|Abbie Carlson competes in the national single-handed regatta this weekend|
MEDFORD – Freshman Abbie Carlson of the Tufts University sailing team will compete at the 2018 Intercollegiate Sailing Association Single-handed (ICSA) Nationals this weekend (Nov. 3-4) in Macatawa, Michigan.
Carlson qualified by placing fourth out of 11 sailors at the New England Single-handed Championship, with the top five moving on to the national championship. In 11 races, she compiled finishes totaling to 58. Carlson locked in her national berth by winning the 11th and final race of the New England regatta. She had only three finishes of seventh or worse during the 11 races and was the runner-up in the fourth start.
The predicted forecast for the event could work both for and against Carlson, who is a smaller competitor. On Saturday, light wind is expected for racing likely out on Lake Michigan, which would benefit Carlson. On Sunday, strong wind is expected, racing likely in Macatawa Bay, which benefits heavier sailors.
According to Tufts coach Ken Legler, there is an outside chance Sunday will be too windy to race safely. However, the race committee would likely squeeze the course under a shoreline to reduce the wind if needed.
This is her first collegiate championship, but Carlson won the 2017 Leiter Trophy for the US Girls' Single-handed championship. According to Legler, there are some world, and several national champions in this fleet. The favorites are Sophie Reineke (Boston College) and Charlotte Rose (Jacksonville).
This is the second straight season that Tufts will have a freshman entered in the event. Last year, Talia Toland finished 12th out of 18 at the 2017 ICSA Single-handed Championship on Tampa Bay. Now a sophomore, Toland narrowly missed qualifying nationally this fall. She finished seventh with a 63 score, just two points out of fifth place.
The Tufts women's team has one national single-handed title won by Katie McDowell in 1995.