Women's Teams Battle for Semi-Final Berths

Around the country, women's teams have started the battle for semi-final spots, while team racers gear up for conference championships this weekend.

college sailing
Around the country, women's teams are in the midst of battling for berths at the National Semi-Finals, while team racing teams gear up for qualifiers this weekend.Jeff Dusek

In NEISA, the 36th Lynne Marchiando Trophy was sailed in classic New England conditions, with breeze varying from 5-25 knots, and weather ranging from cold and snowy to 60-degrees and sunny. With the conference championship less than a week away, top NEISA teams were hoping for peak performance at the last tune up event before qualifiers at Tufts.

The Dartmouth College Big Green won the regatta behind the stellar efforts of skippers Robert Floyd (‘17), Charles Lalumiere (‘17), Duncan Williford (‘18), Christopher Williford (‘19) and crews Madeleine Cooney (‘17), Rebecca McElvain (‘19) and Paige Clarke (‘20). Darmouth won 12 of the 14 races sailed in the final double round robin, after going undefeated in the qualifying round.

Dave Thompson, Assistant coach at Dartmouth said, “Our team did a great job fleet racing throughout the entire regatta and not getting caught up in team racing early on in races. The conditions made it easy to get unbalanced and pass boats, which we have been focusing on as a team.”

Thompson continued, “We focused on having good starts and keeping the umpires out of the races. We have treated each of our team race regattas this year as the same with the goal of improving at each regatta and preparing us for the Fowle Trophy.”

Dartmouth’s victory over the Yale Bulldogs, the reigning team racing champions, may suggest a new team could take the top spot at the national championship later this spring. Yale finished second overall with a 10 and 4 record, with Boston College in 3rd overall at 8-6.

At Brown, tough conditions faced the sailors competing at the Dellenbaugh Women's Trophy, with heavy air and significant waves making for challenging racing on Saturday. Brown sailed to an uncontested victory, leading the rest of the fleet by 43 points.

Juniors Lindsey Baab with Grace Gagnon (‘18), and Abigayle Konys (‘19) dominated B-Division with 15 points after eight races. Baab, Gagnon and Konys only had one race with a finish outside the top-3, and that was a 4th. Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick’s (‘17) effort, with crews Maxine De Havenon (‘19) and Haley Carter (‘17), was not far behind the Lady Bear’s B-Division standout. Ms. Grapengeter-Rudnick’s scoreline showed only two races outside the top three. However, Casey Klingler (‘18) with Claire Huebner (‘18), Christine Klingler (‘20) and Natalya Doris (‘17) won A-division by 1 point over the Brown Bears with 30 points after 8 races.

Yale finished 2nd overall with 89 points and Charleston finished 3rd with 112 points.

To the south, 2017 SailPack Oriental Interconference Regatta, hosted by North Carolina State University, was the largest regatta held in the history of the NC State Sailing Team, featuring more than 120 sailors and coaches. In sharp contrast to snowy regattas in New England, The Sailpack Interconference featured 10-15 knots of breeze, blue skies, and 70-degree temperatures.

Rotations took place on the dock off the lawn of the historic Stallings House where, NC State volunteer head coach Dana Magliola said, “Shore-side accommodations were really great and rotations were hosted from the dock at the historic Stallings House whose yard provided an almost festival-like feeling for teams, sailors, and spectators. Lounging, cornhole, curated tunes provided by one of the SailPack’s own sailor and college-radio DJs, and stunning vista porches for doing just a little homework created a great on-shore college sailing atmosphere.”

"We aimed to make this a regatta that draws college sailors to one of our favorite places, the coastal home of the SailPack, Oriental, North Carolina while also providing the mostly-club-based teams an opportunity to have a high-caliber, competitive regatta outside of conference competition," said Dana Magliola, who organized the regatta. "It turned out great and we've heard from literally every school that participated that they'll be gunning for berths to this event in their conference drafts next fall. We hope they'll come back and there's no doubt Oriental will welcome them back."

Jacksonville University won the event with an impressive scoreline, with their teams taking both the first and second spots. Freshman, Alfonso Garcia Bringas, sailing with sophomore, Shaynah True, won A-division for Jacksonville. Jack Gower (‘20) and Paula Resto (‘20) of Jacksonville University won B-division.

Also in SEISA this weekend, the battle for qualifying berths at the national semi-final was sailed at women’s conference championship was sailed at Texas A&M. After seven races sailed in each division, Tulane and the Texas A&M sat tied with 31 points for the top spot at the SEISA Women's Championship. Tulane won the tie-breaker, however both teams will advance to the national semi-final regatta.

Haley Walker (‘18) and Amanda Olson (‘19) won A-division for the Texam A&M University at Galveston.

In the northwest, another conference championship took place, hosted by the University of British Columbia. The Washington Huskies claimed the victory at the NWICSA Women's Championship, and the berth at the ICSA Women's National Semi-Finals. Chloe Dawson (‘20) and Camille Ottaway (‘20) from the Western Washington University Viking won A-Division with 4 points. Shaan Shrider (‘19) and Athina Ebert (‘17) won B-Division with 3 points.

Editor's note: In last week's update, it was incorrectly stated that 4, not 5 teams would advance from the SAISA Women's Championship to the National Semi-Final. The Clemson Tigers will also advance to the championship.