Bears Advance to Gill Coed National Championship Finals

St. Mary's City, Md. (June 4, 2014) – Today was the second and final day of the Semi-Finals for the Gill Coed National Championship, hosted by St. Mary's College of Maryland. The top 36 college sailing teams in the nation competed on the St. Mary's River in St. Mary's City, Md. for 18 spots in the championship finals, which begin tomorrow, Thursday, June 5th. The 36 teams are divided into two fleets of 18 teams, Western and Eastern Semi-Final groups, the top nine from each fleet will make up the 18 teams who compete in the finals.

Today the Eastern fleet sailed in 420s and the Western fleet sailed in FJs. This morning, the A-divisions sailed on windward leeward four leg courses and the B-divisions sailed on inner and outer trapezoid courses. This afternoon all of the 420s sailed on the outer trapezoid course and all of the FJs sailed on the inner trapezoid course.

Racing began at 9:30 this morning. The temperature was in the high 70s and the winds were puffy and shifty from the northwest at about 5-10 knots. The winds slowly died around 12:30 p.m. and after completing two races in each division in each fleet, the sailors waited on shore for the wind to fill in. 

By around 3 p.m. the sailors were back on the course to start racing. A southerly breeze around 5-7 knots filled in and remained pretty steady until around 4:15 p.m., when it lightened up again and became patchy on the race course. The sailors started to rotate boats on the water rather than from the dock to try and squeeze in as many races as possible.

The deadline for racing today was 5 p.m., so the race officials got in as much racing as the conditions would allow. The Eastern Semi-Final completed four races today in A-division and B-division for a total of six races for the event. The Western Semi-Final completed three races today in A-division and B-division for a total of five races for the event.

Coast Guard sailed a very consistent series to comfortably qualify for the finals.  Only once during the event did they finish outside of the top ten and never sat in a non-qualifying position.  Avery Fanning, Robert Turley, and Jaimie Chicoine finished sixth in A-Division with 43 points.  In B-Division, Nikole Barnes and Justine Morrison finished seventh with 37 points.  The Bears combined for 80 points and eight place overall.  

The scoreboard is wiped clean for the Gill Coed National Championship Finals tomorrow. The first warning for racing is at 9:30 a.m. The top eighteen teams will be competing for the national title and the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy over the next two days.

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