the single round robin qualifying round, they beat Fordham 2-1 in the Semi Finals while the Cardinal advanced past Jacksonville, also 2-1. Jacksonville blanked Fordham 2-0 in the Petit Final while the Cardinal also swept the Hoyas 3-0 in the Final.

The top ten teams from across the nation qualified from one of seven conferences, with each four-person teams to have at least one female.

Event detailsResultsPhotos

Stanford University, 1st place

Georgetown University, 2nd place

Report from ICSA:
The event began on Friday, November 1, although due to strong winds (steady 25-30 knots) racing was canceled in the afternoon, and got underway Saturday morning. After two days of challenging competition, Stanford University came away the winner.

The regatta was hosted by Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass. with support from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Racing took place in Sonars in and around Marblehead Harbor. Ten college sailing teams qualified to compete in the championship having advanced from their own conference qualifiers. Each team had four crew members one of which was required to be female.

The match-racing format is one boat pitted against another boat and a team of umpires supervises each race. The regatta format is five stages and racing took place on a Windward/Leeward course with mark roundings to starboard. Races in the first stages of the regatta are meant to take 15 to 17 minutes to complete and in the Semi-Final and Final rounds 18 to 20 minutes to complete.

Stage one began about an hour earlier than scheduled Saturday morning, around 9:30 a.m., to try to make up some time for missing racing on Friday. All ten teams competed in a single round robin in variable conditions. Light winds and a wind shift caused a delay in racing in the middle of the day, but racing continued through the afternoon. It made for a long day of racing and all of the races were close with a lot of lead changes. The race was not truly won until the finish line.

Georgetown led after the first round robin with an undefeated record of 9-0. They showed strong boat handling in the Sonars, as did Stanford University, who followed closely in second with an 8-1 record. There was a tie for third place between Fordham University and Jacksonville University, both with a record of 6-3.

Due to time constraints with the regatta conditions the Repechage round was eliminated as was the Quarterfinals round by the end of the second day of racing. Therefore racing continued with a round of racing for places 5th-10th, two Semi-Finals rounds, Petit Finals and the Finals.

The conditions on Sunday brought the best winds and was a perfect day for match racing. In the round of the 5th-10th places, Bowdoin College beat Washington University for 9th place, Tulane University beat Wisconsin University for a chance for 5th place, Tufts University beat Eckerd College for a chance for 5th place. In the Wisconsin/Eckerd face off, Wisconsin took the win to finish 7th overall and Eckerd finished in 8th. Tufts won the 5th place race over Tulane, who then finished 6th overall.

The Semi-Final rounds were the best of three races. In the first Semi, Stanford beat Jacksonville University 2-1, and Georgetown beat Fordham 2-1. Therefore Stanford and Georgetown advanced to the Finals and Fordham and Jacksonville sailed the Petit Finals. Jacksonville took Fordham 2-0, and that placed Fordham in 4th and Jacksonville in 3rd overall.

The Finals carried excitement with very close racing. It was the best of five races and the conditions were tricky. An Easterly breeze off the shore made for challenging wind shifts. It was a race to velocity on the upwind beats followed by lots of match racing on the downwind legs. At the finish of the first two races in the round between Stanford and Georgetown their bows were within a foot of each other at the finish line, but Stanford crossed ahead both times.

In the third race of the Finals, it was a close race upwind, but on the last downwind Georgetown and Stanford split at the mark rounding and it did not pay off for Georgetown. Stanford finished ahead by about 15 seconds. This is the first time that Stanford has won the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy.

“After the close racing yesterday [Saturday] we had improved our boat handling for today,” says Jack Parkin, skipper for Stanford. “Our team has sailed together in other match race regattas, including the Youth Match Racing Worlds in Russia this past summer,” Parkin says, “we haven’t sailed together since then, but we were able to have polished boat handling and good speed downwind.”

The Georgetown sailors also had a chance to practice together in a Sonar before the regatta to work on their boat handling for the Championship.

“We practiced seven or eight times this fall and it paid off with good boat handling, which we showed off in the first round,” says Janel Zarkowsky, assistant sailing coach for Georgetown. “Going into the Finals we knew it would be a challenge, both for the Easterly wind conditions and against Stanford. We focused on fleet racing to get around the course and did more match racing on the downwind legs. The racing was very close and it was a great regatta.”

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).

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

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