U.S. Coast Guard Academy Wins the Sperry Women’s National Championship

Today was the last day of racing for the Sperry Women’s National Championship on North San Diego Bay co-hosted by San Diego Yacht Club and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference. Eighteen women’s collegiate teams raced for the Gerald C. Miller Trophy and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy came away with the win.

Racing began close to 10:30 a.m. in a westerly breeze about 5-7 knots. The temperatures stayed in the mid 60s all day with cloudy skies in the morning and some sun in the afternoon. The winds stayed out of the west around 5-8 knots with choppy water.

The sailors completed eight races today in both divisions on windward leeward courses with four legs for a total of 18 races in each division for the event. The race committee was able to meet the racing deadline and completed the races around 3:20 p.m.

The judges for the event were John Chrisman, Sandy Grosvenor, Steve Stewart and Bill Campbell.

Going into today’s competition the U.S. Coast Guard Academy had a significant lead over the rest of the fleet, as did Brown University behind them in second place. Boston University was also solidly in third place.

The close competition continued all day with a bit of a battle for third place between the University of Rhode Island and Boston University. URI made a big come back in racing today having finished yesterday in seventh place, the sailors worked their way up to third place for a short time, but eventually fell back to fourth place.

Boston University took third place winning the Ann Campbell Trophy.

Sailing for BU was Hannah Polster '17 with Margaret Swanson '16 and Lexi Pline '19 in A-division and Lydia Grasberger '18 with Meredith Harrington '18 in B-division.

Brown University finished in second place winning the New England Women’s Trophy.

“We are excited,” says John Mollicone, head coach for Brown. “I think we exceeded people’s expectations because these were not really our conditions,” he says, “We like 420s and breeze, not usually light winds, chop and FJs.”

“We were able to close the gap a little bit between us and Coast Guard,” Mollicone says. “But it became pretty clear that no one was going to catch them and we were pretty comfortable in second place, so it took some of the pressure off of the racing today,” he says.

“The conditions for this event were the ones we struggled with the most this year, so I am really proud of the girls for sailing so well,” says Mollicone.

Sailing for Brown was Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick '17 with Courtney Bergh '16 in A-division and Lindsey Baab '18 with Haley Carter '17 in B-division.

The Sperry Women’s National Champions and winners of the Gerald C. Miller Trophy is the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Coast Guard took the lead at the start of the regatta and never gave it up. The women sailed smart and fast and it paid off for the whole event.

“Today we were confident and sharp,” says Brian Swingly, head coach for Coast Guard. “We didn’t ever relax and we continued to take the event race by race,” Swingly says. “Brown sailed really well today, so we were keeping our eye on them,” he says.

“We have never won Women’s Nationals,” says Swingly, “So this is a special moment for us.” “We have won regattas, but not a Nationals, we have been slowly building to this point and we feel we are here to stay,” says Swingly.

Sailing for Coast Guard is Nikole Barnes ’17 with Anna Morin ’19 in A-division and Dana Rohde ’18 with Hannah Herring ‘18 in B-division.

After racing, awards were presented at the San Diego Port Pier, for the top teams and also for the first place finishers in each division. Nikole Barnes ’17 and Anna Morin ’19 won the Madeleine Trophy, awarded to the low-point A- division team. They finished with 60 points total, an impressive 50 points ahead of the second place pairing from Dartmouth College.

“Most races we would round the first windward mark in seventh or eighth and we had to work really hard and plan the down winds carefully,” Barnes says of never letting up during the regatta. “We always followed our pre-race routine and it allowed us to figure out the racecourse before other teams,” Barnes says, “Having more information helped make me less nervous during the racing,” she says.

Lydia Grasberger '18 and Meredith Harrington '18 from Boston University won the Judy Lawson Trophy, awarded to the low-point B-division team. They finished with 94 points total and were four points ahead of the second place pairing from Brown University.

Women’s Final Overall Results

1. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 204
2. Brown University, 244
3. Boston University, 282
4. University of Rhode Island, 296
5. Yale University, 303
6. Dartmouth College, 306
7. University of Vermont, 317
8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 319
9. Stanford University, 346
10. George Washington University, 359
11. Bowdoin College, 367
12. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 382
13. Boston College, 391
14. University of Wisconsin, 392
15. University of California Santa Barbara, 400
16. St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 404
17. College of Charleston, 408
18. Georgetown University, 436

Racing will continue in the Spring Intercollegiate National Sailing Championships with the LaserPerformance Team Race National Championship, which will take place over the next three days on North San Diego Bay. An Opening Ceremony and Competitors Briefing will take place this evening at the San Diego Yacht Club and tomorrow morning sixteen teams will report for the start of racing at the B Street Pier.

To learn more about the teams competing in all of the events and to follow the racing and results visit the event website: http://2016nationals.collegesailing.org/.

Dan Egan, of Degan Media, is providing live coverage sponsored by LaserPerformance and Gill North America, streaming from the event website, http://2016nationals.collegesailing.org/. Additional live coverage and social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.

Contact: Jennifer Mitchell | Toile à Voile for ICSA | media@collegesailing.org | 763-234-8286 m.


About SDYC
“The San Diego Yacht Club encourages and fosters an environment that helps and continues to produce the best in the world of yachting-related activities. Founded in 1886, SDYC has become a world renown yachting community recognized for its success in bay sailing, ocean racing, cruising, angling, and its world class youth sailing program. SDYC is consistently ranked among the top 5 yacht clubs in the U.S. and is recognized by the Club Leadership Forum as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the world.”


The ICSA sponsors and partners through the 2015-2016 season are: LaserPerformance (www.laserperformance.com), title sponsor of “LaserPerformance Men’s and Women’s Singlehanded National Championship”, title sponsor of “LaserPerformance College Sailing Team Race National Championship” and Official Boat Supplier of the ICSA Spring National Championships. Sperry (www.sperry.com), title sponsor of the “Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Championship”. Gill North American (gillna.com), title sponsor of “The Gill College Sailing National Championship”. Quantum Sail Design Group (www.quantumsails.com), official sponsor of the “Quantum Women’s College Sailor of the Year”. Marlow Ropes (www.marlowropes.com), presenting sponsor of the “Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year Award” and “Official Rope of College Sailing”. US Sailing (www.ussailing.org), supporting sponsor of the “ICSA National Championship Semi-finals”.

Photo Credit: Cynthia Sinclair Photography and Stacy Childers Photography & House of Style Studio