June 6, 2008
Newport, RI- The Cardinal sailors competed in their third and final consecutive spring national championship from Monday, June 2 through Wednesday, June 4 in Newport, RI. As one of only eight teams from around the nation to qualify for all three championships, the team went into this event with confidence knowing they could do finish the season on a high note. For the first time in its 70 plus year history, this national championship had a new semifinal qualification format. Thirty-six teams competed in two events, from which the top nine teams moved on to this final championship. This format proved to be a success as the top eighteen teams in the country met to find an overall winner. The racing was indeed closer and more competitive than any college sailing regatta has ever been.
Day one of the event saw close racing in trying conditions. Having to wait for breeze all day, only two races were run in each division. Sailing for the Cardinal in A division were juniors TJ Tullo and Kelly McKenna, while freshman Cole Hatton and sophomore Leigh Hammel started in B division. After getting off to a slow start, the team returned on day two knowing that there would be may more races. Tuesday brought better conditions, and ten races were sailed in each division. Seniors Eddie Conrad and Carrie Denning got a chance to sail in A division, and the team finished the day in 12th overall. The final day of racing saw the completion of the regatta with six races in each division for a total of 18 races. Evan Brown '08, Hannah Burroughs '11, and Graham Todd '11 all got a chance to sail in A division on the final day before Conrad and Denning sailed in the final set. The team finished 15th in A division, 11th in B division, and 13th overall in the extremely competitive 18-team field.
The All-American Banquet on the final night of the event gave the Cardinal team more reason to celebrate. McKenna received All-American crew honors for the second consecutive year. Brown was also recognized again as an All-American Women's skipper. In addition to these two All-American announcements, the Stanford Sailing team achieved an eighth-place finish in the Leonard M. Fowle Trophy rankings. The Fowle Trophy is given annually to that team who has the best overall record in the six national championships competed over the year, from both the fall and spring. To finish eighth in those standings is a strong accomplishment for a young team, and shows promise for the future.
The next spring nationals will be competed on Stanford's relative home waters of San Francisco Bay in a year's time.