PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Women's Sailing Team are once again New England Champions, having successfully defended their title in another close battle with Boston College. With the win, the team advances to the ICSA Sperry National Championship Semi-Final in Charleston, SC on May 23-24.
Ten races per division were completed on Saturday in a northerly breeze that ranged from 6-12 knots. A strong ebbing current and occasional passing showers that produced changes in the wind made for difficult conditions. The Bears worked diligently to keep up with the variable conditions are were one of only a few teams to keep their scoreline consistent in the early stages of the regatta. After six races per division, Boston College led the field with Coast Guard and Yale University close behind.
Coast Guard finished the day strong on Saturday, never finishing outside of the top-7 in the remaining four races per division and held a five point lead going into Sunday.
"We were working on a lot of things on Saturday that finally started to click near the end of the day," commented head coach Brian Swingly. "The team responded well to various oddities with the racecourse, using our process to get the job done."
One race per division was completed in a dying northerly on Sunday morning in which the Bears finished first in A-Division and second in B-Division, extending their lead. The competitors were then sent to shore for a long delay waiting for a sea breeze to develop. With Yale having slipped further behind, it would be a two team race between Coast Guard and Boston College for the championship once racing continued.
With an hour and a half to go before the cut-off time, a southerly filled across the racecourse that eventually built to 15 knots, which allowed the Race Committee to complete another three races per division. Going into the final race per division, Coast Guard had built a lead of 19 points over Boston College. Although the Eagles managed to beat the Bears in both divisions in the final race, they were not able to overcome the point deficit.
Nikole Barnes and Anna Morin finished 2nd in A-Division with 67 points and only one race outside of the top-10. Dana Rohde and Madelaine Ekin won B-Division with 45 points, 13 points ahead of 2nd. They finished within the top-3 in nine out of fourteen races and never finished outside of the top-7.
Coast Guard won its second Women's New England Championship for the Jerry Reed Trophy in a row, finishing with 112 points. Boston College finished second with 121 points and Yale University was third with 153 points. Along with the top-3, seven other teams from New England also qualified for the National Championship Semi-Finals: Boston University, Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Dartmouth College, Tufts University, University of Vermont, and Bowdoin College.
Photo courtesy of Rob Migliaccio.