Haig Sisters Win Another Sailing State Title; Rams Finish Big in Annapolis

May 17, 2017
Courtesy of: Southern Sailing The Southern Regional sailing team of (from left) Emily Haig, Paul Reiff, Tommy Green, Dana Haig and Emily Micchiche gather with coach Steve Warren following the team's second-place finish in the Phebe King National Invitational in Annapolis, Md., on May 13-14.

The Southern Regional High School sailing team capped a solid spring season with an incredible week, highlighted by another dominant effort by the sister tandem of Emily and Dana Haig as well as a fantastic team effort in Annapolis, Md., during the Phebe King National Invitational.

Starting with the dynamic duo, Emily and Dana Haig easily captured another New Jersey Interscholastic Sailing Association Girls State Championship title, simply crushing the other 16 teams in the competition on the Toms River on May 10.

With an easterly wind of 8 to 12 knots, the Haigs almost pulled off a complete sweep, taking the top spot in seven of the eight races. After swiping first during the first four, they were called over at the start of the fifth race, had to restart and then sailed through most of the fleet to finish second. Emily, the skipper, and Dana, the crew, then blew through the next three races in first, finishing with 9 points.

Trinity Hall placed a distant second with 28 points, followed by Summit with 30 points. The victory marked the second straight year the Haig sisters captured the title, while Emily has been the skipper for three straight championships. In 2015, Emily won with crew Rachel Lange.

A few days later, the Rams took second amid an 18-team fleet in the second-largest national regatta of the year – one that featured squads from 12 states. With each division completing 17 races, the Rams finished with 206 points, 61 points behind champion Annapolis High School (149). Southern finished ahead of two other local schools, The Key School of Annapolis (210) and Archbishop Spalding (248) from nearby Severn, Md.

With moderate winds on May 13, senior Emily Haig and classmate Paul Reiff started off strong, placing third and second during their first A-division set, while Dana Haig and Tommy Green followed with second- and ninth-place finishes to start.

“With a fleet this strong it became apparent early that there were going to be a lot of ups and down,” said coach Steve Warren in a report on the team’s Facebook page. “But we settled in and sailed pretty consistently as the wind built through most of the day.”

With senior Emily Micciche taking Reiff’s spot for the seventh and eighth races, she and Emily Haig took the first and second positions, and Dana Haig and Green grabbed 10th and second, respectively. However, the tandems weren’t as effective in the ninth and 10th races and slid to fourth overall heading into the second day.

Following a long delay due to a lack of wind to start Sunday’s competition, eventually the wind kicked up and racing resumed. The B team of Dana Haig and Green started off great, taking second, third, fifth and second, while the A team of Emily Haig and Micciche maintained their consistency near the top of the fleet, pushing Southern into second place overall with three races to go.

Emily Haig and Micciche swiped first in the 15th race, then took ninth in the 16th race, but Dana Haig and Green could muster only 10th and eighth finishes, respectively. With The Key School back in second and ahead by seven points, Reiff jumped back into the boat with Emily Haig and made up two points with a fourth-place finish. Then it was up to Dana Haig and Green to make up the distance, needing five points in their final race. They finished fourth and Key took 13th, sending the Rams back into second place.

“The terrific result in Annapolis came after Emily and Dana captured the state championship on Wednesday,” Warren explained. “They are the latest in a series of outstanding results compiled by this team over the past year. It was also bittersweet. For Emily, Emily and Paul, our three seniors, it was the last road trip. We’ve put in many miles, and it’s been a great ride.”

— David Biggy


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