SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (May 31, 2016) – Today was the first day of the Gill Coed National Championship Semifinals, co-hosted by San Diego Yacht Club and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference. The top 36 collegiate sailing teams in the nation reported to the regatta venue at the Port of San Diego to compete for 18 spots in the championship finals, which will begin on Thursday, June 2.
The semifinals are divided into two fleets, an Eastern and Western, each with 18 teams. The top nine teams from each fleet will advance to the finals on Thursday. The sailors are racing on windward leeward courses with four legs in FJs.
Due to a wind delay this morning, racing got underway about an hour later than planned around 11:30 a.m. The race committee waited for enough wind to run good races. Temperatures were in the low to mid 60s and winds were from the west around 5-10 knots.
The race officials were able to complete six races in A and B-division in both of the semifinal fleets. Racing finished up around 6 p.m.
Old Dominion University is leading the Eastern fleet after today closely followed by St. Mary's College of Maryland and University of South Florida in third. Hanging on to a qualifying spot, in ninth place after racing today is Tufts University.
"We sailed pretty solidly," says Mitch Brindley, head coach for Old Dominion. "We were able to turn some tough races around and that's what we were looking to be able to do."
"We will keep plugging away and take what we learned today and apply it to racing tomorrow," Brindley says.
Sailing for Old Dominion is Esteban Forrer '16 and Gabriel Smith '17 in A-division and Augie Dale '18 and Kaylie Gallagher '16 in B-division.
On top of the Western fleet is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy who has a 15-point lead over Georgetown University in second place. Coast Guard's B-division is just coming off of winning the Sperry Women's National Championship and they finished the day with only 11 points winning half of the races today. George Washington University is in third behind Georgetown and holding on to qualifying in ninth place is Brown University.
"We approach this regatta just like every other regatta," says Brian Swingly, head coach for Coast Guard. "We were able to put our boats in favorable positions on the race coarse including avoiding congestion that occurred at the starting line today."
"We will hope to carry this momentum into winning the regatta," says Swingly.
Sailing for Coast Guard is Avery Fanning '16 and Robert Turley '16 in A-division and Nikole Barnes '17 and Anna Morin '19 in B-division.
There are still 12 races to sail in both A and B-division in each fleet. The first warning for racing is at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow. No race can start after 5 p.m.
Top Nine Teams Eastern Semi-Final, Day 1:
1. Old Dominion University, 51
2. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 58
3. University of South Florida, 65
4. U.S. Naval Academy, 72*
5. Boston University, 72*
6. Yale University, 86 **
7. Stanford University, 86**
8. Boston College, 86 b
9. Tufts University, 116 c
* Number of high-place (2) finishes
** Number of high-place (3) finishes
b Head-to-head tiebreaker
c Number of high-place (1) finishes
Top Nine Teams Western Semi-Final, Day 1:
1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 49
2. Georgetown University, 64
3. George Washington University, 67
4. College of Charleston, 85
5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 88
6. Connecticut College, 91
7. Dartmouth College, 92*
8. University of Pennsylvania, 92*
9. Brown University, 92*
* Head-to-head tiebreaker
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Sinclair and Stacy Childers.