Nov. 20, 2008
San Francisco, CA - Stanford and Cal once again squared off on the San Francisco Bay city front yesterday for the fifth annual Big Sail Match Race Regatta. Hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club, the regatta saw a thick marine layer that hovered around the Golden Gate Bridge all day, which brought cold weather and a solid 8-12 knots of breeze. The Stanford Sailing Team once again was victorious, winning the best of this three race series with two wins. Skipper Cole Hatton '11 was supported by a young team of talented sailors, as last minute conflicts prevented two seniors from participating. Crewing for the Cardinal were Oliver Riihiluoma '12 (tactician), Benjamin Pedrick '11 (trimmer), Nick Dugdale (pit), Hayley Tobin '11 (bow) and Hannah Burroughs '11 (mast).
With two and a half feet of flooding tide throughout racing until high tide was reached on the racecourse around 3:00 p.m., the current differences on the racecourse were important to consider for a good strategy. Often this meant escaping the onslaught of adverse tide upwind by heading inshore, and heading into the deep, swifter currents for the downwind runs.
For Head Coach John Vandemoer, it was a great conclusion to a successful fall season for his first year in the head position for the Cardinal. "I am really proud of how the team sailed today. There is always a ton of pressure on a rivalry like this, but the team was calm and prepared to win. Even though our oldest player on the boat was a sophomore, they sailed like veterans!"
Often this fall Coach Vandemoer has emphasized the teamwork attitude of this year's squad as the key to their success, and despite the relatively young team, he has remained confident in their abilities.
Also competing were a team of Master Alumni (41 years and older) and Young Alumni (40 years and younger). Competing for the Master Alumni was Skipper Dan Buckstaff '88, Rich Bergsund, '86 (grinder), John Claude `87 (trimmer), Joe McCoy '84 (bow), Allie Rowe, '88 (pit), Kathleen Buckstaff '88 (mast). Competing for the Young Alumni was Skipper Ted Conrads `03, Scott Sellers '94 (main trim), Graham Brandt-Zawadzki '08 (jib trim), Rolf Kaiser '95 (tactics and pit), Taylor Robinson '99, and Anna Vu '06 (bow). Unlike last year's sweep of victories for the alumni, this year's event saw some close racing in which both Stanford teams won the start of their races by controlling their opponent off the starting line, but failed to follow through with their advantage into the finish. Despite being unable to claim any victories in the alumni divisions, the overall win by the student-athletes themselves means that Stanford will retain The Big Sail Trophy for yet another year. What a great way to finish up the competition schedule for the fall season!
The Cardinal finishes up practice this week for this season, but is excited for this year's highly anticipated spring season. Stanford will host the ICSA Women's Nationals and the ICSA/Gill Coed Dinghy Nationals beginning May 25th until June 3rd, 2009. Team Race Nationals will also be held locally at Treasure Island and hosted by Cal University and Cal Maritime Academy.
Next up the Cardinal will face-off in the ultra-competitive Rose Bowl Regatta held at the beginning of the new year in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach, CA.