CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 16, 2017) – The Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s (ICSA) three spring national championships, Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Semi-Final and Final Championship, LaserPerformance College Sailing Team Race National Championship, and the Gill College Sailing National Semi-Final and Final Championship commence Tuesday, May 23. The Women’s event will last for four days immediately followed by the Team Race championship on May 27, lasting for three days and the Coed championship on May 30, lasting for four days.
The three events will be hosted by the College of Charleston at the J. Stewart Walker Sailing Center in Mount Pleasant, S.C. and the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association. These championships are the culmination of two seasons of intense competition and include the top schools from across the nation vying for the championship titles. At the end of racing for each of the regattas will be a trophy ceremony.
Book ending the championships are the ICSA Annual Meeting, held on Monday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. where the ICSA Hall of Fame Honorees will be announced and the ICSA Afterguard Alumni Regatta on Saturday, June 3 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. out of the sailing center.
One change that is taking place for these championships is that in lieu of competitors meetings involving all of the sailors, coaches and/or team representatives are invited to pre-regatta briefings in the McAllister Hospitality Suite, on the 3rd floor of the TD Arena in downtown Charleston, before each event on May 22, May 26 and May 29, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Racing is scheduled to begin for the Sperry Women’s regatta on Tuesday, May 23 at 10 a.m. The sailors will sail Club Flying Juniors (CFJs) recently refurbished by LaserPerformance and Z420s, also refurbished by LaserPerformance, on Charleston Harbor and the Copper River. Spectator viewing will be available (for all of the events) on the U.S.S. Yorktown, a WWII aircraft carrier docked at the marina.
The first two days of racing will be the Semi-Finals, which is divided into two 18-team regattas. These teams have qualified from their conferences to compete in this portion of the championship. The top nine teams from each group will then advance to the Finals Round – an 18-boat regatta, which will take place on the last two days of the championship, May 25-26. This is the second time that the Women’s Semi-Final event will include 36 boats, in the past there have only been 28 competing in this portion of the Championship.
“We are really excited to host these events and to offer such great racing and spectator options,” says Greg Fisher, the director of sailing at College of Charleston. The last time that the College of Charleston hosted these events was in 2006.
“We are fortunate to have Ryan Davidson, former C of C Team Captain, PRO all three events,” says Fisher. “Ryan was PRO for the High School Mallory in 2016 and the 2015 ICSA Match Race Nationals. We also have Steve Wrigley, who has served both on and off the water as an International Judge, International Umpire, U.S. Sailing National Umpire and U.S. Sailing Senior Judge. Steve is assembling an equally impressive team to work with him. We are fortunate to have Steve as our Chief Umpire/Judge for all three events.”
Following the Sperry Women’s Nationals is the LaserPerformance Team Race Nationals beginning Saturday, May 27. The first warning scheduled for 10 a.m. Sixteen of the country’s best team race teams have qualified to compete in the event. Sailors will again be competing in FJs and Z420s on Charleston Harbor and the Copper River.
The first round of racing is a single round robin with all 16 teams of three boats competing against each other. The top eight from this round will advance to a single “championship” round robin followed by a “final four” round robin, both of which will only be sailed in Z420s. The top three teams and national champions will be determined from the final four.
The Gill Championship will begin after the LaserPerformance Team Race Championship on Tuesday, May 30 at 10 a.m. Sailors will again compete in FJs and Z420s on Charleston Harbor and the Copper River.
The first two days of racing will be a Semi-Final regatta, which will include 36 of the top teams in the country that qualified from their respective conferences to compete. This Semi-Final event is divided into two 18-team rounds.
The top nine teams in each Semi-Final round will advance to the Finals round, an 18-boat regatta on the last two days of the championship, June 1-2. This will determine the top three podium spots and name the national champion.
“The weather at this time in Charleston typically brings a steady sea breeze and warm temperatures as well as a good current, it will be excellent racing conditions,” explains Fisher.
Dan Egan, of Degan Media, will provide some live coverage during the events sponsored by LaserPerformance, streaming from the event website (http://2017nationals.collegesailing.org/). Additional live coverage and social media updates will be available throughout the events on the regatta website.
The ICSA sponsors and partners through the 2016-2017 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), “The Robert H. Hobbs Sportsman of the Year Sponsored by US Sailing”.
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