Newport, RI (May 29, 2015) – Today was the first day of racing for the LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship on Narragansett Bay co-hosted by Brown University, Salve Regina University and New York Yacht Club. Sixteen collegiate teams from across the nation qualified to compete in this event for the national title and the Walter C. Wood Trophy, awarded to the winning team.
After a competitor’s briefing, boats slowly hit the water around 9:50 a.m., but the winds were too light, so the race committee went into a postponement. The postponement lasted for about three hours and racing finally got underway around 12:30 p.m. The temperature was in the low 70s under partly sunny skies and winds were from the southeast ranging from around 5-8 knots.
The format for this event is a series of round robins. In the first round all sixteen teams race each other once. This round determines places 9-14. The top eight teams then advance to a single round robin, which determines places 5-8. The top four remaining teams advance to a “final four” another single round to determine places 1-4.
Due to a slow start today and light winds; it was a long tough day for the competitors. But the race officials and umpires kept the races rolling. This is the first year that the umpires are using only green and red flags, there are no yellow flags being flown.
The competitors made it through a total of 84 races today and there are 36 more total races to go in this first round. The competitors sailed on a digital N course, which has a windward mark, a windward offset mark rounded to starboard and then down to a leeward mark with another leeward offset rounded to port and finish upwind. The N course allows for long upwind and downwind legs – prime for team racing. The sailors are racing in both FJs and Z420s.
Each team has about five more races to go in the first round robin, so there is room for the teams to move around on the scoreboard. A few of the top teams after today’s racing have yet to face each other.
“I think everything is going quite well,” says Graham Landy ’15, a skipper for the Yale team, “We are pretty happy with our performance,” he says.
Yale is sitting in first place after today with an undefeated record. “We had some tough races today – Roger Williams University, Georgetown University, Boston College and Stanford University – and we had to come back from behind in our race with the U.S. Naval Academy,” says Bill Healy, assistant coach for Yale, “But we did a great job with speed,” he says.
Yale is the defending champion of this regatta having won it the last two years. They finished all but one race today with a winning 1,2 combination, which shows their strength in the racing so far.
“Tomorrow we will look to get off the [starting] line clean and free,” Healy says. “It’s been a while since we have sailed in a team race regatta, so with each race we are getting better,” he says.
Sailing for Yale is: Ian Barrows ’17, Graham Landy ’15, Malcolm Lamphere ’18, Chandler Gregoire ’17, Charlotte Belling ’16 and Meredith Megarry ‘17.
Roger Williams University finished the day in second place, winning a tiebreaker with College of Charleston.
College of Charleston is in third place with two losses – one to Roger Williams University and the other to Georgetown University.
“We had a really good day,” says Mitch Hall, assistant coach for Charleston. “Our biggest issue today was maintaining a lead the whole way around the race course,” Hall says, “Everyone is really fast.”
Although today’s conditions were not typical for the Charleston sailors, they were able to keep speed in the light wind. During the postponement today Hall says the sailors stayed focused by paying attention to what was changing on the racecourse.
“Tomorrow we will focus on consistency,” says Hall. “We were able to get off of the [starting] line okay today, but when we weren’t able to start well it affected the outcome of our race,” he says.
Sailing for College of Charleston is Jake Reynolds ’16, Ryan Davidson ’16, Charles Rees ’16, Alicia Blumenthal ’15, Emily Stuart ’16 and Tierney Driscoll ’15.
The first warning for racing tomorrow is at 9:30 a.m. The race committee will aim to complete the first round robin as quickly as possible to move into the next round of racing with the top eight teams.
Day One Results (wins and losses)
1. Yale University, 10-0
2. Roger Williams University, 9-2*
3. College of Charleston, 9-2**
4. Boston College, 8-2 b
4. Stanford University, 8-2 b
6. Georgetown University, 8-3
7. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 7-3
8. University of South Florida, 5-5
9. U.S. Naval Academy, 5-6
10. Fordham University, 4-7*
11. Tufts University 4-7**
12. University of Michigan, 3-8
13. University of Wisconsin, 2-8
14. University of California at Santa Barbara, 2-9
15. Oregon State University, 0-10 b
15. Texas A&M University at Galveston 0-10 b
* Number of races won when tied teams met (1)
** Tie stands
b Number of races won when tied teams met (0)
Source: ICSA media
Background: The Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s 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 will be held May 25-June 4, with schools racing Z420s and Club FJs on the waters of Newport Harbor and Narragansett Bay in Newport, RI. The events are hosted by Brown University, Salve Regina University and the New York Yacht Club.