A Busy Qualifying Weekend for Student Sailors

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By Megan Pluth | NB Indy

National qualifiers were happening all over the country this past weekend for both high school and collegiate sailing.

The College Pacific Coast Championships took place in Long Beach, hosted by USC and the United States Sailing Center at Long Beach.  The Race Committee ran trapezoids all weekend because the high school teams were competing in their own championships at the same venue.  Saturday brought cold breezes off the Belmont Pier ranging from 10 to 14 knots and allowing the RC to complete eight A Division races. But they got in only six B Division races, as the breeze began to die around 6 p.m.  Stanford held the top spot overall.

Sunday turned out to be warmer with lighter breezes, ranging from 8 to 12 knots, and flat water.  Stanford, UCSB, UCLA, USC, UH, and UCI were only points apart, all fighting for the four qualifying positions.

UCI fought back from 7th place overall and a 20-point deficit to end up fighting it out with USC for the last qualifying spot.  It all came down to the last race and USC narrowly edged out the Anteaters. So Stanford, UCSB, UCLA, and USC will compete at the semi-finals April 30– May 1, also in Long Beach.

Local sailors included Josh Kew sailing for UC Berkeley’s B Division placing 9th and Dane Butera sailing for Chapman University placing 12th in B Division.

Meanwhile, on the same course in Long Beach, the high school Gold Pacific Coast Championships took place.  The teams managed the breeze with their heavy air crews on Saturday.  Points were close across the board, leaving the qualifying teams up in the air.  Coronado had a solid hold on first place.  Newport Harbor High had to carry two OCSs into Sunday’s racing with Corona del Mar High right on their heels.  The breeze lightened up on Sunday, allowing Coronado to extend their lead.  Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar finished 3rd and 4th, respectively, both qualifying for ISSA Nationals to be held in Austin, Texas, May 7– 8.

Up in Alameda, Encinal Yacht Club hosted Silver PCCs.  Much like the Southern California conditions, the Silver fleet’s venue saw breezes ranging from 4 to 19 knots throughout the day – conditions that were a challenge for many of the teams.

The Race Committee was only able to complete eight A Division races and six B Division races due to the large shifts that happened throughout the day.

On Sunday, the competitors faced much lighter breezes, topping out at 8 knots, but equally large shifts. Corona del Mar put up quite a fight for the first-place position, but was edged out in the end by Point Loma and settled for 2nd overall. Newport Harbor took 8th, and Mater Dei placed 12th.

Across the country, Heather May competed for Yale at the Women’s President’s Trophy hosted by Boston University.  The southwest breeze ranged from zero to 11 knots throughout the weekend.  May helped her team to a 2nd overall finish with her first place finish in A Divison with skipper Clair Dennis.

SAISA District Championships also took place this past weekend at Charleston. The host team was edged out byt Univeristy of Miami for the win by one point. Brooks Clark crewed in A Division, placing 3rd.


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