Stanford sailing will begin nearly two weeks of championship events next Tuesday at the Sperry ICSA Women’s Nationals at San Diego Yacht Club.
The Cardinal qualified for this event after dominating the conference championship regatta in Long Beach, California on April 16-17. Now, with the championship taking place in their home region for the first time since 2009, the team will hope to finally secure their first national title, which they’ve often come close to but never quite grasped.
Stanford’s women’s team is nominally the lowest-ranking Cardinal squad, coming in at No. 7 in the Sailing World rankings and briefly falling outside the top-10 for the first time in recent memory earlier this season. Still, this young team has proved to possess considerable talent. Freshman skipper Mimi El-Khazindar and sophomore crew Elena VandenBerg particularly impressed by winning nine of their 10 races together in the conference championship, while junior skipper Lily Katz and freshman crew Kathryn Booker did only marginally worse by capturing seven first place finishes.
The championship promises to pit the Cardinal against a different caliber of competition, however, with most of the top squads from around the country managing to successfully qualify for the event. Stanford will hope that the reduced distance it must travel to the venue and its success in events in California this season will help give it the advantage it needs to compete for the title.
The women’s team will begin their postseason campaign in the Eastern Semifinal on Tuesday, May 24, with the top nine teams moving on to the finals starting on Thursday, May 26.
Contact Andrew Mather at amather ‘at’ stanford.edu.