MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – Today was the last day of racing for the Sperry Women's National Championship Finals hosted by the College of Charleston. The top eighteen women's collegiate teams in the nation raced for the Gerald C. Miller Trophy and Yale University took the win.
Racing began at 10 a.m. in sunny and warm conditions. The winds were from the southwest at about 7 knots. The temperatures stayed in the high 70s and low 80s all day. The wind in the afternoon increased and became puffy and by the end of the racing day the wind picked up again to about 12 knots and shifted more west-southwest in the last B-division race, causing the race committee to abandon the race and re-start it just before the cut-off time of 5 p.m.
The sailors completed eight races today in both divisions in FJs and Z420s on windward leeward courses with four legs for a total of 18 races in each division for the event.
Going into today's competition the top five teams were close and Yale was leading the event a few points ahead of Boston College. The top three teams remained the same today, however there was a lot of competition for the third place spot. While Yale and Boston College fought hard to hold onto the top two spots, for most of the day different teams were rotating into third place. It was not until the last race of the regatta that Coast Guard was able to take it.
It was close competition for both days of the finals for the whole fleet. Today Stanford University had a solid day of racing and sat in third place at one point, as did the University of Rhode Island. In the last set of the day Coast Guard's A and B-divisions were able to have consistent finishes in the top five and pull away from Stanford and URI to take the last podium spot.
Coast Guard placed in third winning the Ann Campbell Trophy.
"We went into today trying to take a chunk out of the leaders, but we had a rough start," says Brian Swingly, head coach for Coast Guard. "It was a really tough day with inconsistent and hard to predict breeze and that's where we had some deeper finishes."
"The level of focus the women had was impressive and they closed the regatta strong passing three teams in the last set," he says. "There is a level of disappointment because we train all year to win and not finish third, but at the same time we did finish up strong and we are very happy."
"Nikole graduating this year is a huge loss, she's turned our program around since she's been here, but she leaves behind experienced women that will continue to keep us nationally competitive," Swingly says of A-division skipper Nikole Barnes graduating. Barnes and her teammate Dana Rohde will compete in the Gill Coed National Championship next week.
Sailing for Coast Guard was Nikole Barnes '17 with Anna Maria Vaccaro '19 and Anna Morin '19 in A-division and Dana Rohde '18 with Madelynn Widmeier '19 and Maddie Ekin '20 in B-division.
Boston College finished in second place winning the New England Women's Trophy.
"This was a great experience and a great battle," says Greg Wilkinson, head coach for Boston College. "We are disappointed not to win, we fought hard, but Yale is an amazing team and did not make any mistakes."
"Today was challenging with puffy and shifty conditions, but I am very proud of the women," he says.
Sailing for Boston College was Erika Reineke '17 with Fiona Walsh '17 and Allison Ferraris '17 in A-division and Allyson Donahue '17 and Isabella Loosbrock '19 with Tara Ferraris '19, Madeleine Loosbrock '17 and Alice Bohan '18 in B-division.
The Sperry Women's National Champions and winners of the Gerald C. Miller Trophy is Yale University. This is the fifth time that the Bulldog women have won this trophy.
"We are on cloud 9," says Bill Healy, assistant coach for Yale. "Current continued to play a factor today, the wind was more unstable today and the racing was very tight. We did a good job when we were behind in a race crawling back."
"The women were focused every race and our game plan stayed the same; check the current, watch lay lines, breeze lines and find clear lanes," says Healy. "Everyone on the team was supportive even those who did not get to race, the team focus all around was great."
Sailing for Yale was Casey Klingler '18 with Natalya Doris '17 and Christine Klingler '20 in A-division and Louisa Nordstrom '20 with Claire Huebner '18 and Isabelle Rossi De Leon '17 in B-division.
After racing, awards were presented at the J. Stewart Sailing Center, for the top teams and also for the first place finishers in each division. Erika Reineke '17 with Fiona Walsh '17 and Allison Ferraris '17 won the Madeleine Trophy, awarded to the low-point A- division team. They finished with 95 points total, just two points ahead of the second place pairing from University of Rhode Island.
Louisa Nordstrom '20 with Claire Huebner '18 and Isabelle Rossi De Leon '17
from Yale University won the Judy Lawson Trophy, awarded to the low-point B-division team. They finished with 73 points an impressive 30 points ahead of the second place pairing from Boston College.
Women's Final Results (18 races):
1. Yale University, 185
2. Boston College, 208
3. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 259
4. University of Rhode Island, 261
5. Stanford University, 267
6. College of Charleston, 287
7. Dartmouth College, 291
8. Boston University, 295
9. Georgetown University, 299
10. Brown University, 301
11. University of Vermont, 341
12. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 358
13. George Washington University, 402
14. Tufts University, 457
15. University of California Santa Barbara, 464
16. University of South Florida, 473
17. Bowdoin College, 479
18. U.S. Naval Academy, 534
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May 23, 2017 Nationals Blog - Women's Semifinals Day One
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