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Top 9 schools from Eastern & Western Semifinals advance to ICSA Open National Championship Finals

by Preston Anderson 21 May 08:27 PDT
2022 ICSA Open Fleet Race National Championships © Lexi Pline / US Sailing

For the first time since Newport Nationals in 2019, College Sailing Open Fleet Race Semi-Finals were held in New Orleans, LA hosted by Tulane University with support from Southern Yacht Club.

36 teams from across the country traveled to the Big Easy to compete for a coveted spot in the College Sailing National Championship for the Henry A. Morss Trophy.

"There is not much to say. It was great to see 36 great college sailing teams competing at one venue. I really enjoyed seeing some friends I haven't seen since Newport in 2019," ICSA President Mitch Brindley said about the return of College Sailing National Semi-Finals.

The format for semi-finals is as follows. 36 teams were selected by an independent selection committee based on teams fleet racing performance throughout the year. Each team was then seeded and divided evenly into Eastern and Western semi-finals. The top 9 from each field would advance to the finals. The Eastern Semi-Final group started in 420s while the Western Semi-Final Group started in FJs.

On Thursday, Semifinals racing started around 10:00 AM. Competitors saw conditions starting around a variable 3-7 knots out of the south west which eventually shifted South/Southeast and built to a consistent 12-15 knots. Leading out of the Eastern Semi-Final was Stanford University with a total 65 points which is a 14 point lead over the 2nd place Georgetown Hoyas.

Stanford coach Chris Klevan had this to say after his team's performance on day one, "We worked well together today and it showed. There were some tricky aspects to the racecourse. The team continued to talk about those things as a group throughout the day. It was fun for me to be a part of it but the real prize comes over the weekend."

The A division leaders within the Eastern Semi-Final, after day one, are Jack Egan '25, Catherine Webb '23 and Benjamin Markert '23 of Yale University. They hold a seven point lead over Jack Reiter '22 and Annabelle Ayer '22 of Georgetown University and Cameron Giblin '23 and Andrea Reifkohl Gonzalez '24 of Tulane University. The B division leaders, after day one, are Michelle Lahrkamp '23, Patricia Gerli '23 and Matthew Hogan '21. They hold a nine point lead over Lachlain McGranahan '24, Alexandra Dorofeev '25 and Marbella Marlo '24 of Harvard University. Georgetown University sailors, Mariner Fagan '24 and Jack Hogan '22, trail Harvard by 11 points.

After six races in B Division of the Semi-Final Regatta, Skipper Mariner Fagan '24 of Georgetown University stated, "Beginning of the day was challenging because it was very light and shifty but as the day went on it gradually got more windy. The breeze stabled slightly which made it a little more enjoyable." His crew Jack Hogan '22 continued, "I think that across the day it was really important to find the pressure and connect one puff to the next. All in all it was a ton of fun especially when the breeze came up."

Leading out of the Western Semi-Final was Roger Williams with a total of 68 points which is a 2 point lead over 2nd place Dartmouth College. Boston College and Hobart and William Smith Colleges are tied for third with a total of 78 points. Boston College holds a tiebreaker over Hobart and William Smith for having more high-place finishes.

The A Division leaders, after day one, are Robert Bragg '23, Eloise Burn '21 and Drew Clutterbuck '23 of Dartmouth College with a total of 25 points. They hold an eight point lead over JC Hermus '22 and Fiona Lobon '22 of the United States Naval Academy. In third place, Jack DeNatale '22, Sophia Reineke '22, Michaela O'Brien '24, Sarah Schuman '25 and Laura Ferraris '22 of Boston College trail Navy by one point with a total of 35 points.

After six A Division races of the Western Semi-Final Regatta, Fiona Lobon '22 of the United States Naval Academy stated, "I think we had some good moments today. Definitely have some work to do tomorrow. Looking forward to some more constant breeze hopefully and get to work tomorrow."

The B Division leaders, after day one, are Cameron Wood '22 and Emily Gildea '21 of Roger Williams University. They hold an 8 point lead over Daniel Unangst '24 and Jack Farrell '23 of the United States Coast Guard Academy. Trailing, just three points behind, in third place are Olivia Belda '22, Jack Murphy '22, Emma Montgomery '22 and Madeline McGrath '22 of Brown University with a total of 30 points.

After a total of six B division races, Emma Montgomery '22 of Brown University, who sailed four of the six races, stated, "It was really light and hot so we were focusing on staying cool and acclimating to the conditions and we were trying to play it conservative because there's a lot more racing that could happen over the next two to three days." Her skipper, Olivia Belda '22 continued, "We only had four races today. They felt very long and it's a very shifty venue but very fun."

The second day of the Semi-Finals kicked off on Friday. Competitors experienced conditions starting around 12-15 out of the South/Southeast. The pressure would slightly die throughout the day. Stanford University would hold on to their lead and win the Eastern Semi-Final regatta with a total of 105 points. Finishing in second, Yale University with 131 points. In third place, Tulane University with 158 points.

The Eastern Semi-Finals did not disappoint. Spots for the eighth and ninth qualifying spot to get to the finals came down to the final two races. Boston University and St. Mary's College of Maryland were able to scrape together two barn-burning final races to get into the finals.

St. Mary's coach, Adam Werblow, had this to say after his team sailed into the eighth qualifying spot, "One of the most fun things about College Sailing is that we play as a team. This week, the Seahawks have had to empty the bench due to six players with positive Covid tests. Everyone supported one another and, in the end, that was just enough to jump through the hoop to get to the finals."

The A division winners of the Eastern Semi-Final are Jack Egan '25, Catherine Webb '23, Benjamin Markert '23, Shawn Harvey '22 and Sonia Lingos-Utley '22 of Yale University. They finished with 57 points and held a twelve point lead over Cameron Giblin '23 and Andrea Reifkohl Gonzalez '24 of Tulane University who finished with 65 points.

Finishing in third place with 76 Points was Jack Parkin '21, Sammy Pickell '22 and AnaClare Sole '23 from Stanford University. The B division winners are Michelle Lahrkamp '23, Patricia Gerli '23, Wiley Rogers '22 and Matthew Hogan '21 from Stanford University. They finished with a 40 point lead over Lachlain McGranahan '24, Alexandra Dorofeev '25, Marbella Marlo '24, Emma Kaneti '22 and Marleigh Belsley '24 of Harvard University. Yale University sailors, Teddy Nicolosi '24 and Alisha Arcot '23 finished five points behind Harvard.

Andrea Reifkohl Gonzalez '24 of Tulane University stated after racing today, "Today went really well for us. We played a more conservative game. The conditions were really nice, moderate to high teens breeze so it was good."

The Western Semi-Finals were a little less dramatic than the Eastern as the top nine finishers all had a pretty safe gap on the 10th and below finishers. University of Rhode Island came out winning the Semi-Final with a total of 137 points. Hobart and William and Smith Colleges finished second with 140 points. Roger Williams University finished third with 147 points.

The A division winners of the Western Semi-Final are JC Hermus '22, Jack Carminati '22, Fiona Lobon '22, Ryan Wahba '25 and Colin MacGillivary '22 of the United States Naval Academy. They finished with 59 points and held a seven point lead over Jake Vickers '22 and Katherine Klempen '22 of Hobart and William Smith Colleges who finished with 66 points.

Finishing in third place with 81 Points was Aidan Naughton '22 and Taylor Borges '22 from the University of Rhode Island. The B division winners are Karem Erkmen '25 and Edward Gray '22 from the University of Rhode Island. They finished with a two point lead over Cameron Wood '22, Mathieu Dale '25, Emily Gildea '21 and Anika Irene '23 of Roger Williams University. United States Coast Guard Academy sailors, Daniel Unangst '24, Nicholas Reeser '25, Jack Farrell '23 and Lauren O' Neill '24 finished two points behind Roger Williams.

Rhode Island A Division skipper Aidan Naughton '22 shared what he and his crew, Taylor Borges '22, were trying to do today, "We were in the middle yesterday, but qualifying, so it was a tough day. Had to go out and make it actually happen and it was windy flat water. Really shifty. Felt like MIT a little bit. Trying to tack and point the boat at the mark and tack when it wasn't."

At the end of the day Friday the top 9 teams from each Semi-Final advance to the College Sailing Open Championship held on May 21-22.

Top 9 from the Eastern Semifinal and advancing to Finals:

    1. Stanford University
    2. Yale University
    3. Tulane University
    4. Georgetown University
    5. Harvard University
    6. Connecticut College
    7. Fordham University
    8. St. Mary's College of Maryland
    9. Boston University

Top 9 from the Western Semifinal and advancing to Finals:

    1. University of Rhode Island
    2. Hobart & William Smith
    3. Roger Williams University
    4. U.S. Coast Guard Academy
    5. Tufts University
    6. U.S. Naval Academy
    7. Dartmouth College
    8. Boston College
    9. Brown University

Full Results:

For more regatta information visit the event website here.

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