The Singlehanders of College Sailing

Published on January 17th, 2024

by Luas Masiello, Sailing World magazine
The vast majority of collegiate sailing happens in doublehanded FJ and 420 dinghies, but a dedicated group of ILCA 6 and 7 sailors compete for the annual Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association’s Singlehanded National Championship. And while singlehanded sailors race only two regattas per year—the regional qualifiers and national championship—the fleet is a staple of collegiate sailing and a breeding ground for US Olympic hopefuls.

Nick Reeser, a junior at the US Coast Guard Academy with an elite ILCA background, is this year’s champion in the fleet. From Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Reeser was a two-time champion of the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta’s ILCA 6 fleet and a second-place finisher in the ILCA 6 fleet at the 2019 High School Singlehanded National Championship before enrolling at the Coast Guard, where he finished seventh in the ICSA Men’s Singlehanded Championship in 2021. Reeser won this year’s nationals by 11 points after dominating the New England qualifier for the event, finishing 21 points ahead of the second-place finisher.

“Winning in this fleet is all about consistency,” Reeser says. “I didn’t win a single race at the Nationals qualifiers this year. I was aiming to be sixth or seventh at every weather mark and take away a couple of boats on a run; I had to make sure that there was no big risk-taking or critical failures.” – Full report

2023-24 Season

Fall National Championships:
November 3-5: Match Race Nationals – Charleston, SC
November 11-12: Women’s and Open Singlehanded Nationals – New Orleans, LA

Spring National Championships:
April 25-27: Open Team Race Nationals – Boston, MA
April 28-29: Women’s Team Race Nationals – Boston, MA
May 20-23: Women’s Dinghy Nationals – Boston, MA
May 24-27: Open Dinghy Nationals – Boston, MA

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