The Georgetown sailing team took home its third Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Match Racing National Championship in four years on Nov. 20.
The three-day event took place in San Diego, Calif., and hosted 10 of the best collegiate sailing teams in the nation. The winning team consisted of senior A.J. Reiter, junior Meaghan MacRae, junior Roger Dorr and freshman Sean Segerblom.
Match racing refers to the competitive structure at the regattas — only two teams face off at one time during the races. For the national championship, teams competed in a round-robin tournament. The nine and 10 seeds after the round-robin process were then eliminated, and the remaining eight engaged in a tournament to crown the national champion.
Georgetown emerged 8-1 from the round-robin process, claiming the first overall seed with its only loss to the College of Charleston. In the semifinals, Georgetown faced its greatest challenge of the season. The first team to win two races would advance to the finals, and Georgetown was up against one of the most prestigious sailing teams in the country, Dartmouth.
Dartmouth swiftly won the first race leaving only one victory between them and the finals. In the second race Dartmouth sailed admirably, but Georgetown was able to pull out a win, marginally taking the second race at the finish line. In the final race, Georgetown carried its momentum from the second race to defeat Dartmouth and advance to the final.
In the finals, Georgetown defeated Hobart & William Smith in two races to take its third match racing national title in the last four years.
“I can’t claim any credit for it, it’s the four kids on the team,” Georgetown Head Coach Michael Callahan said. He particularly commended the leadership of senior skipper AJ Reiter.
“I don’t think a lot of people gave AJ the credit he deserved,” Callahan said. Reiter was the tactician for Nevin Snow during his illustrious career at Georgetown. Reiter spent a significant amount of time training with assistant coach Janel Zarkowsky, who still sails successfully at the professional level.
Reiter’s impeccable execution in San Diego with the team’s limited practice and resources was truly impressive. He was, however, not the only sailor who performed at the caliber necessary to win a national championship. All four team members sailed cohesively, showcasing the immense talent that has characterized Georgetown’s long and successful sailing history.
“Everybody really complimented each other,” Callahan said. “They all brought a different skill to the table.”
The team is competing in the final event of the fall season in January — the Rose Bowl Regatta. This race consists of 30 teams and will give Georgetown an opportunity to scout some of the high school talent so that they may continue to bring home hardware to the Hilltop.