ICSA Women’s National Championship” and photo credit to GTSphotos.com Madison, Wisc. (May 28, 2010) – After dominating the standings on day one of racing for the 2010 ICSA Women’s National Championship, the College of Charleston had a 35-point lead on their closest competitor (Boston College) as the final day of racing for the championship title got underway today on Lake Mendota. The less than cooperative breeze ultimately allowed B-Division to complete a set (two races), while A-Division was constrained to only one race (11 A) before the evasive breeze finally eliminated the chance to complete that set. The net result was each division would count 10 races, which for the Cougars came to 22 points from A- and 62 points from B-Division to equal 84 for the championship win. Having lost this title last year by nine points, College of Charleston’s final score was 25 points better than BC who retained second overall with 109 points. This is the second ICSA Women’s National Championship title won by the Cougars; their first was in 2006.

“We had one race today, but the breeze ran out so only the 10 that were sailed yesterday counted,” said A-Division senior skipper Allison Blecher (Fullerton, Calif.) who sailed with sophomore crew Alyssa Aitken (Sandwich, Mass.). “It was a little frustrating at times when the breeze would shut down, but we just zoned in on what was working. Three of us – Shannon [Heausler], Becky [Rebecca Bestoso] and I – were on the team freshman year and we’ve learned a lot since then (2007, when The Cougars finished second in the run for the title). We managed to pull out a big win and it surprised us that we did as well as we did. None of us look at the scores, our crews tend to a little so they know what’s going, but we mostly leave that to the coaches. It’s a dream come true for most of us. I can’t see straight yet.”

“The girls put in a tremendous effort this year,” said Ward Cromwell, Head Coach at College of Charleston. “They’ve been travelling together the whole year, gone to pretty much every intersectional together, and worked hard as a team all year long. I think the team camaraderie that they’ve developed over the season has been particularly important. And the experience that they have gained over the last four years is certainly very important. It’s great. I’m happy for the girls.”

Boston College’s B-Division skipper Emily Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.), with crew Elizabeth Dudley (Queenstown, Md.), both juniors, finished 5-10 in today’s two races to chip away at the point spread between BC and Charleston. Their 50 points, plus the 59 from A-Division skipper Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Emily Massa (Barrington, R.I.), both sophomores, closed the gap from 35 to 25 points and put BC second overall in the championship standings with 109 points.

Old Dominion’s B-Division senior skipper Katrina Williams (Pembroke, Bermuda), with freshman crew Shannon Wilkins (Kennett Square, Penn.), won the last race of the championship after finishing second in the day’s earlier race. Finishing second in the B-Division standings, their 53 points combined with the 78 from A-Division – junior skipper Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) with sophomore crew Emily Reich (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) – to earn ODU third place overall in the championship as they edged out Tufts University with whom they were tied at 131 total points.

The win of the ICSA Women’s National Championship also puts College of Charleston in the running for the Fowle Trophy which recognizes the year’s best all-around performance in college sailing. “It shows the depth of strength in our team,” Cromwell explained. “We have dinghy sailors that can sail sloops. We have laser sailors that can sail dinghies [Juan Maegli won the ICSA/Laser Performance Men’s Singlehanded Championship last fall], and starting tomorrow we’ll find out if we have sailors that can team race.”

Next Up: The ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship will be held over the next three days, May 29-31, from the regatta base at Memorial Union Terrace. Each college's three-boat team will face off against another's in a round-robin series of matches with the top-four of the 14 entered teams proceeding to a double round-robin championship series to determine the overall winner. Results, Twitter updates and live video coverage are available at: 2010nationals.collegesailing.org

ICSA is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada. To learn more please visit: www.collegesailing.org. ICSA is sponsored by Gill, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Marlow Ropes, Quantum Sails, LaserPerformance and US SAILING: www.gillna.com, www.apsltd.com, www.marlowropes.com, www.quantumsails.com, http://www.laserperformance.com/ and www.ussailing.org

2010 ICSA Women’s National Championship
School, Hometown, A Division + B Division = Total Points
College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.), 22 + 62 = 84
Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), 50 + 59 = 109
Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.), 78 + 53 = 131
Tufts University (Medford, Mass.), 75 + 56 = 131
Brown University (Providence, R.I.), 104 + 44 = 148
Eckerd College (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 74 + 88 = 162
Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.), 97 + 66 = 163
St. Mary's College (St. Mary’s City, Md.), 83 + 85 = 168
William Smith College (Geneva, N.Y.), 107 + 72 = 179
Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), 88 + 92 = 180
Connecticut College (New London, Conn.), 98 + 97 = 195
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, Calif.), 93 + 110 = 203
Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.), 113 + 92 = 205
University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisc.), 108 + 121 = 229
Texas A & M Galveston (Galveston, Texas), 110 + 130 = 240
University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.), 121 + 166 = 287
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 139 + 152 = 291
University of Texas (Austin, Texas), 151 + 165 = 316