NEWPORT, R.I. (May 20, 2015) – The Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) three national championships, Sperry Women’s National Semi-Final and Final Championship, LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship, and the Gill Coed Dinghy National Semi-Final and Final Championship commence Monday, May 25. The women’s event will last for four days immediately followed by the team race championship on May 29, lasting for three days and the coed championship on June 1, lasting for four days. The events will be sailed in Brown University’s LaserPerformance Z420s and Salve Regina University’s Club Flying Juniors (CFJs). New York Yacht Club, Brown University and Salve Regina University will be sharing the hosting duties for the three events in Newport, R.I. 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.
The competitors for the Sperry Women’s regatta will first meet Sunday evening, May 24 for the opening ceremony and competitor’s briefing at New York Yacht Club. Racing is scheduled to begin Monday, May 25, at 9:30 a.m. The sailors will launch their boats from both New York Yacht Club and the Salve Regina Sailing Center at Sail Newport. Salve’s sailing center will be home base during the day and where rotations will take place.
The first two days of racing will be the semi-finals, which is divided into two 14-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 27-28. This is the second year that nationals are following this format. In previous years eighteen teams raced in the semi-finals to determine the nine teams that would face nine teams that had previously qualified for the finals.
New York Yacht Club, Brown and Salve Regina last hosted these events together in the spring of 2008. “It has made the planning a little bit easier,” says John Mollicone, head coach of the Brown sailing team, of hosting the championships for the second time. “We are not starting from scratch like we had to do last time,” Mollicone says, “We have an idea of the availability of boats, where the course will be and where we will be rotating – we know how it all works,” he says.
Following the Sperry Women’s Nationals is the LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals beginning Friday, May 29. Teams will meet at 8:30 a.m. for an opening ceremony and competitors’ briefing at New York Yacht Club with racing to follow. Sixteen of the country’s best team race teams have qualified to compete in the event. Sailors will be competing in Z420s and CFJs. The first round of racing is a single round robin with all 16 teams 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.
“They only thing that has changed [in the national’s format] is team race umpiring,” says Mollicone. “It is full umpiring now instead of limited umpiring, so no yellow flag anymore, it’s either red of green,” he says. This will be the first year where full umpiring is being used at the team race nationals.
The Gill Coed Championship will begin after the LaserPerformance Team Race Championship with an opening ceremony and competitors’ meeting the evening of Sunday, May 31 at New York Yacht Club. Racing is scheduled to start Monday, June 1 at 9:30 a.m. Sailors will again compete in Z420s and CFJs. The first two days of racing will be a semi-final regatta, which will include 36 of the top teams in the country, each of which qualified from their conferences to compete.
In previous years the semi-finals took place at a different time before nationals, but now the event has been paired with the finals round. 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 3-4. This will determine the podium spots and name the national champion.
“This time of year, Newport is known for its sea breeze and ideally that is what we will have,” Mollicone says. “It ranges from 12 to 18 knots because the water is still pretty cold – we hope to see that more than anything else, but there are fronts that come in and play a role,” he explains of what to expect for conditions at next week’ events.
To learn more about the teams competing in all of the events and to follow the racing and results visit the event website: http://2015nationals.collegesailing.org/.
A video feed, sponsored by LaserPerformance will be available for some portions of the Sperry Women’s Nationals and LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals and live coverage and social media updates from collegesailing.org will also be available throughout the events. Gary Jobson and Chris Love Productions will be filming portions of the Gill Coed Nationals for an ESPNU segment, which will first air on Friday, July 10 at 5:30 pm ET.
The 2015 College Sailing National Championships are co-hosted by: New York Yacht Club, Brown University and Salve Regina University.
The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. Visit www.collegesailing.org to learn more.
The ICSA sponsors and partners through the 2014-2015 are: LaserPerformance (www.laserperformance.com), title sponsor of “LaserPerformance Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded National Championship”, title sponsor of “LaserPerformance College Sailing Team Race National Championship” and Official Boat Supplier of the ICSA Spring National Championships. Sperry (www.sperry.com), title sponsor of the “Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Championship”. Gill North American (gillna.com), title sponsor of “The Gill College Sailing National Championship”. Quantum Sail Design Group (www.quantumsails.com), official sponsor of the “Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year”. Marlow Ropes (www.marlowropes.com), presenting Sponsor of the “Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year Award” and “Official Rope of College Sailing”. Beneteau (www.beneteau.com), “Sponsor of the College Sailing Scoreboard”. North Sails (www.northsails.com), “Supporting Sponsor of the ICSA National Championships”. US Sailing (www.ussailing.org), “Supporting Sponsor of the ICSA National Championship Semi-finals”.