SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (May 26, 2016) – The Sperry Women's National Championship continued today on North San Diego Bay, co-hosted by San Diego Yacht Club and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference. Eighteen collegiate teams advanced from the previous two days of competition in the semifinals to make it to the finals racing. The teams are vying for the national title and the Gerald C. Miller Trophy.
Racing got underway at 10:30 a.m. and wrapped up just before 5 p.m. today. The temperatures hovered in the mid-60s with clouds in the morning and some sun in the afternoon. The San Diego marine layer stuck around for a while this morning providing clouds and unstable conditions. The winds were from the south, light and shifty with flat water. In the afternoon when the clouds cleared the winds shifted west and increased to about 8-10 knots with choppier water.
Today A and B division sailed ten races in Club and Collegiate FJs on windward leeward four times around courses. There are eight races left in each division to complete the regatta.
The name of the game today was to make as few mistakes as possible and play the shifts. In the afternoon the pin was favored on the starting line and getting to the left side of the course early on was also key.
The top three teams have some separation from the rest of the fleet on the scoreboard, but the rest of the fleet is very close.
"The level of competition has been raised today," says John Mollicone, head coach for Brown University. "You paid for your mistakes today," he says. "Our goals were to start well – which we usually do – get off the line well and finish in the single digits," Mollicone says.
Brown did pretty well staying out of trouble today, with just a few double-digit finishes.
"I am really proud of how the girls did a good job coming back after a couple of tough races," says Mollicone. Brown's A and B divisions started the day strong with first place finishes, they each had some deeper races in the middle of the series today and by the end of the day, the sailors were back in the top of the fleet.
Brown finished the day in second place, 34 points behind the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in first and 14 points ahead of Boston University in third.
Sailing for Brown is Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick '17 with Courtney Bergh '16 in A-division and Lindsey Baab '18 with Haley Carter '17 in B-division.
Sailing for Boston University, who is in third place after today's races is, Hannah Polster '17 with Margaret Swanson '16 in A-division and Lydia Grasberger '18 with Meredith Harrington '18 in B-division.
Coast Guard is sitting in first place with a strong lead after today's racing. The A-division girls are 37 points ahead of second place and Brian Swingly, head coach for Coast Guard, says that both divisions are executing well.
"We trust our process and both divisions are following it and executing it," Swingly says. "We look at each race individually and today we made a plan for this afternoon and it worked really well," he says.
"We have really smart sailors and tomorrow morning they will think about what they learned today and apply it to the day's racing," he says.
Sailing for Coast Guard is Nikole Barnes '17 with Anna Morin '19 in A-division and Dana Rohde '18 with Hannah Herring '18 in B-division.
Racing is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. No race can begin after 5 p.m. The day will culminate in an awards ceremony and dinner scheduled right after racing at the San Diego Port Pier.
The top three women's teams will be presented with the Gerald C. Miller Trophy for first place, the New England Women's Trophy for second place and the Ann Campbell Trophy for third place. The Quantum Women's College Sailor of the Year will also be awarded to a female sailor who has consistently performed at the highest competitive level in the 2015-2016 season.
Top Nine Teams, Finals Day 1
1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 94
2. Brown University, 128
3. Boston University, 142
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 172
5. College of Charleston, 179
6. Yale University, 180*
7. University of Rhode Island, 180*
8. University of Vermont, 188
9. Dartmouth College, 191
To see more results and learn more about the teams competing in all of the events visit the event website: http://2016nationals.collegesailing.org/.
Live coverage began today and will continue for the remainder of the championships. Dan Egan, of Degan Media, is providing live coverage sponsored by LaserPerformance and Gill North America. It is streaming from the event website, http://2016nationals.collegesailing.org/. Additional live coverage and social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Sinclair and Stacy Childers.