NEW ORLEANS, La. – The St. Mary’s College of Maryland sailing team finished eighth at the 2022 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Open Fleet Race Eastern Semifinal, locking up a berth in the ICSA Open Fleet Race National Championship hosted by Tulane University at the Southern Yacht Club on Lake Pontchartrain on May 21-22.

The format for the semifinals was as follows: 36 teams were selected by an independent selection committee based on teams’ fleet racing performance throughout the year. Each team was then seeded and divided evenly into Eastern and Western Semifinals. The Top 9 from each field then advance to the finals.

St. Mary’s College Sailing Secures Spot in ICSA Open Fleet Race National Championship Credit: Lexi Pline Photography / St. Mary's College of Maryland

St. Mary’s College, which entered semifinal action as the No. 6 seed, claimed that coveted bid by battling for its eighth-place finish in the 18-team field after notching 218 points.

On the first day of the Eastern Semifinal, sailors saw conditions starting around a variable 3-7 knots out of the southwest, which eventually shifted south/southeast and built to a consistent 12-15 knots. Leading out of the Eastern Semifinal was Stanford University with 65 points, which was a 14-point lead over the second-place Georgetown University.

The Seahawks were in eighth with 120 points, which was three points behind seventh-place Boston University and eight points ahead of ninth-place North Carolina State University. The Division A boat with skipper Owen Hennessey ’25 and crew Sam Muir ’23 was fifth with 53 points, while the Division B boat with skipper Katherine Bennett ’22 and crew Emma Gronda ’22 came in 15th with 67 points.

The following day, competitors experienced conditions starting around 12-15 knots out of the south/southeast. The pressure would slightly die throughout the day. Stanford held onto its lead and won the Eastern Semifinal with 105 points. Finishing in second was Yale University with 131 points, while host Tulane came in third with 158 points.

St. Mary’s fought for its eighth-place finish by finishing third in the final Division A race (12A) behind the efforts of Hennessey and Muir while skipper Madison Bashaw ’24 and Muir posted a second-place finish in Race 11B and a fifth-place finish in Race 12B.

After the team sailed into the eighth qualifying spot, Head Coach Adam Werblow had this to say, “One of the most fun things about college sailing is that we play as a team. This week, the Seahawks have had to empty the bench due to six players with positive COVID tests. Everyone supported one another and, in the end, that was just enough to jump through the hoop to get to the finals.”

  • Division A (5th of 18) Lineup: Hennessey [skipper] with Muir [crew]
  • Division B (11th of 18) Lineup: Bennett (1-8), Bashaw (9-12) [skippers] with Gronda (1-8), Anna Flynn ’25 (9-10), Muir (11-12) [crew]

The Seahawks will now take a shot to bring home the program’s fourth ICSA Open Fleet Race National Championship title on May 21-22. St. Mary’s has brought home the Henry A. Morss Trophy for winning the ICSA Open Fleet Race (Dinghy) National Championship three times in 2000, 2002, and 2009.

Up Next for the Seahawks

  • May 21-22 – ICSA Open Fleet Race National Championship – New Orleans, La. (Tulane)
  • May 23-24 – ICSA Women’s Open Fleet Race Western Semifinal – New Orleans, La. (Tulane)
  • May 25-26 – ICSA Women’s Open Fleet Race National Championship – New Orleans, La. (Tulane)

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