The Sperry-Topsider/ICSA Women’s Semi-Final Championship 2013 began today on Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Semi-Finals are the precursor to the Women’s National Championship slated to begin Wednesday, May 22 at 1 p.m. eastern time provided that all qualifying races are completed. Otherwise Finals racing will begin Thursday, May 23. The events are co-hosted by the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Eckerd College and the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
Nine teams have already qualified for the National Championship: St. Mary’s College of Maryland, U.S. Naval Academy, University of Minnesota, Boston College, Yale University, University of Washington, Stanford University, College of Charleston and University of Texas. Nine more teams will qualify over the next two days from the 18 currently racing in the Semi-Finals.
Teams arrived to sunny skies and warm temperatures around 80 degrees this morning at Magnuson Hotel Marina Cove – where the competitors are sailing. Winds were from the east, a rare direction for the venue, at about five knots. As the day progressed the temperatures rose to the mid-80s and the winds became inconsistent.
The wind died and began to shift around in the middle of the day when the race committee called for lunch on shore and a break while they waited for the sea breeze to fill in. The winds came in from the south and filled to about 10 knots out of the southwest. The conditions held for a while until afternoon/evening thunderstorms came in and caused another delay in racing. The competitors were able to get a little more sailing in after the storms, but the race committee called it a day around 7:30 p.m. eastern time.
Teams are sailing in Club FJ’s on trapezoid courses. Both A-division and B-division completed eight races today.
'The conditions today were variable,' Brian Clancy, head coach of Cornell University says. It was a long day for the girls who experienced heat, sun, thunderstorms and a range of wind directions and speeds. Clancy says his team was actually able to practice in similar conditions leading up to this event on their home lake at Cornell. Sailing for Cornell was Lauren Turner ‘13 and Lindsey Ludwig ‘14 in A-division and Jenny Borshoff ‘15 and Devon Furlong ‘13 in B-division.
Clancy says it was important to hold your lane on the racecourse today and find pressure on the course. 'The Semi-Finals is short, so our goal for this event is just to make it through to the finals,' Clancy says. Cornell is happy to be sitting on top of the leader board in first place after today’s sailing, but they are looking forward to a good meal and sleep tonight.
Dartmouth College is only ten points behind Cornell with 83 points and 22 points behind them is Eckerd College. The scores are close for the top nine teams with more racing to come tomorrow.
Semi-Finals racing will continue tomorrow morning starting at 9 a.m. eastern. Teams already qualified for the Nationals will arrive mid-morning to check in and hopefully fit in some practice in the boats before their start. When 16 races between A and B-division are completed, the National Championships are scheduled to begin. For more results and information about the regattas visit the event website
Top Nine Teams, Day 1:
1. Cornell University
2. Dartmouth College
3. Eckerd College
4. Brown University
5. Georgetown University
6. University of South Florida
7. Connecticut College
8. Roger Williams University
9. William Smith College
by Jen Vandemoer Mitchell
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4:07 AM Wed 22 May 2013GMT
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