WILMINGTON, NC (April 19, 2014): Capping off their inaugural season, NC State Sailing's Women's Team traveled to nearby Wilmington, North Carolina for the South Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association's 2014 Conference Women's Championships hosted by the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
NC State skipper Paulina Spencer and crew Annalisa Kristoffersen head upwind during Saturday's regatta.
In their first full season, the NC State women's team hit the ground running, competing in various regional regattas leading up to Conference Championships including a women's clinic in Charleston, SC, and several conference regattas. SailPack women entered the spring season ranked nationally in Sailing World's Conference Rankings, Fall 2013. SAISA Conference Women's Championships regatta at UNC-Wilmington was the culmination of the spring season and the top four teams from this event qualify for the Sperry Top-Sider Women's National Championship regatta to be held in Annapolis, Maryland at the US Naval Academy May 26-30, 2014.
An A-Fleet start during Saturday's regatta.
Overcast, stormy weather greeted the top women's teams in SAISA upon their arrival to the Carolina Yacht Club on Wrightsville Beach. Though rainy, the wind proved strong and consistent, as did the current. Representing NC State at Saturday's regatta in A-Fleet was junior skipper and Women's Team captain Nikki Palen (Greensboro, NC) with crew duties being shared by sophomore Kristin Neill (Greensboro, NC) and freshman Kelly Kosco (Jamestown, NC). In B-Fleet, sophomore skipper Paulina Spencer (Raleigh, NC) sailed with junior Jill Tucker (Jamestown, NC) and Annalisa Kristoffersen (Raleigh, NC) as crew throughout the regatta.
Wrightsville Beach hosted the 2014 SAISA Women's Conference Championships
NC State faced conference foes, College of Charleston, University of South Florida, Eckerd College, New College of Florida, Jacksonville University and host school UNC-Wilmington, finishing the regatta in 7th just four points behind the Dolphins of Jacksonville as conference powerhouse College of Charleston's Lady Cougars delivered a dominating wire-to-wire regatta victory. Throughout the day, NC State ladies kept close company with Jacksonville in A-Fleet, as well as New College of Florida, losing 5th place in B-Fleet by only a head-to-head tiebreaker. Congratulations to Charleston, South Florida, Eckerd and Wilmington for qualifying to represent SAISA at Nationals. Full scores are available here.
"Fielding a full women's team for the first time was a big step for our program," said NC State Head Coach Dana Magliola. "To see them racing competitively so early in their inaugural season was a great testament to their hard work and all-in, positive attitude."
Soaked but all smiles from the NC State Women's Team and friends.
Women's Team captain Nikki Palen added, "It was really a great team effort and we saw each member of the women's squad contributing throughout the season, as well as at Champs. We're energized for next year and look forward to building on what we've started this first season."
NC State's Women's Team is joined by friends and sailors from UNC-Wilmington
celebrating their qualifying for Nationals. Congrats to the Seahawks!
NC State's Women's Team returns to competition in the 2014 fall season, so keep tuned in for our schedule release early in the summer.