Racing continued today on Narragansett Bay in the second day of the Sperry Women’s Semi-Finals co-hosted by Brown University, Salve Regina University and New York Yacht Club. Twenty-eight collegiate sailing teams from across the nation qualified to compete in these semi-finals to determine the top 18 teams who will advance to the finals, which begin tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. The 28 teams are divided into two fleets of 14 teams, Western and Eastern Semi-Final groups, the top nine from each fleet will make up the 18 teams who compete in the final.
Today the Eastern fleet sailed in FJs and the Western fleet sailed in Z420s. The sailors competed on windward leeward courses with three and four legs.
The conditions today were a lot windier than yesterday. The morning started with winds from the south-southwest at around 15 knots, which built to 15-20 knots and then a light break in the breeze before lunch at around 12-15 knots. But after lunchtime the sea breeze picked up and winds were around 18-20 knots. The temperatures remained around 70 degrees all day with partly cloudy skies.
The deadline for racing today was 5 p.m. The Eastern Semi-Final completed five races in A-division and seven races in B-division for an event total of 13 races. The Western Semi-Final completed six races in A-division and eight races in B-division for a total of 14 races for the event.
Dartmouth College, defending champions of the finals, took the lead from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today, moving up from fourth place yesterday.
“…Today we just tried to hike hard and stay flat and try and sail fast – that was our main goal,” says Deirdre Lambert, Dartmouth’s A-division skipper. “And sail around people instead of worrying too much about where the shifts were,” she says. Lambert sailed with her heavy air crew today, Hope Wilson.
“We had good speed in FJs in the breeze,” says Dartmouth’s co-head coach, Justin Assad. “It felt like we knew the course, we were aggressive on the starting line and we had great straight-line speed,” he says.
“Tomorrow,” Assad says, “The team will stay level headed and execute well.”
Sailing for Dartmouth in A-division was Deirdre Lambert ‘15 with Hope Wilson ‘16 and Sarah Williams ’16 with Sophia Diserio’18 in B-division.
College of Charleston remained in second place today, 10 points behind Dartmouth and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy moved down to third place, twenty points behind Charleston.
Yale University was leading the Western fleet after yesterday’s racing and they were able to hold on to their lead today.
“We had enough of a lead after yesterday’s racing that we could do some experimenting today,” Bill Healy, assistant coach of Yale says. “It was a lot windier than yesterday, so we had some new people sailing today – but we couldn’t get heavy enough in B division,” he says.
Yale finished last year’s finals in second place, but Healy says there are a lot of new people on the team that didn’t sail last year who are looking forward to competing in their first nationals.
“We learned in the last two days that what we have been training for at Yale is right,” says Healy.
Boston College finished the day in second place only one point behind Yale and Stanford University finished in third place 14 points behind Boston College.
The US Sailing Grit Award is awarded to the last two teams to qualify in each semi-final group for the finals. The University of South Florida and Old Dominion University each won this honor today.
Unfortunately, one of Old Dominion’s crews sustained an injury today and she will not be able to compete in the rest of the regatta. “Today we had long hard races,” says Mitch Brindley, head coach of Old Dominion. “We were focusing on learning lessons and sailing our game plan and we will do the same tomorrow,” he says.
Courtesy of ICSA Media