While many folks in the Pacific Northwest would be inclined to spend a gray and dismal day inside by the fire, women sailors from 18 colleges around the nation were demonstrating they had better things to do with their time.
They were in the Gorge for the first of their three days of racing for the 2004 ICSA (Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association) Women's North American Championship title.
The competitors faced an exciting afternoon on the Columbia River after both A and B divisions got in three races in breeze of 8-10 knots. Sailing FJs, the teams were in their fourth race when a squall brought rain and 15-20 knots of breeze, capsizing more than half the fleet. Once all the boats were righted and a short break taken, A-Division resumed racing in 10-15 knots and light rain. Those teams completed two additional races before calling it a day.
The US Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.) holds the overall lead in the combined scoring on 42 points, with Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) second, 10 points back. Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.) is third with 54 points.
Defending champions Tufts University (Medford, Mass.) are first overall in A-Division after the consistent performance of skipper A.J. CRANE (Warwick, Bermuda) and Kristen TYSELL (Richmond, Calif.), both seniors, along with freshman crew Gretchen CURTIS (Marblehead, Mass.). In B-Division, Navy's freshman team of Katherine WHITMAN, Lindsey MAGEE and Catherine LONG placed first overall after four races.
District eliminations qualified 18 colleges, who will field separate A and B division teams, to sail the ICSA North American Women's Dinghy Championship: Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), Connecticut College (New London, Conn.), College of Charleston (Charleston, S.C.), Dartmouth College (Hanover, N.H.), Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.), Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.), Hobart/William Smith Colleges (Geneva, N.Y.), Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.), Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.), Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.), Texas A & M Galveston (Galveston, Texas), Tufts University (Medford, Mass.), University of Hawaii (Honolulu, Hawaii), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.), University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.), University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.), U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.), Yale University (New Haven, Conn.).