MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – The Coed Sailing Team finished their season on a high, finishing ninth at the Gill Coed National Championship in Charleston, SC. After getting off to a rough start on the first day of the event, the Bears sailed strong on day two, and climbed the score board back to a top ten position. This is the fourth year in a row the Coed team has placed in the top ten, having finished tenth in 2014 and second in both 2015 and 2016.
Long delays were the theme of both days at the Coed Championship finals. Light winds and strong current allowed for no racing until approximately 1:30 each day. The Bears got off to a great start in the opening set of the regatta, with no race outside of the top-10. In the following sets however, multiple unforced errors lead to high finishes, which pushed them to fifteenth overall at the end of the first day.
"Today just wasn't our day," said head coach Brian Swingly. "At this level you are barely afforded one mistake per race, let alone two or three. We will have our work cut out for us tomorrow and will be ready to slowly claw our way back."
On Friday, the Bears did just that. Consistent scores in both divisions, many of which were in the top-5, lead to a charge up the leader board, particularly late in the day. With one set remaining (two races per division), Coast Guard was in tenth place overall, but only 13 points out of seventh place and even fewer out of eighth and ninth. The Bears won the first A-Division race and finished fourth in the first B-Division race to move into eighth place with one race per division remaining. Having the points they needed on the water to move up to seventh, Coast Guard was flagged for a late penalty just before the finish line and would ultimately finish ninth.
Nikole Barnes and Anna Morin finished 12th in A-Division with 165 points. Dana Rohde, Maddie Ekin, and Madelynn Widmeier finished 11th in B-Division with 158 points. The team combined for 323 points and ninth overall.
"We are extremely proud of this group, the amount of work they put in this entire season, and the way they sailed this extremely competitive event - especially their performance on Friday. Of course we had higher expectations, but are certainly happy anytime we can finish in the top ten at a National Championship," Swingly said.
FINAL OVERALL RESULTS (17 RACES):
1. College of Charleston, 230
2. Yale University, 249
3. Dartmouth College, 261
4. Boston College, 267
5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 271
6. Georgetown University, 300
7. Fordham University, 311
8. U.S. Naval Academy, 314
9. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 323
10. Roger Williams University, 324
11. University of South Florida, 339
12. George Washington University, 343
13. Boston University, 345
14. Tufts University, 358
15. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, 365
16. Stanford University, 375
17. Brown University, 394
18. University of California Santa Barbara, 445