National Championship News

Yale University and College of Charleston Lead First Day of Sperry College Sailing Women’s Semifinals

NORFOLK, V.A. (May 22, 2018) – The 2018 Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s series of National Championships began today in Norfolk, Va. on the Elizabeth River with the Sperry College Sailing Women’s Semifinal Championship hosted by Old Dominion University. The semifinals are the precursor and qualifying event for the Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Championship Finals, which will begin Thursday, May 24 at 10 a.m.

The semifinals are divided into two fleets, an Eastern and Western semifinal, each with 18 teams from across the nation. The top nine teams from each fleet will advance to the finals on Thursday. The competitors are racing on windward-leeward courses with four legs.

The day of racing began on time around 10 a.m. under partly sunny skies with temperatures in the mid 70s and light shifty winds from the south/southwest around 3-6 knots. By the afternoon the temperature warmed up into the 80s and the winds built to a steady 6-10 knots from the south. The Western fleet sailed in Z420s and the Eastern fleet sailed in FJs.

Racing finished up around 5:45-6 p.m. for both fleets. Eight races were completed in A-division and 6 races in B-division. B-division will race first tomorrow and racing is scheduled to begin at the same time at 10 a.m. Tomorrow the two fleets will switch boats, so the Eastern fleet will sail the Z420s and the Western will sail FJs. A-division has 10 races to complete tomorrow and B-division will have 12 as long as the conditions allow.

“The race committee did a great job getting races off and getting the course squared up,” says Tyler Colvin, assistant coach for the host school Old Dominion. “They tried to move racing in as close to the dock as possible for viewing and for efficient rotations. There was lots of racing and no hiccups today.”

“Today was a long hot day and we focused on staying hydrated,” says Bill Healy, assistant coach for Yale University, who is currently leading the Eastern semifinal fleet. “We had to pay attention to the course moving and positioning on the race course.”

“Tomorrow we will build on what we learned today,” says Healy, “We will work on shifting our focus into the 420s and taking it one race at a time.”

Sailing for Yale University is Casey Klingler ’18 with Katharina (KB) Knapp ’18 in A-division and Louisa Nordstrom ’20 with Graceann Nicolosi ’20 in B-division.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges is tied with Yale with 58 points, but in second place, due to Yale having more high place finishes. Boston University is in third place with 74 points.

In the Western fleet College of Charleston is in the lead with 44 points, followed by Harvard University in second place with 77 points. The University of South Florida is in third place with 97 points.

“The conditions this morning were tricky and light and the shifts rolled down the course unpredictably,” says Mitch Hall, assistant coach for Charleston. “The race committee moved the course closer to shore as the tide came in, so the sailors could not get complacent with the conditions and had to keep checking them between races.”

“Our goal today was to stay conservative and not take too many chances and we will have the same plan for tomorrow,” says Hall. “It was a long day of sailing so the women will need to focus on not peaking too early and staying vivacious and hydrated. We had good boat speed and hope to enjoy the next three days of racing. Our whole women’s team is here and it’s great to see everyone pitching in and cheering each other on – it’s neat to see.”

Sailing for Charleston in A-division is Alie Toppa '20 with Annabel Carrington '19 and Paris Henken ’19 with Liza Toppa ‘20 in B-division.

Today was a long day of racing and the scores are close for the top nine teams in both fleets. Tomorrow more close and competitive sailing will continue in the semifinals. It will be the last day of racing in the semifinals portion of the championship. No race will start after 5 p.m. tomorrow. The top 18 teams will be determined and they will advance to the finals on Thursday.

Top Nine Teams Eastern Semifinal, Day 1:
1. Yale University, 58*
2. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 58*
3. Boston University, 74
4. University of Rhode Island, 82  
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 87
6. Stanford University, 93
7. Brown University, 102
8. George Washington University, 104
9. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 123
*Number of high place finishes

Top Nine Teams Western Semifinal, Day 1:
1. College of Charleston, 44
2. Harvard University, 77
3. University of South Florida, 97
4. Boston College, 99
5. University of Pennsylvania, 101*
6. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 101*
7. Dartmouth College, 106
8. Cornell University, 123
9. Georgetown University, 125
*Head-to-head tiebreaker

Dan Egan, of Degan Media, will provide some live coverage during the events sponsored by US Sailing, streaming from the event website. Live coverage will be May 25 for the final day of Women’s, May 27 and 28 for the final round of eight and final four of Team Racing, May 30 for last day of Gill Dinghy Semifinals, and both days of Finals May 31 and June 1.

Follow the events via the regatta app from US Sailing, learn how to sign up here: ICSA Nationals App

Additional social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.

Photo Credit: Colin Grey Voight,
Facebook and Other Social Media Outlets: Colin Grey Voigt
Instagram: @colingrey

Contact: Jennifer Mitchell |Toile à Voile for ICSA | | 970-216-7072 m.

The ICSA sponsors and partners through the 2017-2018 season are: LaserPerformance (, 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 (, title sponsor of the “Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Championship”. Gill North American (, title sponsor of “The Gill College Sailing National Championship”. Quantum Sail Design Group (, official sponsor of the “Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year”. Marlow Ropes (, presenting sponsor of the “Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year Award” and “Official Rope of College Sailing”. US Sailing (, “The Robert H. Hobbs Sportsman of the Year Sponsored by US Sailing”.