One week after qualifying for the national championships in team racing, Georgetown upset No. 1 St. Mary’s in the MAISA fleet race championships. The races were held at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y.

The A division champions, senior Chris Behm and junior Carly Chamberlain, were nautical miles ahead of their St. Mary’s counterpart. The two finished 18 points ahead of the second-place St. Mary’s boat and at one point opened up a 40-point lead.

“St. Mary’s has been the number one team all year, so to beat them in our championship race is very special,” Head Coach Mike Callahan said. “This was the best sailing we’ve done since probably the national championship in 2006.”

Behm and Chamberlain finished a significant 18 points ahead even though they had clinched first place before the final race had been run.

“Carly and Chris raced the best they have in a long time,” Callahan said. “They slowed down at the end in the last two races . and they added 20 points to their score. We didn’t have to race the last race. We had clinched it.”

Hovering around fifth in the national rankings for most of the season, Georgetown has had a post-season flair for the dramatic.

Last year the Hoyas upset top-ranked St. Mary’s in these same MAISA finals although the Seahawks took the national title later in the spring.

The first-place finish comes on the heels of last week’s second-place finish to St. Mary’s in team racing.

Callahan attributed the victory to Georgetown’s ability to avoid making any fatal mistakes. Behm and Chamberlain managed to finish no worse than fifth in the first 12 races, adding seventh- and 14th-place finishes in the last two runs after the lead was safe.

Freshman Charlie Buckingham and sophomore Alexandra Taylor took second in the B division and defeated a St. Mary’s boat in the second-to-last race to guarantee the victory before the final race started.

With the win, Georgetown will be the top seed in the Western semi final of the national championships. The Western region races will be held April 26 and 27 in Long Beach, Calif. While Georgetown has not raced often at the West coast venue, Chamberlain and freshman Charlie Buckingham, who will see action in the regatta, both raced in Long Beach throughout high school.

Next week, the women’s team races in the MAISA conference championships in St. Mary’s City, Md. The women are currently ranked fifth in the Sailing World coaches’ poll with only one MAISA team ahead of them: No. 1 St. Mary’s. The top four team’s at next week’s qualifier advance to the national championships.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.