2017 ICSA Team Race Preview & Coaches Poll, 21 FEB 2017
By Airwaves Writer Dillon Paiva
Brought to you by Dynamic Dollies, Sail1Design would like to welcome everyone to the spring team race season! This discipline in college sailing is growing more popular every year. Sailors love the short course, fast pace, expert boat handling required, and of course, team work. Before the first collegiate team race regattas of the season begin this weekend, Sail1Design brings you this exclusive in depth look at the best teams in the country. We reached out to five college coaches and asked them to rank the top ten teams in the ICSA, and then give us some comments on each team.
|Also receiving votes: Roger Williams, Tufts, Bowdoin|
Coaches who participated in the poll: Ken Legler (Tufts), Bill Healy (Yale), Clinton Hayes (Stanford), Johnny Norfleet (Fordham), Dillon Paiva (Navy)
|1||Yale||Easy to rank Yale #1 when returning all starters except one crew. Favorite to win 5th Nationals in a row.||Star crew Charlotte Belling ’16 is the only ingredient missing from this year’s group.||Easy #1 returning all drivers and almost all crews. Will win their 5th consecutive.||The clear number one returning all but one crew from their national championship team as well as the majority of their practice team. Yale remains the favorite this year as they go for a fifth straight Wood Trophy.||Poised to be the best team on the circuit again this spring. They will definitely get a couple losses handed to them during the season, but are still the favorite to win a fifth consecutive Nationals.|
|2||BC||Lose Raul Rios, but replace with Erica Reineke.||5th year senior Erica Reineke will be the glue that holds this team together.||The Eagles will be strong this year with the return of Erika Reineke and 2 of 3 starting drivers from last year. One of the few college teams to take advantage of Team Racing Midwinters to warm-up for the season finishing 2nd.||With the return of Erika Reineke and last year’s skippers Scott Sinks and Harry Koeppel, expect this team to come out of the gates as contender to win every regatta they sail. The second best in NEISA by default until everyone else figures out their starting rosters.||Raced first hand against BC’s first and second team skippers at this year’s Team Race Midwinters and was impressed how well Erika Reineke slid into the spot left by the graduation of Raul Rios. This team is highly disciplined and with 3 fast skippers, I expect them to be strong all season and the biggest threat to Yale.|
|3||Georgetown||Gone are Nevin Snow and Sean Golden from the Hoyas, but Campbell D’Eliscu will lead Georgetown’s next generation.||Their College Sailor of the Year has graduated along with FIVE of their Nationals runner up team. However with two returning skippers from that Nationals finish along with some good underclassmen (Will Logue) they should be just fine.||Yes, they lost some key players, but they have good depth and a talented freshman in Sean Segerblom so I think they will be a podium contender once again this year.||Georgetown remains the number one team in MAISA until proven otherwise. While they lose two-time College Sailor of the Year Nevin Snow and All American Sean Golden, they brought in the best recruiting class in college sailing. Look for some combination of Campbell D’Eliscu, Sean Segerblom, AJ Reiter, and Will Logue to drive with an all star list of crews headed by Meaghan MacRae.||They lose two starting skippers including Nevin Snow, but return AJ Reiter and Campbell D’Eliscu and have an extremely strong freshman class. Best team in MAISA on paper, and should be on the podium at several regattas this spring.|
|4||Dartmouth||Like Yale, Dartmouth returns all starters except one crew from last year’s 7th place Nationals finish.||Like Yale, their only graduation loss was Abigail Rohman and will look to better their performance from 2016 Team Race Nationals.||They’ve been building their team racing depth for a while and this year is their time. Getting through the NEISA qualifier is always tricky but if they do what’s expected of them, they are capable of challenging for a podium spot at Nationals.||As the only remaining team from NEISA returning all three skippers, expect this team to be more polished by the end of the season and defend their Nationals berth. This might be the year they break through and make the push for the final four at Nationals.||Returning almost all of their starters from last year, and coached by avid team racers, this will be a strong team. Especially with a mild winter.|
|5||Navy||Led by Patrick Snow, this team will be well drilled to appear at Nationals||The midshipmen have a solid group returning even after losing Megan Hough and Michael Popp from last year’s starting team. Patrick Snow and team have a strong coaching squad so look for good results throughout the season.||Navy is stacked with lots of upper class talent and 3 solid drivers. They play the team racing game with textbook precision so if they can sail their boats well enough they could have a very good year.||Navy returns two out of three of their drivers from last year’s Nationals team. Expect them to be ready by the time the Prosser rolls around to put up another solid showing.||Veterans Pat Snow and Gary Prieto returning from last year’s starting line up also took advantage of the Team Race Midwinters. There are several players to fill the third starting spot so don’t be surprised to see them going toe-to-toe with the top teams.|
|6||Charleston||Losing all three starting skippers doesn’t mean they won’t compete. Stefano Peschiera, Laser Olympian, is a real talent now trained in college sailing, and Jack Cusick helped cougars to a 3rd at Coed ACCs this fall.||Jack Cusick and Stephano Peschiera, have been doing very well in dinghy events this past fall. I don’t see any reason why they won’t succeed in team racing with the group they have been training against the past few years.||Graduated all starting drivers and one All American crew. They have talent in Stefano and many others and will sail well at home when they host Nationals.||After losing all three of their skippers it would appear that Charleston should be destined for a one round and out at Nationals. However, with a match race national champion, an Olympian, and some other very solid fleet racers, this unconventional team can be very good if they figure out team racing and get on the same page. With lots of time to prepare, and many events on their schedule, they will certainly have the opportunities to work out their kinks. Only time will tell.||Downside: lost three starting skippers from last two years. Upside: Laser Class Olympian Stefano Peschiera and number one ranked US Match Racer Christophe Killian and a whole host of other strong players in the front and back of the boat. This team will always be a threat and deadly in home waters.|
|Top talent seems to come and go, but Will La Dow must lead this year’s group down the jet way to the tough east coast regattas in March.||This team was decimated from graduation. Will La Dow is the only returning helmsman from their Nationals squad.||Another team that graduated most of their starters last year. That said, solid drivers should keep them in the top 10.||Stanford graduates a lot of their starting sailors from last season, but with an easy path to Nationals, expect this deep squad to have their starting three figured out and polished by Memorial Day weekend.||Lost a lot of key players, but always a well coached team with plenty of talent. Look for Will La Dow to take charge and lead the team.|
|8||MIT||With a conference qualifier on Mystic lake, a team trained in shifty conditions could succeed.||Has young talent that is ready to meet their potential.||With Brown and Roger Williams taking big hits from graduation last year, its this team’s year to shine. I expect them to make strong showings at interconference regattas and to qualify for Nationals.||After an excellent fleet race season this fall, MIT looks poised to carry their success into the team race season. Expect this team to contend for the last spot from NEISA at team race Nationals.||A very fast and smart team all fall and proved it with a win at Coed ACCs. We’ll see how that translates into fast paced team racing but I’m expecting some surprise wins from this squad.|
|9||St. Mary’s||St. Mary’s took a big hit losing Alex Curtiss and Markus Edegren, but they’ve got plenty of seniors this year.||Lost two starting skippers and crews from their 3rd place team at Nationals. I believe they still have the talent to step in and succeed.||Major losses to graduation after their third place finish at Nationals last year but they have a bunch of seniors this year. If we’ve learned anything, its that you can’t count out St. Mary’s in team racing. They are coached too well and know how to get their game in order for the big dance.||St. Mary’s will have to sail out of the Team Race Challenge for the first time in living memory in order to make it to the Prosser Trophy. They will also be losing all three of their drivers from last year’s national championship podium team due to graduation and the Youth America’s Cup. Don’t let that fool you because St. Mary’s is always ready when it matters. Like Georgetown, they’re a lock to qualify for Nationals until proven otherwise.||Also really hurt by graduation as well as other distractions like the Youth America’s Cup. Never count this team out, I heard rumor they have the longest streak going for consecutive appearances at team race Nationals (feel free to comment with facts if I’m wrong).|
|10||Hobart||HWS has a freshman star in Hector Guzman to team up with a small nucleus of veterans.||Not sure how they will shake out, but they were relatively young last year and should be much better this year. I think the MAISA qualifier will be a real battle.||Hobart and William Smith returns all of last year’s crews and drivers Greiner Hobbs and Charlie Miller while adding all star freshman Hector Guzman. Expect them to be good and contending for a spot at Nationals.||This team will surprise you this year. I expect Greiner Hobbs, freshman Hector Guzman and Charlie Miller to be a tough to beat by anyone.|
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