Team race national championships
During the three-day Memorial Day weekend, the top 14 schools in the nation - as determined by their performance in one of the seven ICSA conferences - were in America's heartland racing for the 2010 ICSA/APS team race national title on Lake Mendota. And for one team, St. Mary's College, it was a reversal of fortune from 2009 when the Seahawks lost this championship on a tiebreaker.
St. Mary's came back to win this year's contest on a tiebreak against Boston College. Georgetown finished third. The win marks the fifth time the Seahawks have clinched this unique championship, which pits each college's three-boat team against another's in a round-robin series of matches.
On the water for St. Mary's were senior skipper Ted Hale of Annapolis, Md., with junior crew Francis Kupersmith of Alexandria, Va., junior skipper Michael Menninger of Newport Harbor, Calif., with senior crew Kelly Wilbur of Ipswich, Mass., and senior skipper Jesse Kirkland of Warwick, Bermuda, with junior crew Madeline Jackson of Bainbridge Island, Wash. For the last race of the championship, senior skipper Mike Kuschner of San Francisco sailed with Kupersmith, and Hale sailed with Wilbur.
Local sailors shine at ICSA championships
The end of the spring semester signaled the start of the ICSA championship season and St. Mary's College, Boston College and the College of Charleston took titles back to campus this year.
For the first time in the school's history, Boston College won the ICSA/ Gill national championship after taking and holding the lead in the competition through the first two days of racing on Lake Mendota in Madison, Wis. Before this year, the championship title changed hands between 19 schools.
On the water for Boston College in A-Division were junior skipper Tyler Sinks of San Diego, who sailed with crew Lucy Wallace of Middletown, R.I., and Briana Provancha of San Diego, both juniors, and freshman Laura McKenna of Palo Alto, Calif. In B-Division, junior skipper Taylor Canfield of St. Thomas, USVI, sailed all nine races with senior crew Sandra Williams of Chicago to win that division.
BC's final score of 127 points reflects 88 points from A-Division plus 39 from B-Division. Harvard took second place overall and Brown and St. Mary's, the defending champion, finished third and fourth.
Women's national championships
After two days with no breeze and no races completed for the semifinal round of the 2010 Intercollegiate Sailing Association's women's national championship, the conditions on Lake Mendota turned around just in time for the first day of the race for the championship crown. Bringing its "A" game was College of Charleston, which was dominant in A-Division through the efforts of senior skipper Allison Blecher of Fullerton, Calif., with sophomore crew Alyssa Aitken of Sandwich, Mass. Seniors Shannon Heausler of Tampa, Fla., and Rebecca Bestoso of Erie, Pa., sailed B-Division for Charleston. The Cougars led the scoreboard with 59 points and a 35-point cushion over second-place Boston College. Tufts University rounded out the top three.
This article originally appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Home Waters section of the August 2010 issue.