MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (May 25, 2017) – The Sperry Women's National Championship continued today on the Cooper River in Charleston Harbor, hosted by College of Charleston. 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 around 10 a.m. and the temperatures stayed in the mid 70s with partly sunny skies. The winds started from the southwest around 10-12 knots and built to 15 knots and higher. After a 90-minute lunch break, the winds shifted to the west and stayed in the teens with higher gusts. The current was also strong at around 3 knots at its peak and good size waves were on the course today.
Today A and B divisions sailed 10 races in Z420s and FJs on windward leeward courses with four legs. There were a few protests throughout the day and several still being heard after racing. There are eight races left in each division to complete the regatta.
The top of the scoreboard is close especially between the top two teams, Yale University and Boston College. Other strong teams in the top five are Dartmouth College, University of Rhode Island and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Coast Guard is the defending champion and the scores are close enough after today that tomorrow anyone could move up or down the leader board.
The Yale women sailed consistently, especially in B-division, where freshman skipper Louisa Nordstrom and crew Claire Huebner finished every race in the top four.
"Claire [Huebner] is our secret weapon," says Bill Healy, assistant coach for Yale University, "She and Louisa have been working hard together the last couple of weeks to prepare in these types of conditions."
"We started well today and focused on having a lane off the starting line to have options to tack out or do what needed to be done," Healy says. "We are still taking it race by race and we will work on keeping our heads on straight tomorrow."
Sailing for Yale is Casey Klingler '18 with Natalya Doris '17 and Christine Klingler '20 in A-division and Louisa Nordstrom '20 with Claire Huebner '18 in B-division.
Boston College finished the day in second place, only 13 points behind Yale.
"Today was windy and good sailing," says Greg Wilkinson, head coach for Boston College. "We had some individual goals we were working on today that we mostly met and we also worked on straight line speed."
"At times I think our women had a boat speed advantage and we had good starts," Wilkinson says of their success. "It is a strong event with strong competition, the semifinals were good and now the best have moved on and it's a true championship."
"It's been a great event with good viewing and high quality judges, the College of Charleston is doing an awesome job. We still have a long way to go tomorrow with 16 total races, so we will focus on sailing and the conditions," he says.
Sailing for Boston College is Erika Reineke '17 with Fiona Walsh '17 in A-division and Allyson Donahue '17 with Tara Ferraris '19 and Madeleine Loosbrock '17 in B-division.
Coast Guard is sitting in third place 29 points behind Boston College.
"We are happy to be in the hunt after today," says Brian Swingly, head coach for Coast Guard. "It was a long day, but a typical windy sunny day in Charleston and as we had good momentum going at the end of the day I think the girls would have kept sailing – we trained for this all year, so the girls are tired, but still feeling fresh after hiking all day."
"We treat this event just like every other event," Swingly says, "We try to limit mistakes and sail fast."
Sailing for Coast Guard is Nikole Barnes '17 with Anna Maria Vaccaro '19 in A-division and Dana Rohde '18 with Madelynn Widmeier '19 in B-division.
Racing is set to begin at 10 a.m. tomorrow. No race can begin after 5 p.m. Awards will take place after the racing 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 2016-2017 season. Additionally the Women's All-Americans and All-American Honorable Mentions will be announced.
Top Nine, Preliminary Results, Finals Day 1
1. Yale University, 98
2. Boston College, 111
3. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 140
4. University of Rhode Island, 142
5. Dartmouth College, 147
6. Brown University, 155
7. Stanford University, 159
8. College of Charleston, 165
9. Georgetown University, 170
To learn more about the teams competing in all of the events and to follow the racing and results visit the event website: http://2017nationals.collegesailing.org/
Dan Egan, of Degan Media, will provide live coverage for the events powered by U.S. Sailing starting tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. ET, the last day of Sperry Women's National Championship Finals, streaming from the event website (http://2017nationals.collegesailing.org/). Additional social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.
Contact: Jennifer Mitchell | Toile à Voile for ICSA | email@example.com | 763-234-8286 m.
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