Boston College Women Win

The First Women’s Title in Boston College History

By Kimball Livingston

Newport, Rhode Island

They came into the third and final day of racing in second place after moving up from seventh on day two—that’s fast climbing, and they kept right on going. The women of Boston College moved into the overall lead on three back-to-back wins by A-Division junior skipper Leigh Kempton (Island Heights, New Jersey) and senior crew Emily Flint (Longmeadow, Massachusetts). In one of those races they finished nearly 10 lengths ahead of second place.

In B-Division, meanwhile, juniors Martha Pitt (Milton, Massachusetts) and Lily Beck (Larchmont, New York) were holding up their end with 2-5. And then . . .

A 16th? No!

But yes, it happened, and that’s the kind of moment, with only one more race to go, where we find out what people are made of, isn’t it? Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded.

And the story goes . . .

Martha Pitt and Lily Beck bounced back in the final race, finished second, and that was good enough to give Boston College a two-point win over second-placed Brown.

Call it a day at 10-12 knots on a chilly Narragansett Bay, and the win was all the sweeter for the women from BC because the school had never won this title before.

Meanwhile, we’ll be paying attention to the freshman sailors from Brown, Elizabeth Barry and crew Maria Mahler-Haug. They were notching up the race wins, and they’ll be back.

Now let’s allow the official release to finish this off:

After leading the first two days of the championship, Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) finished third overall with 202 points. Junior Jane Macky (Auckland, New Zealand), with sophomore crew Marla Menninger (Newport Beach, Calif.) and Sarah Lihan (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), finished 4-4-4-3 today to take over the top spot in A-Division with 80 points. Unfortunately the B-Division duo of junior Kate Hagemann (Marion, Mass./Naples, Fla.) and freshman Liz Brim (New York, N.Y.) suffered in the latter part of the series, picking up two double-digit finishes in the final two races to drop them to seventh in their division at 122 points.

Stanford University (Palo Alto, Calif.) was fourth with 206, College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.) was fifth with 224, and the defending champions from St. Mary’s College (St. Mary’s, Md.) slipped from third place down to sixth with 235. Full results are available, along with photos:

The Format: To get to the ICSA Women’s National Championship, 18 colleges qualified through performance in their respective conference elimination. Each college fields a separate A and B division team, and, weather permitting, each division sails eighteen 20- to 30-minute fleet races over three days for a total of 36 races. A team’s final score is determined by the combined results of its sailors in A and B divisions.

Up Next: After a day off, the ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship will be contested May 30-June 1, followed by the ICSA/Gill National Championship from June 2-4. New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court is the headquarters for both championships and is the host of the racing – sailed in 420s – along with Brown University (Providence, R.I.) and Salve Regina University (Newport, R.I.), with support from Sail Newport.

Posted May 28, 2008

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