The William Smith College sailing team will compete at the 2018 Sperry College Sailing Women’s National Semifinals in Norfolk, Va., May 22-23. The Herons, who are ranked seventh in the nation in the latest Sailing World College Rankings, will be vying for a spot in the national championship which will be held May 24 and 25.
Thirty-six teams will begin competition on Tuesday at Old Dominion University’s Sailing Center on the Elizabeth River. The field will be split into two 18-team semifinals with the top nine finishers in each semifinal advancing to the championship round. The 18 advancing teams will compete for the Gerald C. Miller Trophy awarded to the national champion.
William Smith was placed in the eastern semifinals along with No. 11 Boston University, No. 4 Brown, No. 15 Connecticut College, Eckerd, No. 8 George Washington, Jacksonville, MIT, Notre Dame, the host Old Dominion, No. 10 Rhode Island, No. 17 St. Mary’s, No. 6 Stanford, Southern California, Texas, Western Washington, Wisconsin and No. 1 Yale.
The Herons enter this year’s national championship regatta as the champions of the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association. William Smith won the MAISA Women’s Championship in Norfolk a month ago. At the conference championship, the Herons were led by MAISA Women’s Sailor of the Year, Baily Carter ’19 and Kate Cox ’20 who served as skippers. Sarah Warren ’18, Haley Okun ’18 and Anna Flaherty ’20 competed as crew. Cox and Warren won B Division, finishing the weekend with 47 points. They placed in the top 10 in all 11 races, winning three of the final four. Carter, Okun and Flaherty were second in A Division with 41 points. They also won three races including the first two of the weekend.
Last year the Herons finished 12th out of 18 teams in the western semifinal. This is William Smith’s 18th trip to the national championship since 1999. The Herons’ best finish was seventh at the 2014 regatta in Annapolis, Md. William Smith finished 14th out of 18 teams when the Monarchs last hosted the ICSA National Championships in 2007.