The Boston Fan Pier was the place to see and be seen this weekend as the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) held the semifinal rounds of its ICSA/Gill Coed National Championship. The ICSA National Championship Eastern Semifinals and the ICSA National Championship Western Semifinals, hosted, respectively, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (both Cambridge, Mass.), were integrated into the North American stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), giving the 36 competing college teams an unforgettable experience. Between run-of-the-mill tourists, locals in-the-know and sailors drawn for the VOR spectacle, those who turned out to support their favorite school had plenty of company along the waterfront with its prime view of the racing on Boston’s Inner Harbor. Light air on day one and a wait for the wind to settle on day two meant each semifinal – teams were seeded into the Western or Eastern Semifinals based on their conference ranking – saw only eight races completed in both A and B Divisions.
There was a great show of conference strength by the teams from MAISA (the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association), which saw all eight of its schools qualify for Nationals. All four Boston–area schools (BC, BU, Harvard and Tufts) qualified, as did Old Dominion University who edged out Vermont by one point to live to sail another day.
The semifinals, sponsored by Marlow Ropes, PUMA and US SAILING, qualified the top nine finishing schools from each semifinal into the grand finale of the year – the ICSA/Gill Coed National Championship which will be hosted in San Francisco, Calif., by Stanford University (Palo Alto) and the St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco) from June 1-3, 2009.
Mail (will not be published) (required)