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After cloud of scandal, sailing shines in first competitions under interim coach

Stanford sailing finished first among 22 teams at the St. Francis Interconference regatta on March 30-31. (JOHN TODD/isiphotos.com)

Stanford sailing showed no signs of drifting in its first two weekends of competition under interim head coach Clinton Hayes. Former head coach John Vandemoer was fired March 12 when he agreed to plead guilty in a college admissions cheating and money laundering scandal.

Spread across the United States from March 23-24, the Cardinal claimed first of 23 teams in the Southern Area Designate at Long Beach, California, fourth of 10 in the Friis Trophy ream race at Bristol, Rhode Island, and fifth of 10 in the Aaron Szambecki Team Race at Norfolk, Virginia.

After an insufficiently windy Saturday in Bristol, Stanford came close to a three-way tie for first in the single day of races held on March 24. The Cardinal’s 6-3 record put them just one behind Yale and host Roger Williams (7-2), but Stanford finished fourth after losing the third-place sail-off to Dartmouth.

In both round robins at Norfolk, the Cardinal finished 4-5 and — crucially — defeated the host Old Dominion Monarchs. This mattered at the end of the competition, when the Cardinal and Monarchs both finished 8-10, as Stanford took the tiebreaker and fifth place as a result.

The Cardinal’s win at Long Beach came down to the last race of the regatta. After entering the final race of competition eight points ahead of California Maritime Academy (CMA), Stanford clinched the victory with a seventh place finish, though CMA’s first place finish in the race cut the Cardinal lead to two points, 99-101. Eleven points separated Stanford and third place winner University of California at Santa Barbara (110).

From March 30-31, Stanford (97) edged UCSB (98) for first of 22 teams in the St. Francis Interconference regatta. This time it was CMA (111) that came closely behind in third.

The Cardinal will face off against both UCSB and CMA again in the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference Championships at San Diego from April 6-7. Expect another close finish between these three California teams.

Contact Holden Foreman at hs4man21 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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