Monday, March 5, 2012

College Sailing - Graham Hall Team Race

By Kelly Stannard

After a closely contested final four round, Georgetown won the Graham Hall Team Race event in a dramatic tiebreaker with Roger Williams. Charleston had a strong three races which helped them edge out Boston College for third place.

The event consisted of a full round robin stage with all 16 teams, which determined the gold and silver rounds. Boston College entered the final four with a record of 15-7, Charleston had a record of 16-6, Georgetown had a record of 18-4 and Roger Williams with a record of 19-3.

Navy hosted a fantastic event this weekend with two courses running races simultaneously, a solid group of umpires, and countless team members helping to keep things running smoothly throughout the weekend. 

Competitors had it fairly “made” this weekend in Annapolis. Weather conditions ranged from rain, light breeze, and high temps of almost 60 to sunny with winds ranging from 15-20 knots. All conditions aside, on day one a full round robin of 16 was completed on two N courses set in the Severn River, just off
the Robert Crown Center. On Sunday, gold and silver rounds were completed before breaking into a final four.

The Graham Hall had many talented teams, most of which are fresh out of the gates at one of the first team race events of the season. Personally, with only a week and some change worth of practicing the Roger Williams Hawk’s were looking to get ourselves sorted out and get some tight racing in with some excellent teams. Not everyone was in our position or has had to battle with moody New England weather; some schools have been lucky enough to be practicing for almost a month, leaving some more time to shake off the winter rust than others.

The season is still young but these teams have all shown their strengths so far. Last weekend at the Bob Bavier Team Race hosted by College of Charleston, Yale took first, Stanford was second, Charleston in third, and Georgetown rounded out the top four. This past weekend at the Graham Hall without the presence of Yale and Stanford, Georgetown and Charleston proved they were here to stay by finishing in the top four. Also, closely contending at the Graham Hall were Brown (5th), Tufts (6th), Hobart (7th) and St. Mary's (8th).

Keeping in mind that this weekend was the first and second team races of the season and teams all have their own things to improve upon, I’ve already made some of my own observations. Boston College, as usual has great discipline, Charleston has three solid boats, experienced crews, with fluent boat handling. They have showed they know how to hold their own in a team race. Georgetown has had a fair amount of time on the water practicing already this season and has clearly come into the scene with high expectations. Roger Williams, last year’s team race national champions, are returning with two skippers and three crews from the winning team. From MIASA, Hobart will be a team to look out for with some impressive speed, both Navy and St. Mary’s have all the right pieces of the puzzle to be strong team race teams. From NEISA, Brown and Tufts are another set of teams who will win races against top teams.

I am already looking forward to the next team race that Yale, Stanford, Charleston, Boston College, and Roger Williams will all be at, battling it out!  Congratulations to Georgetown for winning this weekend!

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