SAN DIEGO, Cali.–The 2016 Intercollegiate Sailing Association's series of National Championships began today on North San Diego Bay in San Diego, Calif. with the Sperry Women's Semi-Final Championship co-hosted by San Diego Yacht Club and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference (PCCSC). The semi-finals are the precursor and qualifying event for the Sperry Women's National Championship Finals, which will begin Thursday, May 26 at 10:30 a.m.
The semi-finals are divided into two fleets, an Eastern and Western semi-final, each with 18 teams from across the nation. The top nine teams from each fleet will advance to the finals on Thursday. The competitors are racing in FJs provided by San Diego Yacht Club and Stanford University on windward-leeward courses four times around.
The day of racing began on time around 10:30 a.m. off of the B-Street Pier in San Diego, with temperatures in the mid-60s and winds from the west around 8 mph. The morning winds were not very settled until a patch of rain came through and brought a more steady wind direction from the west southwest, but continued to be spotty and shifty. The skies were partly cloudy and temperatures remained in the mid to high 60s.
Racing finished up around 7 p.m. for the Western fleet, who sailed six races in both A and B division, and around 7:30 p.m. for the Eastern fleet who sailed eight races in A-division and six races in B-division.
"We stayed in the pressure well and had good boat speed today," Brian Swingly says, head coach for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Coast Guard is leading the Western fleet after today's racing.
"We did a good job positioning our boats on the fleet," he says. "We were seeing the course well and we were able to see the shifts and velocity quicker than the rest of the fleet," Swingly says of their success today.
"Today we were focused on getting our boats set up properly, doing our process well and getting settled in the venue to prepare for the finals round," says Swingly.
Sailing for Coast Guard is Nikole Barnes '17 with Anna Morin '19 in A-division and Dana Rohde '18 and Hannah Herring '18 in B-division.
Yale University, the defending champions, are behind Coast Guard in second place and the University of California Santa Barbara is in third place.
University of Rhode Island is leading the Eastern semi-final followed by Boston University in second place and the University of Vermont in third place.
"It was easier racing today than it will be for the finals," says Skip Whyte, head coach for the University of Rhode Island (URI). "There was a long starting line, which gave our girls and everyone a chance to do well off of the line," Whyte says.
"We want to be really ready for the finals," Whyte says, "It's not critical to win the semi-finals," he says. "We are looking forward to a good dinner and hope to get enough sleep tonight to be in a good mood for racing tomorrow," he says of preparations for tomorrow's racing.
Sailing for URI is Rachel Bryer '17 with Hannah Scanlon '18 in A-division and Sarah Hermus '18 with Marisa DeCollibus '17 in B-division.
The scores are close for the top nine teams in both fleets and the racing continues tomorrow starting at 10:30 a.m. Tomorrow will be the last day of racing in the semi-finals portion of the championship. No race will start after 5 p.m. tomorrow. The top 18 teams will be determined and they will advance to the finals on Thursday. A first round awards and final round competitors meeting and reception is scheduled for tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. at San Diego Yacht Club.
Top Nine Teams Eastern Semi-Final, Day 1:
1. University of Rhode Island, 51
2. Boston University, 63
3. University of Vermont, 75
4. George Washington University, 90
5. Boston College, 94
6. University of South Florida, 103
7. Bowdoin College, 112
8. University of Virginia, 117
9. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 118
Top Nine Teams Western Semi-Final, Day 1:
1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 32
2. Yale University, 59
3. University of California Santa Barbara, 69
4. College of Charleston, 84
5. Brown University, 86
6. Dartmouth College, 89*
7. University of Wisconsin, 89*
8. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 101
9. U.S. Naval Academy, 105
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April 28, 2016 Barnes, Morin, Rohde, and Herring Earn All-NEISA Awards
April 25, 2016 Women's Sailing Wins New England Championship
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November 15, 2015 No. 6 Bears Win Atlantic Coast Championship
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October 26, 2015 No. 3 Women's Sailing Wins Mrs. Hurst Bowl
October 21, 2015 Barnes and Morin Named NEISA Women's Sailors of the Week
October 20, 2015 No. 1 Bears Win Yale Women's Interconference
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October 5, 2015 Bears Win Danmark Trophy, Rohde Advances to Nationals
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September 14, 2015 Bears Win Harry Anderson Trophy, 3rd at Toni Deutsch Trophy