NEW LONDON, Conn.--The Sailing Team accomplished another feat this past weekend, qualifying both the women's team and the coed team for the Atlantic Coast Championship. The Bears have qualified for one of the championships in recent years, but have been unable to earn berths to both of the fall classics until now. The Women's Atlantic Coast Championship will take place at the College of Charleston and the Coed Atlantic Coast Championship will take place at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both will be on November 12-13.
For the first time in the events' histories, both the Coed Fall Championship for the Erwin Schell Trophy and the Women's Fall Championship for the Victorian Coffee Urn were contested at the same venue. The exceptional venue and fleet of dinghies at the Coast Guard Academy allowed for thirty three teams to attend the two events. Races were run on the same course, with competitors rotating through two fleets of FJs and one fleet of Z420s.
Saturday was a phenomenal day of racing. A southwesterly breeze that ranged from 8-16 knots provided excellent conditions for the race committee to run continuous races until sunset. The Bears took advantage of conditions they were comfortable with and positioned themselves among the top of the fleet at both events.
Sunday was a much more difficult day to run quality races. A light northerly that was generally too light to race it hung around for most of the day, allowing only two races to be sailed. At 1:30, however, a southerly at 4-8 knots filled across the course in which the race committee was able to run the remainder of the day's races.
Coast Guard continued to find familiarity on their home water and climbed the leaderboard at both events. The close proximity of the regattas allowed for several Bears to sail in each regatta. At the end of the day, both the coed and women's team were safely within a qualifying position.
"This is obviously a huge moment for our program and, I believe, demonstrates the depth we have across both disciplines," commented head coach Brian Swingly. "The most important thing, however, is that we've given both squads an additional two weeks of training at home and an additional weekend of quality reps against the nation's best sailors. That is invaluable and will help us towards our bigger goals in the spring."
The number two ranked women's team finished fourth at the Victiorian Coffee Urn with 164 total points. Dana Rohde and Hannah Herring were third in A-Division with 74 points. In B-Divison, Emily Wright, Madelynn Widmeier, Nikole Barnes, Miyako Miller, and Anna Morin were eighth with 90 points.
The top seven teams at the Urn advanced to the Women's Atlantic Coast Championship. Joining the Bears are Yale University, University of Rhode Island, Boston University, Harvard University, Boston College, and Connecticut College.
In the Erwin Schell Trophy, the fourth ranked coed team finished sixth with a combined 167 points. In A-Division, Nikole Barnes, Anna Morin, Mack Fox, and Miyako Miller were second with 58 points. Austin Lettengarver and Madelaine Ekin were eleventh in B-Division with 109 points.
Eight teams will represent New England at the Coed Atlantic Coast Championship. They are Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bowdoin College, Boston College, Harvard University, Coast Guard, Dartmouth University, and Tufts University.