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Georgetown University wins 2013-14 ICSA Match Race Nationals

by Jennifer Mitchell on 26 Nov 2013
Georgetown University Upwind Genoa Fedyszyn
The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Match Race National Championship for the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy was completed today after three days of racing. The event began on Friday, November 22 and was hosted by the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and the University of South Florida. Competitors sailed out of the St. Petersburg Sailing Center and racing took place on Tampa Bay.

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 teams sailed 23 foot Sonar Sloops.

Match racing is a unique racing format in that it is just one versus one. One boat is pitted against another boat and a team of umpires supervises each race. This is not an average dinghy regatta; it takes a great deal of organization and contribution from many people.

St. Petersburg Yacht Club helped to run a great event and the team of umpires was fantastic. Thanks to: Glenn Oliver, John Pratt, Don Becker, Barbara Farquhar, Charlie Arms, Vicki Sodaro, Carrie Greene, Phil Pape, Susan Wallace, Eric Robbins and Tom Rinda for your hard work.

The match race regatta format is five stages and racing took place on a Windward/Leeward course with mark rounding’s 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.

In stage one all ten teams competed in a single round robin. This stage lasted the entirety of the first day of racing. The day began with winds out of the East at about 8 to 10 knots, but the breeze gradually decreased throughout the day. Light winds made for difficult to match racing. Maneuvering the boats is slow in light air and teams had to be on their toes to keep their boats moving fast.

After day one Yale University was in the lead with only one loss to Georgetown University. Boston College was in second with two losses followed by St. Mary’s College of Maryland in third place also with two losses.

Stage two consists of two rounds of racing. One between the top six teams from stage one or the Gold Round and the other between the remaining four teams or the Repechage Round. This racing began on day two with about 8 knots of wind, which started to shift and eventually die causing about a four-hour postponement in racing. The breeze filled back in from the Northwest and built to around 10 to 12 knots so racing could resume. By the end of the day, the sailors were hiking to keep the Sonars flat.

The Gold Round was a single round robin and determined the seeding for the Quarter Finals. The Repechage Round was also a single round robin and the top two teams advance to the Quarter Finals with the Gold teams. This stage took the entirety of day two. Yale University held onto their lead, while St. Mary’s College moved up to second place and Georgetown University moved into third place. From the Repechage Round the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin advanced into the Quarter Finals.



Today, the third and final day of the regatta contained a lot of racing and luckily the wind was the strongest it had been throughout the weekend. The day began with breeze out of the Northeast at about 12 knots. It continued to build up to 18 knots at times and teams were hiking hard. Waves also got bigger throughout the day to add to the challenge of the racing.

Stage three or the Quarter Finals was the first racing of the day. The eight teams in this round were paired to compete so the highest seed sailed the lowest seed (1 v 8, 2 v 7, etc.). This was a knock out series. The winner of each pair was the first team to score at least two points.

At the same time the ninth and tenth place teams raced each other, the first to two points, to determine ninth and tenth place. The University of West Florida defeated Oregon State University in two races to finish the event in ninth.

The only flight in the Quarter Finals that went beyond two races was between Boston College and the College of Charleston. Charleston came out on top winning the third race and therefore scoring two points to advance into the Semi-Finals. Also in stage four, the Semi Finals was Yale University, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Georgetown University.

In the Semi Finals the winner of the 1 v 8 Quarter Final was paired against the winner of the 4 v 5 Quarter Final, and the winner of the 2 v 7 Quarter Final was paired against the winner of the 3 v 6 Quarter Final. The College of Charleston sailed Yale University and St. Mary’s College of Maryland sailed Georgetown University.

The College of Charleston defeated Yale and Georgetown defeated St. Mary’s in close racing to move them into the Finals. Mike Callahan, the head coach of Georgetown University, felt that their pairing with St. Mary’s was the most challenging racing for them of the event, 'St. Mary’s was the best prepared team there,' he says. Georgetown had lost to them twice in earlier rounds in the regatta. 'It was a confidence boost to beat them,' Callahan says.

In stage five, the Finals determined first and second in the regatta and the Petite Finals determine third and fourth. St. Mary’s defeated Yale in the Petite Finals taking third place in the event.

The Finals came down to the College of Charleston and Georgetown. Georgetown was controlling Charleston during the starting sequence of the race, but both boats were over the line early. Georgetown was able to clear the line first and come into the race with starboard tack advantage. They were then able to cover Charleston for the remainder of the race and win the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy for the ICSA Match Race National Championship.

Callahan says that their team was able to practice a little bit in Sonars before the event thanks to their assistant coach Janel Zarkowski who helped to find Sonars for them to sail. 'We did not get much practice, but enough to feel ready for the event,' he says. Their practice was in heavy wind, so the first two days of the championship they struggled with boat speed. But by the third day the wind was stronger and the Georgetown sailors felt more comfortable.



Final Results:
1. Georgetown University
Nevin Snow '16
AJ Reiter '17
Alexander Post '15
Katia DaSilva '15

2. College of Charleston
Ryan Davidson ‘16
Brandon Folkman ‘16
Ali Blumenthal ‘15
Jake Reynolds ‘16

3. St. Mary's College of Maryland
Jake LaDow '15
John Wallace '14
Kaitlyn Noreen '16
Ian Liberty '14

4. Yale University
Chris Segerblom '14,
Max Nickbarg '14,
Graham Landy '15,
Marly Isler '16

5. University of Wisconsin
Whitney Kent '15
Megan McMahon '17
Harrison Faust '14
Ian Walter '16

6. Stanford University
Scott Buckstaff '17
Hans Henken '15
Cam Hutton '14
McKenzie Wilson '14

7. Boston College
William Bailey '15
Domenic Bove '15
Katja Sertl '16
Harry Koeppel '17

8. University of Michigan
Will Cyr ‘14
David Oliver ‘14
Ansley Semack ‘14
Chris Cyr ‘16

9. University of West Florida
Harrison Prochaska ‘14
Zach Grant ‘15
Anthony Scott ‘17
Danielle Le ‘16

10. Oregon State University
Brian Hickman ‘15
Aike Burger ‘16
Austin Sandifer ‘16
Cragan Smith ‘14

To learn more about the event, the competitors and results visit the event website: College Sailing website: http://2013matchrace.collegesailing.org/.

Results are updated in real time on the College Sailing Scores site: http://scores.collegesailing.org/.

The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. Visit www.collegesailing.org to learn more. Marlow Ropes (www.marlowropes.com) is the Official Rope of College Sailing.

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