AUSTIN, Texas — The Dartmouth women's sailing team advanced to the National Championships on Thursday and sit 10th out of 18 teams with two days of sailing remaining. The Big Green took fifth out of 18 teams in the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA Women’s Semi-Final Championships in the morning session at the Austin Yacht Club on Lake Travis. Dartmouth along with the eight other teams from their semifinals qualified for the Finals, which began Thursday afternoon.
Through six races, Dartmouth has totaled 52 points, and are just seven points out of sixth place. Boston College leads the regatta with 21 points, Harvard is second with 28 and South Florida is third at 36 points.
In the A-division, sophomore Kelsey Wheeler (Osterville, Mass.) and junior Molly Wilson (Rye, N.Y.) totaled 38 points in four races. Freshman Deirdre Lambert (Cumberland, Maine) and sophomore Carissa Crawford (San Diego, Calif.) scored 14 points in two races.
The National Championships got underway just after 2 p.m. CDT. Racing began under sunny skies in 5-7 knots of wind from the east-southeast. Over the next two sets of races the wind
began to die to eventually nothing after the first race in B-division. The sailors were sent in to cool down from the hot Texas sun and wait for more wind to fill in.
The wind came in from the north at about 5-7 knots around 5 p.m. The conditions continued to be shifty with the wind cycling up and down between 5 and 10 knots. At times the pin end was heavily favored due to left shifts, which made it important for the sailors to find a hole at that end to be in the top of the fleet off of the line.
In the Semi-Finals series, Four races were completed in the morning, one in A-division and three in B-division. The first race started in light breeze and was won by Rhode Island. They were followed by Connecticut College and Washington College. In the second race, 8B, the boat side of the line was heavily favored and there were four general recalls before getting underway.
When A-division took to the water the breeze built to 8-10 knots with 12-knot gusts. More shifts were seen across the course making it important for the sailors to get into the correct groove and hit the
shifts accordingly. As a storm cell approached for the last two races of the Semis series, the wind continued to build to a steady 15 knots and then up to 25-30 knots from the northeast. About a dozen capsizes littered the fleet as everyone worked hard to finish the last race.
The nine teams that qualified from the Semi-Finals series, listed in order, include: Connecticut College, College of Charleston, Brown, Rhode Island, Dartmouth, Harvard, Hawaii, St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Eckerd College.
Racing in the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA Women’s National Championship will continue at 9 a.m. on Friday and conditions are predicted to be sunny in the high 80s with winds around 7 knots.