Sailors Head Home
Washington College finished 12th of 18 teams in the Intercollegiate Sailing Association/Gill Co-Ed National Championship first-round regatta during two days of light air that shortened what was scheduled to be a full round-robin. Just two races sailed in each division Tuesday as a lack of wind kept sailors on shore in the afternoon. Two more races in each division sailed Wednesday morning before another no-wind delay interrupted racing. A fifth race in each division was completed Wednesday afternoon.
The top nine teams from both first-round regattas moved into the final rounds to sail for the championship. Second-ranked Yale, 12th-ranked Old Dominion, 20th-ranked Bowdoin, 3rd-ranked St. Mary’s, Hawaii, 19th-ranked South Florida, 13th-ranked Harvard, 11th-ranked Brown, and 8th-ranked Boston College finished in the top nine spots in Washington’s first-round regatta.
Sophomore skipper Eric Siegel skippered Washington to a 12th-place finish in A Division, sailing with sophomore crew Alex Crawford in Tuesday’s two A Division races and with freshman skipper Matt McDermaid in Wednesday’s three A Division races. Junior skipper Ryan Bailey and freshman crew Karlyn Long were 12th in B Division.
This was Washington’s sixth appearance in a national championship first-round regatta in seven years, but it was also, perhaps, the least expected. With a new head coach—two-time All-American Conner Blouin ’10 took the helm at the end of August—and no seniors on the team, most people predicted the team’s results would reflect a transitional, rebuilding season. But WC’s eighth-place finish at the America Trophy (the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s spring co-ed championship) earned the team one of the nine regional berths at the nationals.
All 259 colleges and universities—large and small—with sailing teams compete against one another in the ICSA within seven geographically based conferences. Washington College belongs to the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, which has 51 teams.