Charleston continued to deliver challenging and sometimes beyond the edge conditions for the Women’s National Championships which wrapped up on May26th. The Lady Rams narrowly missed the podium, finishing 4th for the second year in a row. Rachel Bryer and Hannah Scanlon, with Kate Nota coming off the bench for one set, were 2nd in A Division. They were terrific throughout and went into the final race tied with Boston College for the lead in A. Neither team knew they were tied going in. The first shift after the start favored BC with URI falling off the edge to the left, but the breeze had been trending left and Rachel and Hannah dug into a great leftie and the two teams came together nearly even with BC ahead. The two battled for the next 3 legs, but BC held the lead for a slim 2 point division win.
Yale and BC had moved far ahead of everyone else by the end of the first day, but the battle for the last podium position was ferocious with 7 teams in the hunt until the end. URI moved into third after 13B with a 3rd by Sarah Hermus and Kate Nota. Stanford and Dartmouth had both been third at times, but began to slip. The Lady Rams held 3rd until the final race as defending champs, Coast Guard, surged with strong finishes in both divisions. Going into 18B URI held a 5 point lead over Coast Guard. The first attempt at 18B was abandoned with Coast Guard leading giving URI new life. In the 18B that counted URI and CGA battled off the line and were well back in the fleet. Coast Guard was ahead with 1 boat in between at the weather mark, but URI closed to round right behind at the gate, then passed CGA early in the second beat. CGA was able to escape cover due to some traffic and sailed alone into a big leftie and passed most of the fleet leaving URI 2 points shy of the podium at the finish. It was a heartbreaking turn of events for the Lady Rams, but they have so much to be proud of. They have been a terrific team.
It was the final event for senior captain Marisa Decollibus who has been the starting B division crew with Sarah Hermus for two years. Marisa did a great job in races 1-10, then yielded to Kate Nota in the lighter conditions the second day. Marisa has been a huge contributor for 4 years and her energy and leadership will be sorely missed. Rachel and Hannah have been an awesome team for two years and have one more event remaining, the Coed Nationals which start on May 29. Rachel has been the star sailor on the Ram team for 4 years, earning Honorable Mention All American honors as a freshman and All American honors the next three years. She has been a finalist for Women Sailor of the Year for the last 2 years. She is in the 5 year pharmacy program at URI, so we will see a little of her next year and she will likely be doing some coaching, too.
Hannah Scanlon, NEISA Women’s crew of the year for the last 2 years, will return for her senior year. Her experience and maturity will be essential elements of the next Lady Ram squad. B division skipper and rising senior Sarah Hermus will move up to A division in the fall. Her skill set continues to expand and she will be a force to be reckoned with next year. Rising sophomores Delaney Bamford and Cece Schneider will likely move into B division but will be challenged by a strong group of incoming freshmen.
It has truly been a great year for the Lady Rams. Next year’s team will have a very high standard to maintain.