By Niles Egan
In anticipation of Big Game on Saturday, the Stanford and Cal sailing teams will race in the annual Big Sail on Tuesday. The spirited competition will include races between both current varsity sailors and alumni.
In recent years Stanford has dominated the competition. The Cardinal have won the competition for 14 consecutive years. This is particularly impressive given that the annual Big Sail competition has only been in existence for the past 15 years. Then again, Stanford’s clout over the Golden Bears may only be natural.
The event consists of five matches between current varsity sailors, female alumni, young alumni, masters alumni and grandmasters alumni. Each match consists of a set of best of three races on a slalom course in J/22s, a particular racing sailboat.
Last year, Stanford won each division except the masters and swept all the divisions they won except for varsity.
The Big Sail will mark an enjoyable end to what has been a successful season for the Cardinal. In early November, Stanford had three sailors race in the Singlehanded National Championship. Junior Christina Sakellaris and and freshman Hallie Schiffman placed second and seventh, respectively, while sophomore John Kirkpatrick placed 11th on the men’s side.
Although the second-place finish may have been a bit disappointing for Sakellaris, who was the defending national champion, placing two women, one of whom is a freshman, in the top ten at the national championship is nevertheless an impressive accomplishment.
Stanford will be looking to cap its fall season with a victory against their cross-bay rivals. If history signifies anything, the Cardinal should have absolutely no problem sailing past the Golden Bears.
The 16th annual Big Sail kicks off at noon on Tuesday at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.
Contact Niles Egan at negan ‘at’ stanford.edu.