Sailing | Hoyas Qualify For Nationals

The Georgetown sailing team finished second overall in the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Women’s Fall Championship and the MAISA Match Race Championship this past weekend, qualifying for nationals at both races.

The Women’s Fall Championship was met with surging winds, causing Saturday’s races to be postponed to Sunday.

Making the most of just six races, junior skipper Rose Edwards and senior crew Emily Fung put up three wins and a few more top finishes to put Georgetown on course to finish first.

Sophomores Haddon Hughes and Haley Shea were on their way to placing atop the B Division, but their mast fell in the fourth race, stopping them from finishing. The DNF resulted in 16 points added to Georgetown’s overall score.

In the end, Georgetown fell short to St. Mary’s College of Maryland by three points overall.

“It was just an unlucky break that their boat broke at such a crucial moment, and that it had to cost us the regatta,” Georgetown Head Coach Mike Callahan said.

Despite the setback, the second-place finish allowed the Hoyas to qualify for the Fall East Coast Championship, which will be held at the College of Charleston.

Consequently, this past weekend represented a major step in the right direction, especially after a 16th-place finish at the Yale Women’s Interconference Regatta.

“I was impressed with how they did, and it was a good way to rebound from a not-so-good regatta the weekend before,” Callahan said.

Looking to build upon this momentum, Georgetown sailors then headed to the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y., for the interconference MAISA Match Race Championship.

It was an unforgettable competition with its testing conditions of winds at 30 knots all weekend.

“That was crazy,” Callahan said of the intense winds. “It was probably one of the windiest regattas ever sailed in college [sailing history].”

Sailors stayed on the water both days, and Georgetown came away with another second-place finish overall. The competition was an uphill climb, however, and the Hoyas found themselves having to come back after being down in the standings early on.

“I was extremely impressed with how resilient the kids were,” Callahan said of the comeback. “They went out there in conditions that they’ve never practiced together in and had two do-or-die races where they had to win both races, and they did.”

The Georgetown crew members, including senior Brendan Shanahan and sophomores Mercedes McPhee and Wade Wagner, displayed outstanding teamwork abilities as they battled through the harsh conditions.

Senior skipper AJ Reiter headed the comeback performance, stepping up from his past role as a team tactician under Nevin Snow (COL ’16) to become a major leader this fall. Qualifying for the MAISA Match Racing National Championships, Reiter now gains the opportunity to compete in his hometown of San Diego, Calif.

Reiter’s knowledge of the local waters looks to complement his leadership abilities as he aims to ultimately bring home a victory for when the Hoyas travel west Nov. 19.

Next weekend, the Georgetown sailing team will compete in the War Memorial MAISA Co-Ed Conference Championship Regatta hosted by Cornell University.

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