Nov. 28, 2007
San Francisco, Calif - Stanford and Cal once again met at St. Francis Yacht Club yesterday for the fourth annual Big Sail Match Race Regatta. After a very successful fall season, the Stanford Varsity team came into this match confident of a win, once again proving dominance of the Bay Area. Competing for the Cardinal in this year's event were seniors Eddie Conrad (helmsman), Evan Brown (tactician), Craig Page, Graham Brandt-Zawadzki, sophomore Leigh Hammel, and freshman Cole Hatton. They were joined on the J-105 by owner's rep Al Sargent '91.
With a few days of practice in the light air conditions expected for the races under their belt, Stanford jumped out to an early lead on Cal in the first match. Finishing well ahead of their opponents, the Cardinal was only one win away from securing the overall win, it being a best of three series. The second race saw an even start between the rivals, with the Stanford boat splitting tacks to go to the right side of the course on the first upwind beat.
Cal was able to capitalize on a significant left shift and led the rest of the way around, evening the series at one win apiece. Going into the final race, Conrad knew he had to act aggressively at the start to secure an early lead. Forcing Cal to draw a penalty in the starting sequence, it seemed that Stanford had the win all but locked up. Freshmen Cole Hatton comented "I was on the bow and saw the panic in the Cal skippers face, after that I knew we had them". Cal drew a penalty at that start and complete it by the end of the race. Cal, however, was able to make a pass on the downwind leg. Fighting hard in difficult conditions, Stanford made a better leeward mark rounding than Cal and led the rest of the way to secure the overall win at the finish of the third match. As race organizer Jaren Leet '59 commented after the racing, "the team fought hard and earned the win, but it was not easy."
Also competing were a team of young alumni consisting of age 40 and under alumni representatives of each university and an alumni masters team. Skippering for the Cardinal in the young alumni race was Scott Sellers `94, who secured an early lead and led all the way around the race course to get an easy win. In the masters division, Dan Buckstaff '88 skippered in a closely competed race. Trailing early on with a penalty against them, the masters team was able to not only pass the opposition but also build enough distance to take their penalty and stay ahead at the finish. This win completed a clean sweep of the Cal opposition in all three divisions. " I am really proud of how the team of 3 generations of Stanford Sailing, pulled together to dominate the Cal teams" commented Head Coach Jay Kehoe, "Coach Storck really worked these guys hard all week", continued Kehoe.
The next competition for the Stanford co-ed team will be the Rose Bowl Regatta, hosted by USC January 5-6.