'Chris Segerblom and Liz Brim of Yale sail towards the windward mark in the Western fleet - ICSA Coed National Eastern and Western Semifinal Championships'
The first day of the Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) Coed Semifinals, where the 36 top college sailing teams in the country gathered to compete in order to vie for spots to the ICSA/Gill Coed National Championships May 30 – June 1 at the Gorge in Cascade Locks, Oregon, began with close to an hour delay this morning due to dueling winds. Once the breeze filled in from the southerly direction it provided an excellent sea breeze that ranged from 5 knots to 12 knots throughout the day with gusts to 16 knots. Six races were completed for both events in both A and B divisions. With sunny skies and warm temperatures, it was an excellent day for racing.
The competing schools are divided into two events of 18 teams each the Eastern Semifinals and the Western Semifinals, which are being run simultaneously off of the Belmont Veteran Memorial Pier, hosted by the U.S. Sailing Center and the University of Southern California’s Varsity Sailing Team. The top nine teams from each semifinal will advance to the ICSA/Gill Coed National Championships.
The racing took place on a trapezoid course (for an image of the course visit the event website) with the Western Semifinal beginning the day sailing on the outer course of the trapezoid and the Eastern Semifinal starting second sailing on the inner course of the trapezoid. Due to the short upwind leg of the course it caused a lot of boats to build up and overlap at the windward mark, resulting in protests and in some cases disqualifications. Similarly after the long run to the single leeward mark (there was no gate option) boats overlapped in big pinwheels making for interesting outcomes in the rounding’s; teams are hoping for a gate on the course at the leeward mark tomorrow to clean up some of the mess.
Leading the Western Semifinal regatta is Roger Williams University (Bristol, R.I.) who has proven to be a strong coed team all season ranked no. 1 in the latest Sailing World College Rankings. 'When the breeze filled in it felt good. We had good starts, made good decisions and had good boat speed', reported Amanda Callahan head coach at Roger Williams. Their team of Cy Thompson (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I) and crew Kelly Stannard (Salem, Conn.) in A-division and Alec Anderson (Tortola, B.V.I.) and crew Sophie Bellacosa (Winchester, Mass.) in B-division are ahead of the second place team Yale University by thirteen points. Roger Williams will be looking to do more of the same on the racecourse tomorrow.
Charlie Buckingham and crew Ashley Phillips of Georgetown University accelerate their boat in the Eastern fleet - ICSA Coed National Eastern and Western Semifinal Championships - Glennon Stratton
In the Eastern Semifinal Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.) is the event leader, but only two points ahead of Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) in second place. The racing has been very fair and good in both events fleets, John Vandemoer head coach at Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.); felt that the racing is very tight. His team of Mateo Vargas (Treasure Island, FL) with crew Rebecca King (Santa Monica, Calif.) in A-division and Kevin Laube (San Diego, Calif.) with crew Kelly Ortel (Annapolis, MD) is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Semifinal, however they are only ten points from third place and thirty points ahead of eighth place.
The real goal for teams in this competition in both events is to place in the top nine so that they can advance to the ICSA/Gill Coed Nationals at the Gorge. There were no huge surprises today, the teams who came into the event having done well all season are finding themselves in the top half of the fleet today. With the exception of Brown University (Providence, R.I.) who has performed well previously, is struggling in ninth place after today’s racing in the Eastern Semifinals on the verge of qualification. We will follow the racing and hope that tomorrow’s conditions are as favorable as today with good sea breeze and fit in six more great races for the fleets tomorrow. With the racing so close it is still anyone’s game.
Racing begins off the pier Sunday, May 1 at 10:15 a.m. Follow the regatta and see full results live at 2011semis.collegesailing.info.
Results are protest pending at this time.
Eastern Semifinals Top 9
1. Harvard University
2. Georgetown University
3. College of Charleston
4. U.S. Naval Academy
5. Tufts University
6. Stanford University
7. Connecticut College
8. Old Dominion University
9. Brown University
Western Semifinals Top 9
1. Roger Williams University
2. Yale University
3. Boston College
4. St. Mary’s College of Maryland
5. University of South Florida
6. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
7. University of Miami
8. Eckerd College
9. University of Wisconsin
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.
by Jennifer Mitchell
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5:51 PM Sun 1 May 2011GMT
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