Today was the first day of racing for the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championships on Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla. The event is co-hosted by the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Eckerd College and St. Petersburg Yacht Club. Fourteen collegiate teams from across the nation qualified to compete for the Walter C. Wood Trophy, awarded to the winning team at the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship. The trophy honors Walter C. 'Jack' Wood, MIT's first sailing director and whom in conjunction with Leonard M. Fowle, was a founder of college racing.
Racing got underway around 10 a.m. under sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s. Due to a front that was passing through the day started with steady winds from the east ranging from 12 to 17 knots. The breeze was the strongest in the morning and then as the day warmed up and the wind started to clock to the north the breeze lightened up. It got really light in the evening around 5 knots.
The format for the event is different from past years. This year the event begins with a round robin of all 14 teams. This round determines places 9-14. The top eight teams then sail a round robin to determine places 5-8. The top four teams remaining compete in a final round robin to determine places 1-4. Each round robin is a single round and all scores carry over to count in final points.
This new format helps to ensure that every team gets a fair shot at competing for the top. The top eight teams will be strong teams and there will still be strong teams that do not make the top eight. It also allows for everyone to have a little more sailing in this format than in past formats.
Today the competitors made it through 16 flights of racing in the first round robin. A total of 64 races were completed. There are 23 flights total in the first round, leaving seven more to go. The competitors sailed on a digital N course, which has a windward mark, a windward offset mark and then down to a leeward mark with another leeward offset and finish upwind. The N course allows for long upwind and downwind legs – prime for team racing.
There was close racing today and there are still many match ups tomorrow that could shift the standings. Most notable is that a lot of the top ranked teams going into this event have not sailed each other yet.
Sailing most of the day undefeated was Stanford University. The Cardinals were solid the whole day despite one loss to Yale University, which was their last race of the day. 'They beat us, we got beat off the line,' John Vandemoer, head coach for Stanford University, says of the race. All the races Stanford sailed today were close, Vandemoer says they had particularly good races with St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Roger Williams University.
Stanford is now in a three-way tie for first with Brown University and Yale. Following close behind the top three teams is the College of Charleston who are the defending champions. There are a lot of ties on the scoreboard right now showing the depth of the racing.
Sailing for Stanford is: Kevin Laube '14 with Carolyn Ortel '14 and Katie Riklin '13, Oliver Toole '14 and Haley Kirk '15 and Kieran Chung '15 and Yuri Namikawa ‘14.
Teams will report tomorrow at 9 a.m. and racing will begin around 9:45 a.m. For complete results and regatta information visit the event website.
Day One Results (wins and losses)
1. Brown University, 8-1
1. Stanford University, 8-1
1. Yale University, 8-1
4. College of Charleston, 7-2
5. Georgetown University, 6-3
5. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 6-3
7. Roger Williams University, 5-4
8. Boston College, 4-5
9. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 3-6
9. U.S. Naval Academy, 3-6
11. University of Washington, 2-7
12. University of Hawaii, 2-8
12. University of Wisconsin, 2-8
14. Texas A&M University at Galveston, 0-9
Navy and Yale