Mount Pleasant, SC (May 30, 2017) – The 2016-17 college season comes to a close with the Gill College Sailing National Semi-Final and Final Championship which began today on the Cooper River. The top 36 college sailing teams in the nation are vying for 18 spots in the championship finals, which will be held June 1 and 2.
The semifinals are divided into two fleets, an Eastern and Western, each with 18 teams. The sailors are racing on windward leeward courses in FJs and Z420s. The top nine teams from each fleet will advance to the finals.
Racing got underway around 10:30 a.m. in light winds about 6 knots. Temperatures were in the low to mid 80s for most of the day. The race committee was able to complete four races in A-division and two in B-division when the wind became too light for the boats to sail against the current.
After a wind postponement, competitors went out to sail again at about 3:00pm, but the northerly wind that filled in was still too light to fight the ebb current, so the race committee abandoned the race and postponed again.
Another breeze line came in and racing got started once again. The race officials were able to complete six races in A- division in both semifinal fleets and four races in B-division in both of the fleets. Racing finished up just before 7 p.m.
Dartmouth College is leading the Eastern fleet after today closely followed by Roger Williams University and George Washington University in third. Holding on to a qualifying spot, in ninth place after racing today is the University of Rhode Island.
“Going into this event our team was prepared that it could be long days of racing,” says Justin Assad, head coach for Dartmouth. “Something we focused on today, which we have been doing all year, is the process; taking it one race and one step at a time.
“We don’t have current at our home venue, so we tried to assess the current and figure out how much to factor it into the racing. We made some mistakes today, especially…