September 17, 2012

Bears 3rd, Fanning and Chicoine win B-Division at Lake Champlain Open

BURLINGTON, Vt.—Sixteen teams descended on scenic Lake Champlain for the University of Vermont's annual fall open. Saturday morning brought blustery conditions with a low front passing through the region, which made for challenging racing conditions throughout the day.

Six races were sailed in each division and at the end of the day the Bears were in third overall, one point behind Tufts and six points behind Boston College.

Upon arrival Sunday morning, there was a nice 12-14 knot westerly that quickly started to drop as the temperature rose. One set was sailed in very light and fluky conditions that were just as much a test of patience as it was sailing skill.

"It was hard to go out there with a specific game plan as the racing conditions were constantly changing. Only getting one set in on Sunday made it difficult to make up the point spread ahead of us," noted sailing director Doug Clark.

The A-Division team of Bradley Milliken and crew Christina Frost finished 4th.  In B-Division, freshmen skipper Avery Fanning and crew Jaimie Chicoine won for the second weekend in a row which locked the Bears in 3rd for the regatta.

Tufts and Boston College finished the regatta tied with 69 points with Tufts winning the tie-breaker. The Bears were eight points back in third with 77. Dartmouth and Bowdoin rounded out the top five with 93 and 101 points respectively.

A special thanks to Gordon and Barbara Allen, CGA class of '55, who generously provided a gourmet lunch for the team on Saturday and cheered the team on all day!

At the Mrs. Hurst Bowl hosted by Dartmouth, 22 teams of the country's top women's sailors were all in attendance for the first major interconference on the schedule.  The competitors were treated to champagne conditions both days on Lake Mascoma with northwest wind ranging from 10-20 knots. 

The Lady Bears got out of the gates strong, sitting in the top-10 for much of the first day.  After being on the losing end of several close finishes, however, Coast Guard finished the event in 15th overall with 282 points.

"Despite the scoreboard, this was a hugely positive event for our team," explained head coach Brian Swingly. "After a lot of hard work we're now playing with the top pack in most races.  Looking forward it will all be about fine tuning – at the top level inches lost can turn into points lost very quickly."

Lauren Cefali and Jennifer Lane finished 18th in B-Division with 172 points.  In B-Division, Devon Rohde and Kayla Ellis finished 10th with 110 points.

Yale won for the second weekend in a row with 133 points.  Navy was 2nd with 191 points and Boston College was 3rd with 198. 

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