Women's Sailing Advances to National Championship Finals

Women's Sailing Advances to National Championship Finals

SAN DIEGO, Cali.--Racing continued today on North San Diego Bay in the second day of the Sperry Women's Semifinals. Thirty-six collegiate sailing teams from across the nation qualified to compete in these semifinals to determine the top 18 teams who will advance to the finals, which begin tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. The 36 teams are divided into two fleets of 18 teams, Western and Eastern Semifinal groups, the top nine from each fleet will make up the 18 teams who compete in the final championship.
 
Today the Eastern and Western fleets sailed in FJs on windward leeward courses with four legs. The Eastern fleet completed five races today in A-division and seven races in B-division for a total of 13 races for the regatta. The Western fleet completed six races today in A and B-divisions for a total of 12 races for the regatta.
 
The morning racing started on time with winds from the west around 8 knots. A sea breeze filled in around 1 pm and the winds built to around 15-17 knots from the west. The temperatures remained around the mid 60s all day. The deadline for racing today was 5 p.m. and the fleets were in between 4:30 and 5 p.m.
 
The University of Rhode Island finished the day on top of the Eastern fleet, maintaining their lead from yesterday. Boston University (BU) and the University of Vermont, who wrapped up the day tied for second, closely followed them, however Vermont drops to third place, losing the tiebreaker.
 
"We were dominant in A-division," says Skip Whyte, head coach for the University of Rhode Island (URI), referring to the 35 point lead that Rachel Bryer '17 and Hannah Scanlon '18 had over the second place finishers in the division. "The breeze this afternoon was gustier and shiftier than we expected in San Diego, it was more like the East coast sailing we are used to," Whyte says.
 
"The weather could be different tomorrow, so we will be ready for a change," he says. "Coast Guard Academy, as well as many others, will be tough to beat starting tomorrow," says Whyte, "We have little things to work on and execute in the finals," he says.
 
Sailing for URI is Rachel Bryer '17 with Hannah Scanlon '18 in A-division and Sarah Hermus '18 with Marisa DeCollibus '17 and Courtney Bombardier '16 in B-division.
 
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy held onto their lead today in the Western fleet and finished the semifinals ahead of Yale University, the defending champions, and Brown University who finished in third place.
 
"Today was windier than we expected with long shifts, but it was fun racing," says Brian Swingly, head coach for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. "We had a speed advantage today and felt more comfortable in the collegiate style FJs we sailed in today," he says of the girls' success.
 
"We feel confident after the semifinals, but we know the bar is being raised tomorrow," says Swingly. "We are still working hard and we study every race, but tonight will be like every other night," he says, "We don't debrief after racing, we will talk tomorrow morning about today's racing and make a plan for the day – we treat every regatta the same and this one is no different," he explains.
 
Sailing for Coast Guard is Nikole Barnes '17 with Anna Morin '19 and Madelynn Widmeier '19 in A-division and Dana Rohde '18 and Hannah Herring '18 in B-division.
 
The US Sailing Grit Award is awarded to the ninth place finishers in both fleets, who qualify for the finals. Today the Massachusetts Institute of Technology qualified in ninth place from the Eastern fleet and Georgetown University qualified in ninth place from the Western fleet.
 
After a long redress hearing after racing today Georgetown made it into the final qualifying spot. Georgetown was not qualifying after yesterday's racing, but the sailors had some top finishes today propelling them into the top nine.
 
Sailing for Georgetown is Mary Kate Mezzetti '16 with Bettina Redway '16 and Carolyn Dahl '18 in A-division and Rose Edwards '18 with Emily Fung '17 and Madeline Higgins '16 in B-division.
 
MIT held onto ninth place from yesterday and finished 41 points ahead of tenth place today.
 
"Today was a beautiful day with great conditions," says Matt Lindblad co-head coach of MIT. "We are focusing on single digit finishes," says Lindblad, "We also rotated in some of our seniors and tried to get ready for the finals," he says.
 
"It's a competitive fleet and shows how far women's' sailing has come," says Lindblad. "We are looking forward to a fresh start tomorrow," he says.
 
Sailing for MIT is Rosalind Lesh '16 with Lisa Sukharev-Chuyan '16 and Elizabeth Zhang '16 in A-division and Annie Hughes '19 with Elizabeth Zhang '16 and Jorlyn Le Garrec '17 in B-division.
 
The scoreboard is wiped clean for the finals tomorrow, so teams will start fresh in the event. The Sperry Women's National Championship finals racing will begin tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. The top 18 teams will be competing for the Gerald C. Miller Trophy over the next two days.
 
Final Nine Teams Eastern Semifinal:
1. University of Rhode Island, 120
2. Boston University, 132*
3. University of Vermont, 132*
4. Boston College, 167
5. George Washington University, 184
6. Bowdoin College, 190
7. Stanford University, 197
8. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 202
9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 219
*Head-to-head tiebreaker
 
Final Nine Teams Western Semifinal:
1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 84
2. Yale University, 136
3. Brown University, 153
4. University of California Santa Barbara, 155
5. College of Charleston, 177
6. Dartmouth College, 179*
7. University of Wisconsin, 179*
8. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 192
9. Georgetown University, 207
*Head-to-head tiebreaker