Bears Win Eckerd Interconference

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--(3/4/12)--The Sailing Team dominated in windy conditions at the Eckerd Intersectional, hosted by Eckerd College, and took home their first victory of the season. Both divisions sailed extremely consistently in challenging conditions, which quickly propelled the Bears to the top of the leader board. This is the first time Coast Guard has won an inter-conference regatta in at least five years, a huge accomplishment for the young team.

On Saturday, racing started in 10-15 knots of breeze out of the South that slowly increased to 20-30 with big waves. The Bears started strong in the lighter breeze, finishing no race outside of the top-6, but really started to turn on the heat as the wind speeds increased.

Coast Guard won all but one of the four final races of the day. In race 5B, Dylan Finneran ('15) and Kristen Holloway ('12) were granted redress for a pintle that broke while they were leading the race. They quickly rigged a new boat, rushed to the racecourse, and won the final race of the day by 10 lengths over the 2nd place boat. This gave the bears the lead going into the final day of racing, with Charleston, MIT, and Boston College close on their heels.

When sailors arrived on Sunday morning, the breeze was already sustained in the high teens and gusting into the high twenties. The race committee chose to use a different course location that would offer some protection from the land but also produce much shiftier and shorter race course conditions. Knowing they had to defend hard, Coast Guard hit the water fully charged.

After the first set, the point spread between Coast Guard and Charleston who was in second remained exactly the same. The two teams were battling and producing very similar results. Going into the last set, the Bears had a six point lead. In A-Division, Bradley Milliken ('14) and Michael Caballero ('14) had a 3-3 to Charleston's 4-5, which opened up the gap slightly in Coast Guard's favor. Finneran and Holloway closed the regatta strong, finishing with a 5-4 to solidify the victory.

Milliken, Holloway, and Caballero won A-Division with 23 points, three race wins, and no races outside of the top-4. For their efforts they were awarded NEISA Sailors of the Week by the NEISA Awards Committee. Finneran, Holloway, and Jaimie Chicoine ('14) were 2nd in B-Division 2ith 30 points. The team combined for 53 points, 8 ahead of College of Charleston who finished 2nd. Yale rounded out the top three with 62 points.

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