March 31, 2009
The Stanford University Sailing Team competed against the best in the nation during the one-week break between the winter and spring academic quarters. Between Saturday, March 20th and Sunday, March 29th, the team competed in a total of five events and trained with other top-tier teams nearly every day.
The front end of the team trip to the Maryland area saw the coed team at the perennially deep four-division Truxton Umsted Regatta hosted by Navy. The event is the first chance for many of the best teams from around the country to meet in a fleet racing format. Navy hosts the twenty-team event in the double-handed 420s and FJs for A and B divisions, Laser full rigs for C division, and Laser radials for D division. The Cardinal fielded another young team, with Cole Hatton '11 and Kelly McKenna '09 in A division, Nick Dugdale '12 and Hayley Tobin '11 in B, Oliver Riihiluoma '12 in C, and Justin Doane '12 in D. Saturday morning brought light and spotty winds that became only slightly more consistent throughout the day. Sunday afternoon brought excellent sailing conditions as a 7-10 knot SE breeze filled in, giving the sailors some open water competition. The team finished 10th overall. Each division had their own highlights, but the players of the weekend for the Cardinal were Dugdale and Tobin in B division. The pair finished 6th in perhaps the most competitive division of the freshman skipper's short college career.
"Their consistency and ability to turn a mediocre start into a solid finish shows fantastic potential," commented Assistant Coach Erik Storck. The coed team will be happy for the experience of seventeen starts in this deep field as the end of the season approaches.
Only a short drive south from Annapolis, the women's team was competing in the St. Mary's Women's Intersectional, hosted by St. Mary's College of Maryland. The Cardinal started senior Taylor Grimes with freshman Carolyn Prioleau in A division and sophomore Hannah Burroughs with senior Catherine Cu in B division. Rotating in one fleet of FJs, each division had nine races over the weekend. Head Coach John Vandemoer, once a coach at St. Mary's, said "the conditions were some of the most challenging I've seen on the water here (St. Mary's River), and our team certainly improved over the weekend." The women also finished tenth in their eighteen-team field. The highlight came from the third place finish of Grimes and Prioleau in A division. The pair won their last race, putting an emphatic ending to an excellent second day of sailing.
The entire team met up for practice at the Naval Academy from Monday to Thursday, where the Cardinal sailed with the seventh-ranked Navy Midshipmen and the fourteenth-ranked MIT Beavers, who were also on spring break. The three teams enjoyed the mixed practices afforded by the shared venue. The focus on the water included some specifics of team racing, including starting and the downwind leg, as well as more open water boat speed work which the relatively small Port of Redwood City does not always allow. Off the water, the team bonded on an historic 200-plus acre farm in Centreville, MD, where Catherine Lawson '96 and her father Bob Simmons graciously hosted the team in comfort. The team worked out with Harry Leggum, owner of the sailing specific gym Annapolis Sailing Fitness. Overall, the week proved to be a great success.
For the second weekend of spring break, Cardinal sailors competed in three distinct team race regattas for the first time ever in the history of the program. One-third of the team traveled to the Szambecki Team Race Intersectional Regatta, one third to the new California State Team Racing Championship, and a women's team traveled to the new Duplin Women's Team Racing Intersectional Regatta. This was certainly a momentous weekend of competition for Stanford sailing.
At the Szambecki, hosted by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, skippers Grimes, Riihiluoma, and Doane, crews Ariane Fisher '12, Ale Lynberg '11, Alex Dunlap '11, and spare Cam Bell `09 sailed together as a team for the first time. The freshman skippers, relatively novice to team racing, learned a great deal from their experienced senior teammate. The field of eight teams included five of the top seven in the country. Even in this extraordinarily deep field, the young Cardinal team "started very well, and had some very close races" according to Coach Vandemoer. At the end of the double round robin, the team had garnered three wins and finished seventh.
The Duplin Trophy this year was the first-ever collegiate women's three-on-three team racing event. Tufts University in Boston, MA hosted the event on their home waters of the tricky and cold Mystic Lake. Burroughs, Prioleau and Megan Grove '10 skippered with crews Cu, Katie Jewett '11, Laura Garvey '12 and Caitlin Hicks '11. The Lady Cardinal was slow to find their footing, but rallied to get two wins on Sunday. The team finished tenth, and will certainly look forward to more women's team racing events on the schedule in the years to come.
The final event of the weekend by nature of time zones was the inaugural California State Team Racing Championship. The eight-team event, hosted by USC, qualified six teams to compete for the PCCSC Team Racing Championship on April 9 at Treasure Island. The team of Stanford boats Hatton and McKenna, Dugdale and Tobin, and Ben Pedrick '11 and Laura Lilly '12 went 5-2 in the first round, 7-0 in the second round, and 2-1 in the final four to win the event with an impressive record of 14-3. The Stanford team beat out the top teams of UCI, CMA, and USC, who rounded out the top four respectively.
The Stanford Sailing Team's spring break training and competition trip for this year proved to be a huge success. The young team learned a great deal, came together as a team, and had some excellent finishes as well.
Please come out to support the Cardinal at this year's St. Francis Intersectional Regatta this weekend, April 4-5. Also, we encourage all to join Head Coach John Vandemoer and the sailors at the St. Francis Yacht Club following racing on Saturday for a reception.