St. Mary's City, Md.--The coed sailing team traveled to St. Mary's College of Maryland for their season opening interconference regatta against most of the country's elite teams. Fourteen of the eighteen teams in attendance were currently ranked in the top twenty nationally.
Saturday brought classic southerly breeze of 10-15 knots with a few gusts in the higher teens. With two fleet of boats, both divisions were out on the water at the same time and a total of twenty four races were sailed. Despite the lack of consistency on the starting line, the Bears finished the day in 11th within striking distance of moving up on Sunday.
With a low front passing over the area Saturday night, the temperature dropped twenty degrees and the breeze swung 180 degrees to the north to start Sunday. The Bears fought hard in the challenging conditions that saw many wind shifts and several velocity changes throughout the day. The team closed the gap with St. Mary's, MIT and Connecticut College in a battle for eighth but two late mistakes kept the team from moving up the scoreboard. The team finished the regatta in 11th with a total of 353 points.
"We came down here knowing that this event is one of the toughest regattas that the coed team will sail this fall," explained sailing director Doug Clark. "Our mind set was to prove to ourselves and our competitors that we are a team that belongs to compete at this level every weekend. That goal was accomplished and more."
Skipper Bradley Milliken with crews Kayla Ellis and Michael Caballero anchored A-Division finishing 12th. Avery Fanning - making his first interconference start - and crew Jaimie Chicoine finished 9th in B-Division, only two points out of 7th.
Roger Williams won the regatta with 213 points, Georgetown was second with 231 points and Old Dominion was third with 241 points.
Next up for the team is the Danmark Trophy at home this weekend.