Two GW Sailors Use Strong Performances to Qualify for Singlehanded Nationals
Sarah Alexander and Riley Legault qualify for ICSA Singlehanded National Championship
Two George Washington freshmen turned in outstanding performances at the Faye Bennett MAISA Women’s Singlehanded Championship last weekend and in turn, qualified for Nationals, which will be held in November.
Racing in a field of 18 sailors and needing a top-four finish to qualify for the ICSA Singlehanded National Championship (Nov. 6-8 at Old Dominion), Sarah Alexander and Riley Legault claimed third and fourth place, respectively.
Haddon Hughes and Lola Bushness from Georgetown used dominant performances to claim first and second at the regatta, while Alexander cruised to third and Legault earned the final qualifying spot in a tightly-contested finish.
Legault, who finished in the top five in 10 of 14 races, sat in fifth place and just outside qualifying for nationals with two races to go. But the freshman from Bonita Spring, Fla., turned in fourth-place finishes in each of the last two runs to overtake Quinn Howes of Cornell for the final qualifying spot.
Alexander was steady throughout, finishing in the top five in 12 of 14 races. Sophomore Taylor Brimberg finished 14th at the event.
“Riley had to pull together two outstanding last races and do a really good job not only beating Quinn in those races but also putting points on her and gaining the necessary points to get the overall finish ahead of her,” said Head Coach John Pearce. “So, great job by Riley, and Sarah was just rock solid all weekend to earn a third place finish.”
Meanwhile, at the MAISA Laser Eliminator held at the US Merchant Marine Academy, junior Collin Kennedy just missed out on qualifying for the Men’s Singlehanded Championship.
With a trip to nationals guaranteed for the top six finishers, Kennedy finished eighth. The junior started strong with top five finishes in each of the first three races, and peaked with a second-place finish in Race 5, but was unable to hold a top six finish that would have seen him join GW sailors Brendan Shanahan and Daniel DelBello at the Men’s Singlehanded Championship.
“We’re sad Colin’s not going to sail in the MAISA Championship but he put in a really good effort and his score line shows how close he was,” said Pearce. “We’re ready to move on to more regattas next weekend, and really, really happy to have qualified two of our ladies for the first nationals of the season. We have some strong freshmen that really showed a lot of potential this weekend.”
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