ICSA Nationals Set to Start in San Diego

The Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s national championship season is here, and the national championships are ready to get underway on Tuesday May 24.
San Diego Yacht Club will host the 2016 ICSA national championships. ICSA

The Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) three spring national championships, Sperry Women’s National Semi-Final and Final Championship, LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship, and the Gill Coed National Semi-Final and Final Championship commence Tuesday, May 24. The Women’s event will last for four days immediately followed by the Team Race championship on May 28, lasting for three days and the Coed championship on May 31, lasting for four days.

The three events will be co-hosted by San Diego Yacht Club in San Diego, Calif. and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference (PCCSC). These championships are the culmination of two seasons of intense competition and include the top schools from across the nation vying for the championship titles. Amidst the racing will also be a variety of social events including trophy ceremonies and receptions for the competitors and friends.

On June 4, the 70th Afterguard Alumni Regatta will take place followed by an awards dinner and celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference at the San Diego Yacht Club.


The competitors for the Sperry Women’s regatta will first meet Monday evening, May 23, for an Opening Ceremony and Competitors’ Briefing at San Diego Yacht Club. Racing is scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 24, at 10:30 a.m. The sailors will sail Club Flying Juniors (CFJs) supplied by San Diego Yacht Club and collegiate FJs supplied by Stanford University, out of San Diego Yacht Club in North San Diego Bay on the Embarcadero near the B Street Pier.

The first two days of racing will be the Semi-Finals, which is divided into two 18-team regattas. These teams have qualified from their conferences to compete in this portion of the championship. The top nine teams from each group will then advance to the Finals Round – an 18-boat regatta, which will take place on the last two days of the championship, May 26-27. This is the first time that the Women’s Semi-Final event will include 36 boats, in the past there have only been 28 competing in this portion of the Championship.

San Diego Yacht Club has never hosted these spring national championships, but, says Danielle Richards, event co-chair and ICSA Secretary, “SDYC founded the PCCSC in 1936 and hosted their first regatta,” she continues, “PCCSC last co-hosted these events in 2009 with Stanford University, University of California Berkeley and St. Francis Yacht Club.”


Following the Sperry Women’s Nationals is the LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals beginning Saturday, May 28. Teams will meet on the evening of Friday, May 27 for a Competitors’ Briefing at San Diego Yacht Club and racing will follow Saturday morning with the first warning scheduled for 10: 30 am. Sixteen of the country’s best team race teams have qualified to compete in the event. Sailors will again be competing in FJs in North San Diego Bay.

The first round of racing is a single round robin with all 16 teams of three boats competing against each other. The top eight from this round will advance to a single “championship” round robin followed by a “final four” round robin, which will determine the top three teams and name the national champion.

At last year’s Team Race event the umpiring changed to full umpiring instead of limited umpiring, so no yellow flag is used anymore, only red or green. This will be the second year that this umpiring format will take place.


The Gill Coed Championship will begin after the LaserPerformance Team Race Championship with an Opening Ceremony and Competitors’ Briefing the evening of Monday, May 30 at the San Diego Hall of Champions. Racing is scheduled to start Tuesday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m. Sailors will again compete in FJs in North San Diego Bay on the Embarcadero near the B Street Pier.

The first two days of racing will be a Semi-Final regatta, which will include 36 of the top teams in the country that qualified from their respective conferences to compete. This Semi-Final event is divided into two 18-team rounds.

The top nine teams in each Semi-Final round will advance to the Finals round, an 18-boat regatta on the last two days of the championship, June 2-3. This will determine the top three podium spots and name the national champion, who is awarded the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year.


“May and June in San Diego is characterized by morning overcast skies and occasional drizzle burning off in mid-afternoon to sunny skies and a sea breeze from the west/north west,” says Richards about the conditions to expect for the event. “Winds will likely be between 5-13 knots building until 4:30 or 5 p.m. and then tapering back down,” she says.

“San Diego Yacht Club is excited and proud to host the 2016 Spring Nationals and 80th Coed Dinghy Nationals,” says Richards. “As the home of numerous college sailing alumni and current competitors, we are honored to provide them the opportunity to compete at home for these prestigious events,” she says.

To learn more about the teams competing in all of the events and to follow the racing and results visit the event website:

Dan Egan, of Degan Media, will provide live coverage sponsored by LaserPerformance and Gill North America, for the events starting on the last day of Sperry Women’s Nationals, streaming from the event website ( Additional live coverage and social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.