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Boston College Wins Gill/ICSA Dinghy National Championship

by Jennifer Mitchell on 2 Jun 2011
Hobart and William Smith Rob Migliaccio
Today was the last day of the Gill/ICSA Dinghy National Championship. The winds on the Gorge cooperated and the competitors were able to get in a good day of racing.

The westerly winds stayed steady around 10-12 knots gusting higher later in the day. Although it was chilly and wet at times, the sun peaked out a little bit too; today’s weather was pretty typical of the last week at the Gorge. Both A-division and B-division completed 14 races in the event; four races in A-division today and six races in B-division were sailed on Windward/Leeward courses. In the end it was Boston College who commanded the lead and won the Henry A. Morse Memorial Trophy.

The day began with nice breeze so B-division was able to hit the water right away for the first races. It was a game of finding good pressure and riding it up the course. The steadier wind helped on the downwind legs so the sailors could fight the current and hold their boat positions a little better. The racing did stay close and compact, as it has been the last two days. In race 9B one of the leeward gate marks broke free and drifted upwind, so half of the fleet began to sail for it. Redress was filed for the loose mark and the conclusion was to re-sail the race. The mark was re-set and racing continued. Race 9B was re-sailed after race 12B; the old scores thrown out and the fair race scores were recorded.

Teams who were controlling the day and always had a presence in the top of the fleet were the top six teams most of the day: Boston College, Georgetown University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, College of Charleston and Harvard University. The nearly all-freshman Stanford University team had some great moments winning race 11B and having a few top five finishes in both fleets. In A-division Charlie Buckingham ’11 with Karen Phillips ’11 and Sydney Bolger ‘12 for Georgetown, Michael Menninger ’11 with Franny Kupersmith ’11 and Ben Lezin ‘13 for St. Mary’s and David Thompson ’11 with Catherine Pelo ’13 and Hannah Littell ‘11 for Hobart and William Smith separated themselves in the scores early on sailing really consistently in the event. A highlight in B-division was Taylor Canfield ‘11 with Emily Migliaccio ’11, Patrick Hession ’13, Emily Massa ’12 and Daniel Bloomstine ’11 from Boston College, who strongly led the division throughout the regatta.

In the end of the day the wind picked up with gusts around 18 knots. Before B-division took to the water for the last set of the day Boston College was 26 points ahead of Hobart who had 178 points and Harvard and Georgetown were tied with 185 points. It was left up to the B-division sailors to break ties and do what they could to extend leads or pass boats. The wind was quite strong which made the sailors work even harder for their scores. Before the last race Boston College had secured the championship and won the Dinghy title.

Boston College sailed a smart regatta and defended their Dinghy National Championship title (which they won in 2010). 'There was a lot of pressure on these guys, it was their experience at this level [of competition] that really helped them to handle the pressure,' Greg Wilkinson, Boston College head coach explained. Contributing to their success was their 'ability to concentrate on the sailing and not the results…they are really, really quick too,' Wilkinson continues, 'I am super proud of the team, they sailed great.' Great indeed, Boston College finished the regatta with 161 points 27 points ahead of Hobart and William Smith in second place. Sailors on the winning team were: A-division-Tyler Sinks '11, Laura McKenna and Lucy Wallace '11, B-division- Taylor Canfield '11, Emily Migliaccio '11, Patrick Hession '13, Emily Massa '12 and Daniel Bloomstine '11.



Hobart and William Smith commanded the racing and made a great comeback to finish the event in second place. 'We had good speed in all the conditions of this regatta, but in the last day and a half we really stuck to our game plan and aimed to stay in the top eight,' says Scott Ikle, Hobart and William Smith’s head coach. 'This group has worked really hard not just this year, but the last three years, as a team they have had a long hard road with a lot of ups and downs. They never gave up and I am really proud of how they approached this regatta. They did an outstanding job focusing,' explains Ikle. Hobart and William Smith finished the regatta with 188 points.

Harvard also had a great event, staying consistently in the top of the fleet. When it came down to the last races and Harvard was tied with Georgetown, Harvard’s B-division sailed 'one of the best runs in the whole regatta and just took the lead,' says Mike O’Connor Harvard’s head coach. They finished fourth and first in the last two races of the day. 'Because the wind was steadier today,' explains O’Connor; 'it made sailing a little easier because you had more control.' O’Connor expressed his pride for his team, 'I am very, very proud of the team, all year and how they executed at this event. We had a shot at getting second, but we are happy where we finished and we are in good company in the top three.' Harvard finished in third overall with 190 points.

Today was the final day of all the Collegiate National Championships. The teams will enjoy a final banquet tonight where the awards for Dinghy Nationals will be presented as well as the ICSA All-Americans, the Everett B. Morris Trophy for the College Sailor of the Year, the Robert H. Hobbs Sportsmanship Award, the James Rousmaniere Award for Student Leadership, the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy for the Best Overall Team and the ICSA Hall of Fame inductee. The last ten days of racing have been competitive and exciting. Congratulations to all of the sailors who competed. Visit the event website for full results and information about the three National Championships.

Nationals Website: 2011nationals.collegesailing.info

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. The ICSA National Championships are sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider (www.sperrytopsider.com), Annapolis Performance Sailing (www.apsltd.com), Gill North America (www.gillna.com), and US SAILING (home.ussailing.org).

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