CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Dartmouth sailing team leads the field after day one of the Gill Coed Eastern Semifinal in Charleston, South Carolina.
After their fantastic start to the final National Championship regatta of the season, the Big Green tallied 55 points in the Eastern semifinal round. The first two days of racing include 36 of the top teams in the country that qualified from their respective conferences to compete. This first event is divided into two 18-team divisions, Eastern and Western. The top nine teams in each semifinal round will advance to the final round, an 18-boat regatta on the last two days of the championship, June 1-2. This will determine the top three podium spots and name the winner of the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy.
Racing got underway around 10:30 a.m. in light winds about 6 knots. Temperatures were in the low to mid 80s for most of the day. The race committee was able to complete four races in A-division and two in B-division when the wind became too light for the boats to sail against the current, so the officials went into a wind delay. At about 3 p.m. the competitors went out to sail again, but the northerly wind that filled in was still too light to fight the ebb current, so the race committee abandoned the race and postponed again.
Another breeze line came in and racing got started once again. The race officials were able to complete six races in A- division in both fleets and four races in B-division in both of the semifinal fleets. Racing finished up just before 7 p.m.
“Going into this event our team was prepared that it could be long days of racing,” said Dartmouth head coach Justin Assad. “Something we focused on today, which we have been doing all year, is the process; taking it one race and one step at a time. We don't have current at our home venue, so we tried to assess the current and figure out how much to factor it into the racing. We made some mistakes today, especially downwind, we know now we want to stay in the top third on those legs and we will continue to learn and get better tomorrow.”
In the six races that were completed on Tuesday, the Big Green recorded five top five finishes across the A and B divisions, including one victory. Meanwhile in the West, Navy leads the field with 41 points, as Ivy League foe Yale is not far behind with 53.
Dartmouth returns to the water tomorrow where the Big Green will try to remain in the top nine to qualify for the coed finals.
Top Nine Eastern Semifinals
1. Dartmouth College, 55
2. Roger Williams University, 57
3. George Washington University, 61
4. College of Charleston, 62
5. Boston University, 63*
6. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 63*
7. Stanford University, 74
8. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, 76
9. University of Rhode Island, 78
*Number of high-place (1) finishes