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Rose Bowl Regatta 2013 - Stanford snatches crown from behind

by Rich Roberts on 7 Jan 2013
Rose Bowl Regatta 2013 Rich Roberts
The Rose Bowl Regatta 2013 provided more drama than its football counterpart as the Stanford Cardinal sailing team came from behind to snatch the championship from College of Charleston in the 28th edition of the popular New Year’s Day Regatta in Long Beach, California.

Contrary to forecasts, there was no precipitation on the windup of the 28th annual Rose Bowl Regatta Sunday ... except for more roses raining down on Stanford University's sailors after they came from behind to steal the championship from College of Charleston.

Even the Cardinal football team didn't make it that dramatic in stuffing Wisconsin, 20-14, in the Rose Bowl football game four days earlier. The sailors had to make up 13 points in only four races to overtake the Cougars from South Carolina, which they did with finishes of 11th (oops), second, third and first among 30 teams.



No less impressive, though, was Point Loma's victory over Coronado who placed second, one point ahead of Cathedral Catholic in third. Point Loma's JV1 team was fourth, Corona del Mar fifth and Newport Harbor sixth in the 28-team high school Gold division---the Pointers' seventh consecutive title in the event.

The worst news for frustrated rivals: the four Varsity sailors---Kevin Laube, Kiernan Chung, Haley Kirk and Michelle Catania---are a junior, two sophomores and a freshman, in that order.

The St. Francis of Woodside team won the 32-team high school Silver division with Huntington Beach second and PLA/RPV third.

It was a chilly but picturesque day with a bright sun ducking in and out of large lumbering clouds, pushed along by a shifty 11-knot westerly breeze stirring modest whitecaps, and a silhouette of Santa Catalina Island 22 miles offshore.

In swapping boats after each two races, some teams---notably perennial high school Gold winner Point Loma from San Diego---also went to their heavyweight crews as the breeze built in the early afternoon. That would be Greer Wattson replacing Rebecca McElvain with skipper Scott Sinks and Trevor Hecht replacing Mercedes McPhee with skipper A.J. Reiter.

The added ballast apparently helped.


Like Stanford, even all of Charleston's crew from South Carolina were Southern California products, as were several other of the east coast schools' competitors. Charleston's A team was skipper Jake Reynolds with crew Katie Dowling; its B crew was alternating skippers Jack Jorgensen and Ryan Davidson with crew Kyle Sutter.

'[Charleston] had a good lead but we were pretty confident,' Laube said. 'We made up about 20 points in the last race.'

Overall, Stanford finished with 67 points to Charleston's 85, followed by defending champion Boston College at 107, No. 1-ranked Georgetown, 111, and Fordham, 115.

Point Loma's unrivaled success in recent years has been under coach Steve Hunt, 37, whose team of 33 sailors runs so deep that he also entered two junior varsity teams, one of which placed eighth, led by Will LaDow, who won his class at the Orange Bowl Regatta in Florida a week earlier.



How long can the Pointers go on like this?

'I think success breeds success,' Hunt said. 'It's the largest team I've had. We get 15 boats on the water in practice.'

The college and high school Gold fleets sailed two-person 13-foot CFJ dinghies off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in the Long Beach outer harbor. The high school Silver fleet raced inside Alamitos Bay. Each team had two crews that alternated after every two races.

The event was based at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, hosted by the USC Sailing Team and organized by the US Sailing Center of Long Rose Bowl Regatta website

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