by Jan Harley
Jane Macky (Auckland, NZL) and crew Marla Menninger (Newport Beach, Calif.) Photo: GTSphotos.com. - 2009 ICSA Women’s National Championship
Yale University has won the 2009 Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Women’s Championship for the second time in school history, repeating a feat the Elis first accomplished in 2004.
Jane Macky (NZL) was named US College Women's Sailor of the Year after she led the Yale Womens Sailing Team to victory in the National Championships. Following four years of intensive college sailing training four nights a week and sailing regattas most weekends - a regime which produced 2008 womens Laser Radial Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe.
Coming into the final day of the championship Yale led the overall standings by just six points over Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.). However, by the second race of the morning, it was apparent that senior skipper Jane Macky (Auckland, New Zealand) and junior crew Marla Menninger (Newport Beach, Calif.) were doing their utmost to keep the title within their grasp. Putting together a 4-1-1-7-2-2-1-1 scoreline today, they moved from third to first in A-Division, while their teammates, senior Kate Hagemann (Marion, Mass./Naples, Fla.) and junior Sarah Lihan (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), with sophomore Liz Brim (New York, N.Y.) and juniors Grace Becton (Deer Isle, Maine) and Rebecca Jackson (Newton, Mass.), struggled in B-Division and dropped from second to seventh.
'It was down to the last race,' said Head Coach Zach Leonard. 'Conditions were very windy and challenging and we didn’t have a heavy air crew for A-Division so Jane and Marla sailed every race. They worked so hard. To come through right at the end when they were exhausted and to see them handle the pressure and win is just great.'
In the end, Yale’s combined score of 148 points was nine points better than College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.) who had moved from fifth to second overall as a three-way battle that included ODU went back and forth over the course of the racing. ODU was second for much of the day, but double-digit finishes in the final two races in A-Division paved the way for both Charleston and Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) to sneak by. After hammering the competition in B-Division, BC finished third overall with 165 points -- just one point ahead of ODU with 166. Brown University rounds out the top-five with 197 points. Complete scores are available at: http://www.collegesailing.org/nas/spring09/womensresults.asp
Conditions on the race course were chilly, to say the least. Air temps of 53 degrees and water temps of 55 degrees and the threat of stronger breeze for the day led many of the teams to go with their heavy air crew as a lighter downwind flood meant more wind across the sails from the start of racing.
Stanford University and St. Francis Yacht Club are co-hosts of the championship, with sponsor support from Luminaria Medispa. Each school fields a separate A and B division team and, weather permitting, each division sails 20- to 30-minute fleet races in rotation. A team's final score is determined by the combined results of its sailors in A and B divisions.
Overall Results: http://www.collegesailing.org/nas/spring09/womensresults.asp
About 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. To learn more please visit: www.collegesailing.org. ICSA is sponsored by Gill, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Marlow Ropes, Quantum Sails, LaserPerformance and US SAILING: www.gillna.com, www.apsltd.com, www.bainbridgeint.com, www.quantumsails.com, www.laserperformance.com/main/ and www.ussailing.org