- Created on Thursday, 02 February 2012 01:06
SAIL1DESIGN ICSA TEAM RACE RANKINGS PREVIEW
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With February now upon us, just a few weeks remain until the spring college sailing season gets underway! I am sure that college sailors around the country are ready to hit the water again. Though the season has many fleet racing regattas, college sailing tends to switch gears to focus on team racing for much of the spring season. Teams need to rely more on depth and strong leadership to find success on the water in preparation for conference and national championships later in the spring. Our panel of coaches from around the country have reflected on the teams’ performances and key players and have provided an outlook as to who they think will be the strong teams going into the season.
Contributions by Sail1Design TR Panel Ken Legler (Tufts), Bill Healy (Yale), Brendan Healy (Navy), David Elsmo (UWisconsin), Ward Cromwell (College of Charleston), and John Vandemoer (Stanford).
Northern New England (MA, NH, VT, ME) – Ken Legler
While the top two or three NEISA teams are in Southern New England (Yale, Roger and Brown), a couple Northern teams have a shot at team racing nationals. Let’s skip comparing coaches as all of NEISA’s many top teams have absolutely excellent coaches.
Dartmouth was NEISA’s most improved team last Fall. After some inconsistent early season finishes, The Big Green came alive with a 2-1-2 at the Hurst, Schell, and Atlantic Coast Champs. Dartmouth struggled at last year’s team racing New Englands but veteran Sam Williams can now depend on sophomore Matt Wefer and a bunch of others that have figured out college sailing. Team Racing is another matter but if they improve like they did in dinghies, watch out.
Tufts had a great fall for the first two thirds of the season led by Will Haeger in Sloops, and along with Massimo Soriano in dinghies. The fall results gave the Jumbos a shot at the upcoming Graham Hall Team Race (at Navy in early March) for a chance to get on pace with the best for the spring.
Harvard lost three great senior skippers to graduation and will rely on last year’s #4, the very talented Brendan Kopp and top women skipper Emily Lambert. They also have a bunch of good freshmen skippers with high school TR experience but they might not be ready for this level yet.
Boston College also lost their superstars to graduation except they still have Annie Haeger for one more season. She’ll be leading BC in Women’s, Dinghies and Team Racing with various young and talented teammates in tow. They too will be at the Graham Hall and possibly in the St. Mary’s Team as well for a powerful jump start to their season.
MIT has more depth than Harvard and BC but they haven’t done well in team racing in the past. Excellent coaching and hard work could change that. They host TR New England’s but that didn’t help Dartmouth last year as the other teams are too well coached to be disadvantaged is someone else’s pond.
Honorable Mentions - BU is good in FJs and good on the river. Vermont lost Johnny Norfleet transferring to Hobart. In his place they have a large sophomore class and even bigger freshmen class. They will use the spring for much needed experience for a shot at nationals in future years. Bowdoin has never been a national powerhouse but they’re not bad. Like Vermont they will be looking to fight their way into New England’s for the experience of competing in the toughest conference team racing champs in the ICSA.
Southern NEISA (RI, CT) – Bill Healy
Roger Williams - The Seahawks are primed to have a great spring season after finishing the fall strong with a win at the ACC’s. With three strong skippers (Alec Anderson ‘13, Sean Bouchard ‘12 and Will McDonald ’15) and returning All-American Crew Kelley Stannard (who is also a member of the 2011 winning Hinman Team), the Hawks will be tough to beat out at any Team Race Intersectional the spring. In my mind they are the favorite to win the NE Team Race Championship.
Yale – Led by Senior All-American Skipper Joe Morris the Bulldogs have a good shot at one of the two NEISA slots for Nationals. Joe has great teammates in the deepest Yale team in a while. Cam Cullman the 2011 ICSA Singlehanded Champ and underclassmen Chris Segerblom and Freshman Graham Landy will be solid teammates. The bulldogs have a fantastic list of upperclassmen crews that will only help the Bulldogs this spring season.
Brown – Here is another deep team. Skippers Colin Smith and Tommy Fink have both put out some great collegiate results so far and Sophomore Tyler Rice is working on his own resume. The Brown Bears will be well coached under Coach Mollicone and Rabin. They have fantastic crew including Louisa Chafee ’14 and Ashley Noble ’13. I would not be surprised to see some of their great Women’s team coming over to help out here and there.
Connecticut College - The Camels are always aggressive and fast in FJ’s. The Thames River will be good Practice for the Charles. Kevin, Martland, Pete Miller and Ben Bainbridge along with the rocket Atlantic Brugman will be hard to catch if you get behind early. Look for the Camels to be the spoiler at TR NE’s.
Salve Regina – This Newport, RI based team lost some great sailors but they still have senior Peter Pellegrini. They mainly race in 420’s which will hurt their chances this spring.
MAISA – Brendan Healy
Hobart & William Smith - Deep and experienced, Hobart looks to lead the charge early in the semester as the squad to beat in MAISA led by skippers Austin Anderson, Sam Blouin, and Johnny Norfleet aided by All-American crew Chris Klevan, as well as Bridget Nannig and Julia Oak.
St. Mary’s - Despite the loss of several key players on the Team Race side of things, St. Mary’s looks to come back strong as they always do led by coaches Adam and Bill. With a relatively deep team, I think we’ll see a lot of playing time from Josh Greenslade, Victor Diaz, and possibly John Wallace as skippers, with Ben Lezin, Kelley Merryman, and Katy Gluskin crewing.
Georgetown - Traditionally a national factor, Georgetown loses their two-time College Sailor of the Year, however with the rumored return of Evan Aras, this team will be right back at the top of the game. Skippers leading the charge for the Hoyas include Evan Aras (maybe), Chris Barnard, Sydney Bolger, Pete Johns, and Matt Gowell with crews Hillary Kenyon, Kate Kanty, and Rebecca Evans.
Navy - A very young squad that looks to be led by ICSA Match Racing National Champion skipper Jason Carminatti and returning All-American crew Saverio Maldari. Also look for driving time from Mike Grove, Taylor Vann, and Alex Ramos. On the crewing side of things, Caroline Lockett, Julie Digiovani, and Jocelynn Knudsen will have an impact on the team.
Old Dominion - A young team that had a great fall, looking to prove themselves this spring. Look for skipper Dillion Paiva to lead the Monarchs with Brady Stagg, Gavin Rudolph, and Scott Hoffman rounding out the drivers. As for crews, All-American Emily Reich will contribute greatly to the team, in addition to Chloe Constants and Jill Fattibene.
SUNY - An experienced team that could turn some heads this year headed by the leadership of Coach Russ. Skippers Sean Murray, Harry Scott, and Randy Hartranft will head up the Privateers along with crews Morgan Keating, Emma Lamontague, and Paige Conlin.
Honorable Mentions - Washington College, Cornell, Fordham University
SAISA – Ward Cromwell
College of Charleston – The Cougars will be returning all but one team member from last year’s 3rd place team race finish in the Gorge. Mac Mace and Zeke Horowitz will likely lead the Cougars along with Perry Emsiek ‘12, Alyssa Aitken ‘12, and Cory DeCollibus ’13. Other team members will likely include Sam Stoke ’12, Ben Spector’12, Brooks Clark, and Jeff Aschieris.
University of Miami – The Hurricanes will be returning their starting skippers David Hernandez ‘12 and Nick Voss ‘12 who will likely pair with Alex Olt ‘12. David has been pairing regularly with Chelsea Carlson ’13. Other crew’s will likely include Nicole Popp ’12, Kara Voss ’15, Nikki Bruno’12, and Liam Munzenmaier ‘13
University of South Florida - The Bulls will likely be adding Chris Stocke ‘15 to their team race line up. Chris is coming off a 2nd place finish at the ICSA Singlehanded Nationals and will likely be joining his brother Will Stocke ’13 and Sean Ross ’12. Will Stocke has been regularly pairing with Emily Johnson ’13. Other likely players could include David Harrison ’13, Kaitlin Kramer ’13, Abby Featherstone ’13, Bryan White ’13, and Greg Schreiber ’14.
Honorable Mentions - The Eckerd Tritons, Florida Gators, and Clemson Tigers will be the other SAISA teams to keep an eye out for leading in to Spring Team Race season.
MCSA – David Elsmo
The 2012 MCSA racing season will be highlighted by one of the highest Intersectional attendances in recent memory. Several of the powerhouse schools have figured out that if you want to compete at the highest level, you have to go out and train against the top dogs. In that same breath many teams have sought out coaching to help raise their team's competitive abilities; Minnesota, Purdue, Robert Morris, Northwestern, Wisconsin and more are now actively practicing and traveling with coaches. When looking at team racing in our conference four teams tend to stick out. Northwestern, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin always find themselves competing for qualifying rights. As always the MCSA is a majority club sport student run conference. Talent tends to manifest itself in unknown places.
Northwestern this spring will lose Geoff Pedrick, one of their top sailors but will be bringing in freshmen Travis Cottle and Ryan Anderson from the East coast.
Wisconsin will be returning at full strength with their entire 2011 8th place National team.
Minnesota - With the loss of Harrison Burton and Brady Solum, Minnesota will have some shoes to fill, but with a huge freshmen class full of talented sailors, you can look for them to be competitive in all respects.
Michigan has struggled to maintain a consistent 3 skipper team but with the leadership of Matt Graham a returning sophomore and a strong junior team, may still have some time to gel.
The University of Milwaukee has had an influx of talent with Ben Otten showing up as a lead skipper, and with a little recruiting you never know what they could do.
NWICSA – John Vandemoer
U. Oregon has been the strongest team in the northwest showing depth in both A and B divisions. This fleet race strength will lead to a strong team race season. Oregon plans to head east to Boston for their spring break, this trip should really help their team make it to the next level.
Western Washington U. has kept pace with oregon and should gets lots of team race help from new coach Blaine Pedlow. Blaine will help Western be organized and keep them moving in the right direction. Look for their conference champs to be a battle between Oregon and Western.
U. Washington for many years has been the class of the NW but now finds Oregon and Western stepping up their game. Washington will come on strong in their conference as they are a well organized team that loves to team race. They will travel a bunch to CA this spring so that should help.
Portland State is an up and coming team that gained some momentum from last year’s nationals and they will be competitive with the top teams of their conference.
PCCSC – John Vandemoer
Stanford is returning its three starting skippers from last year and has some good freshman to help challenge the sophomores. This team should take another step this year after making it to the gold round as freshman last year at nationals.
UCSB - the Gauchos have certainly proven they can compete and be really fast. The question for them this year as can they take another step forward in team racing and avoid foul trouble. If they can this team will be a really competitive against Stanford and give them a run for their money.
U Hawaii is always a strong team in conference. They will be fast and aggressive at the conference champs. The question will be is if they have the depth to support sophomore Adam Pokras and make a run at a nationals berth.
USC- The Trojans are always a challenge to beat and really this year it might be the lady Trojans who are tough to beat with Kelsey Rupp and Mallory Schluter coming on strong in fleet racing. The ladies along with Max Hutchinson should be a strong team. Max has been sailing really well this year and they will be a tough out at any team race.
Honorable Mentions - It will be a battle to see who else can rise to the top in the PCCSC. Irvine has had a big graduation year so they are not what they once were but they can certainly make a run. UCLA is another team who is a wait and see with Judge Ryan leaving it will be interesting to see how it goes. CMA could be a contender too.
Stay tuned here for updates and national top 15 Rankings when the season gets going!
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