Thirty-five college sailing teams descended on Hampton University and Hampton Yacht Club this weekend for the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) National Championship Semi-Finals co-hosted by Hampton and Old Dominion Universities. Supporting sponsors were Laser Performance and U.S. Sailing.
Semi-Finals Racing - Eighteen Teams Qualify For College Sailing Nationals
The Semi-Finals were divided into two fleets, Eastern and Western. There were 17 teams in the Eastern fleet and 18 in the Western fleet representing schools from across the nation. The top nine schools in each fleet qualify to compete in the Gill/ICSA Coed Dinghy National Championship Finals May 28 – 30 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Thirteen races were completed in both the Eastern and Western Semi-Finals on mostly Windward/Leeward courses with the fleets rotating each day in FJs.
Sailors arrived to light winds on Saturday morning, but the breeze continued to build all day from an easterly direction. The sailors had to factor in some current on the course, but playing the wind shifts proved to be most important in the racing. Sunday brought steadier winds overall from a southeasterly direction.
The Semi-Finals is one of the few fleet race regattas held in the spring college sailing season. It is a chance for teams to sail strong competition and practice before the National Championship Finals.
This was the first time that Hampton University hosted such a large college sailing event. 'Hampton University was very welcoming and both Hampton and Old Dominion did a great job running the regatta,' says John Vandemoer, head coach of the Stanford University Sailing Team.
Stanford won the Eastern Semi-Final with the helps of A-division sailors Kevin Laube ‘14 and Carolyn Ortel ’14 and B-division sailors Oliver Toole ’14 and Haley Kirk ’15. Also competing for Stanford was Hans Henken '15, Rebecca King '13, Yuri Namikawa '14, Mateo Vargas '14 and Tally Buckstaff '14. They finished 16 points ahead of co-host team Old Dominion.
'We are excited for the win,' says Vandemoer, 'we have been close the last few years and it is an important stepping stone for us going into the Finals,' he adds. Stanford placed third in last year’s Semi-Finals.
Yale University placed second in their division at last year’s Semi-Finals and this year they came away with a win in the Western Semi-Final. Sailors Graham Landy ‘15 and Heather May ‘13 in A-division and Cam Cullman ‘13 and Charlotte Belling ‘16 in B-division led the win. Also competing for Yale was Eugenia Custo Greig '14 and Christopher Segerblom '14.
It was a close regatta for Yale with Georgetown University and Hobart and William Smith Colleges right behind them the whole event. 'The whole team sailed well and we did not make a lot of mistakes,' says Zach Leonard, Yale University’s head sailing coach. Yale sailed smart and Leonard says they will keep improving – this was a good step along the way.
The University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison won U.S. Sailing’s GRIT award for being the final team in each group to qualify for the National Championship Finals.
Next up the Gill/ICSA Coed National Championship Finals, May 28 – 30, 2013 hosted by the University of South Florida, Eckerd College, and St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Congratulations to the qualifying teams:
1. Stanford University
2. Old Dominion University
3. Roger Williams University
4. Dartmouth College
5. Brown University
6. U.S. Naval Academy
7. University of South Florida
8. SUNY Maritime College
9. University of Virginia
1. Yale University
2. Georgetown University
3. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5. St. Mary’s College of Maryland
6. Tufts University
7. Boston College
8. College of Charleston
9. University of Wisconsin-Madison
For additional regatta information and results visit the event website: http://2013semis.collegesailing.org/. Follow the action live on Livestream: http://new.livestream.com/collegesailingnationals/2013semis
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.