LONG BEACH, Calif.—(11/5/12)— After three days and eighteen races at the 2012 Laser Performance ICSA Women's Singlehanded National Championship, Coast Guard's two representatives remained at the top of the very talented fleet with Christina Frost finishing 6th and Lauren Cefali finishing 8th, making Coast Guard the only team to have two sailors finish within the top-8.
During the three days of competition the Southern California weather pattern provided beautiful conditions for the majority of the racing. Most races were sailed in a fairly consistent 4-8 knot westerly on 30-minute trapezoid courses. With all competitors being given a brand new Laser Radial to sail from the event's title sponsor, Laser Performance, the results came down to boat speed and technique on the water.
Freshman Christina Frost sailed a very consistent regatta, finishing outside of the top-10 in only four races. Her superior speed and technique in the Radial got her out of tough situations and often allowed her to work through the fleet after a tough mistake.
Going into the last race of the event Frost found herself only two points behind Georgetown's Nancy Hagood who was in 5th place. Frost attacked on the starting line, attempting to force a foul or an unfavorable start for the Hoya. Hagood managed to get off the line cleanly with Frost being flushed to the un-favored side, which solidified the overall results.
"Christi seemed to be somewhere between 5th and 8th for the entire event and sailed the last half incredibly strong to finish 6th," said head sailing coach Brian Swingly. "For a freshman to sail that consistently at the biggest event of her career thus far is a good sign going forward."
Lauren Cefali surprised the fleet early in the event by coming out swinging with a series of top-10 finishes that quickly moved her into 2nd overall. On Saturday, however, she struggled a bit off the starting line and was on the losing side of a few big wind shifts during which some of her competitor's were able to make gains.
After posting her highest score of the series in race 17, Cefali was still holding onto 7th place with three competitors within seven points of striking distance. She got off the line well early in the race but an unexpected shift put her in a deep 16th place for the first lap. Knowing she needed to make up points, Cefali sailed a flawless second lap passing many of boats. At the finish line she had defended everyone except Abby Featherstone from the University of South Florida who snuck ahead by a single point.
"Lauren's performance at this event, having less experience in the Radial than most of her competitors, was incredible," commented Swingly. "She put a lot of work into her technique this season which really showed at Nationals."
Ericka Reineke from Boston College won the event in impressive fashion winning all but three races and finishing with 25 points. St. Mary's Mayumi Roller was 2nd with 79 points and Claire Dennis from Yale was 3rd with 107 points. Frost finished in 6th place with 134 points. Cefali was 8th with 144, just one point out of 7th.
"This is a very proud moment for these two athletes and the entire team, I couldn't be happier" said Swingly. "Having a freshman and a sophomore work so hard to get to this level early in their career bodes well for the future of the team. We have had success at this event in particular in the past, but never with two athletes, and never has it been this much of a team effort."