April 28, 2009
Nine teams competed in Santa Barbara over the weekend for the 2009 Pacific Coast College Sailing Conference Women's Championships, hosted by UCSB. The Cardinal women sent seniors Taylor Grimes and Catherine Cu, junior Megan Grove, sophomore Hannah Burroughs, and freshmen Carolyn Prioleau and Laura Garvey. The women came away with the win after eight races in conditions ranging from 20+ knots on day one to light and variable on Sunday.
In A division, Stanford's Grimes and Prioleau displayed their superior preparation with an awe-inspiring score line consisting of five first place finishes and three seconds. The senior and freshman duo has had a very successful spring season that they can now look to continue into Nationals. The leadership of the senior captain skippering the A division boat certainly helped this team on their way to victory. In B division, Burroughs and Cu followed the lead of their teammates, notching three first-place finishes, three second-place finishes, one third and a sixth. The Cardinal went out ahead and never looked back, increasing their lead over the second place University of Hawaii to 16 points by the end of the event. Head Coach John Vandemoer, when asked about the performance of his team, said simply "we were good."
Winning the qualifier earns the Cardinal women the right to skip the newly minted one-day semifinal regatta on day one of nationals, May 25. Stanford will have an automatic bid to the finals, which begin on day two of the championship. The new format will bring twenty-seven teams to compete in the event to be hosted jointly by St. Francis Yacht Club and Stanford University. It will be the first of three national championships. The Cardinal sailors have qualified for women's and team racing, and this weekend will travel to Boston, MA and the National Semifinal Coed Dinghy Championship to earn a berth to the final national championship.