New England, Middle Atlantic Schools Weather the Cold

The New England and Middle Atlantic districts dominated this past weekend at the ICSA Sloop North American Championship and the Freshman Atlantic Coast Championship. In bitter cold and windy conditions on Saturday, the New England and Mid Atlantic teams kept the competition at bay, perhaps proving that the home court advantage can be the difference in the cold weather."We sailed in Long Island Sound on Saturday afternoon in puffs in the mid to high 20s," said Peet Must, who skippered for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) at the Sloop Nationals, held at SUNY Maritime in New York. "Being from a military academy, we figured if we thought that it was miserable, everyone else thought it was even worse."The Sloop North American Championship is one of six InterCollegiate Sailing Association national championship regattas, and the results toward the Fowle Trophy standings, which rate the overall top college teams in the country. Ten teams qualified for the event, representing all seven districts across the U.S.Must and his teammates from King's Point took the lead early on Friday, and never let it go. "Our boat speed, boat handling, and ability to see and read the puffs was good," said Must. "Everything else just fell into place." Three races were sailed on Friday in light and shifty conditions. Five races were held on Saturday, two of which were sailed with the breeze at 22 knots, with higher gusts. Sunday saw a more mellow day, with lighter and shiftier conditions prevailing.Hobart and Harvard spent most of the weekend battling for the second spot at the event. Harvard's boat, skippered by Cardwell Potts, sailed extremely well in the light and medium breeze, while John Storck and the Hobart crew sailed well in the bigger breeze. Hobart ended up taking the second spot, in part because the Harvard crew retired after the finish of Race 9. "Harvard should be commended for their sportsmanship which they showed in withdrawing from race nine for hitting the pin," said Storck. "They sailed better than us and deserved to be second; everyone should compete with this level of class."Dartmouth finished fourth overall, with Scott Hogan coming up big on the final day of racing to pull the team from seventh to fourth place, only two points behind the Crimson. Dartmouth's strong finish made the top-four an all-NEISA and MAISA affair.Meanwhile, the Freshman Atlantic Coast Championship was held at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The Freshman ACC's saw a total of thirteen teams compete from NEISA, MAISA, and SAISA. Sailed in Flying Juniors at Great Herring Pond, the regatta also got some of the big breeze seen at the Sloop North Americans in New York."It was pretty windy on Saturday morning when we first started racing," said Erik Storck, Dartmouth's A Division skipper. "With the wind chill, the temperature was somewhere in the twenties."After the first day of racing, there was a ten point spread separating the top five teams," said Dartmouth Coach Brian Stanford. "Anything could have changed."On Sunday, Great Herring Pond saw the breeze taper off throughout the day, with the final set (races 11 and 12) sailed in only five or six knots. Tufts pulled ahead with Peter Fallon and Anna Martin winning A division, just six points ahead of Storck and crews Jimmy Attridge and Lucy Whidden. In B division, Tufts finished fifth, while Dartmouth finished seventh. This was enough for Tufts to take the regatta, 11 points ahead of Dartmouth and Hobart William Smith.Dartmouth won the tie break against Hobart, taking second. The fourth and fifth place finishers were St. Mary's and Coast Guard. Next weekend will be the grand finale of the fall for the MAISA, NEISA, and SEISA districts, as teams compete at the Coed and Women's ACC's at SUNY Maritime and Old Dominion University.