Singlehanded Sailors Battle for Nationals Berths

All over the country, singlehanded sailors battle in deep, competitive fleets for spots at the Singlehanded National Championships.

college sailing
Singlehanded championships took place around the country this weekend for both the full- and radial-rig Laser. Rob Migliaccio

In Maryland, at the second major interconference regatta of the season, the St. Mary’s Fall Interconference, Dartmouth delivered a strong performance to take a 20 point win over George Washington. Despite a slow start, the Big Green took the lead in race 6B and help onto their lead for the remainder of the event. Brothers Christopher ’19 and Duncan Williford ’18 sailed A and B respectively with crews, Rebecca McElvain ’19 and Paige Clarke ’20. Both secured second place finishes in their divisions on the way to victory for Dartmouth.

“The racing was tricky, with pressure filling from the edges and many of the common moves toward consolidating and centering up not as beneficial as normal,” said Dartmouth’s head coach, Justin Assad. “Our team was able to start cleanly most of the time, and focused on being patient and balanced sailing the long tack with finding the next pressure.”

“Duncan and Christopher are unique young men, and the overwhelmingly positive relationship they share is infectious for our entire team.  They could trick you with their mellow and relaxed demeanor, but Duncan is an elected team leader and has a great attitude, and Christopher is a ferocious competitor.  They enjoy pushing each other and love to compete, whether it is winning practice starts or a quick game of pick-up basketball before lift, which leads to a successful dynamic when representing Dartmouth, as well as pushing the whole team to mirror their spirit of fun competition.”


George Washington’s second place finish was led by Kai Friesecke (’18) and Andreea Rainey-Pace (’20), who sailed to victory in A-Division, establishing a 14-point lead over Navy in third place. Yale and Georgetown finished fourth and fifth, separated by just one point.

Full-Rig Laser Sailors Vie for Qualifying Berths

SAISA, NWICSA and NEISA all hosted conference championships this weekend, with sailors vying for qualifying berths at the Mens Singlehand National Championship in the full-rig Laser in November.

At the SAISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship, 10 sailors from College of Charleston, Jacksonville University and the University of South Florida, competed for just three spots at the National Championship. College of Charleston’s Stefano Perschiera (’18) dominated the event, with just 15 points over 10 races. Peschiera will be joined by fellow SAISA sailors Gage Wilson (’21) from Jacksonville University, and teammate Gerald Williams (’19).


In the northeast, the NEISA Men’s Singlehanded Championship brought together 27 sailors from 14 different schools on Mount Hope Bay at Roger Williams. With just 4 berths available, the competition was fierce in a deep and talented fleet. Yale’s Nicholas Baird (’19) won the event with 44 points in 10 races. Reigning national champion, Scott Rasmussen of Boston College (’20), took second place, winning a tie breaker with another former national champion, Yale’s Malcom Lamphere (’18). Alp Rodopman ’17 of Tufts secured the fourth and final spot for NEISA.

University of British Columbia freshman, Benjamin McMaster was the lone qualifier from the NWICSA Men’s Singlehanded Championship. McMaster sailed to victory with 18 points after eight races.

college sailing
NEISA Women’s Singlehanded winner, Dana Rohde of Coast Guard. Rob Migliaccio

Women Battle for Laser Radial Qualifiers

At the US Naval Academy, 18 MAISA women battled for five available spots at the national championship at the Faye Bennett. Georgetown dominated the fleet, taking three of the five a three berths. Lola Bushnell (’18) won the event, with teammates Carly Broussard ‘(21) and Haddon Hughes (’20) tying for fourth and fifth place, and the two final qualifying spots. Lenox Butcher (’20) of UPenn took the second place finish, and George Washington’s Riley Legault (’19) sailed to third place.


In Washington, at the NWICSA Women’s Singlehanded Championship, Laura Smit (’18) won the final four races to edge teammate, Farzanan Mohamedali (’20) for the lone qualifying spot.

Like the MAISA championship, the NEISA Women’s Singlehanded Championship pitted a deeply talented fleet for just five berths. Tight racing and tough conditions made for exciting racing on Mount Hope Bay at Roger Williams. Coast Guard Academy senior Dana Rohde sailed to victory, just two points ahead of the second and third place tie. Tufts’ Talia Toland ‘(21) and Boston University’s Anna Weis (’20) both finished with 49 points, with the tiebreaker going to Toland. Brown University’s Lindsey Baab (’18) and Boston College’s Sophia Reineke (’21) claimed the fourth and fifth place qualifying spot for NEISA.

The Singlehanded National Championships for both men and women will be held in St. Petersburg Florida in November.


Stanford Claims Match Racing Berth

In a down-to-the-wire finish at the 2017 PCCSC Match Race Championship, Stanford beat out UCSB in a sail-off to represent PCCSC at the Match Race National Championship in Charleston in November. The Cardinal and the Gauchos squared off on the match race/team race circuit in what appears to be a budding rivalry. Stanford, the long standing champion of the conference has found competition at conference championships over the past year.


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