BRISTOL, R.I. – After two days of competition on Mt. Hope Bay, senior Dana Rohde won the New England Singlehanded Championship for the Women's Olympians Trophy. This marks the third time Coast Guard has taken home the fall singlehanded championship. Krysia Pohl ('97) won the event in 1994 and 1996.
Conditions were near ideal on the first day of the New England Men's and Women's Singlehanded Championship hosted by Roger Williams University. Breeze from the north that averaged 8-10 knots throughout the day gave the field of twenty-seven men and seventeen women exciting races that often were decided right at the finish line. The race committee completed nine races in each fleet on Saturday.
In the men's division, from which four would advance to the National Championship, sophomore Andrew Widmeier had a strong opening day, finishing outside of the top-10 in only two of the nine races sailed. Freshmen Gage Schoenherr and Richard Gordon also sailed well, each with multiple top-10 finishes. Going into Sunday, Widmeier sat in fifth place overall, Schoenherr in 10th, and Gordon in 11th. Widmeier would need to make up a 20-point deficit to grab the last qualifying position.
The women's division was a close contest for the entirety of the event, starting on day one when several sailors exchanged race wins and top-5 finishes, shuffling the leaderboard after every race. Rohde quickly established herself among the top group by putting together a consistent score line with only one finish outside the top-10. Going into Sunday, she sat in fourth place overall – eleven points outside of the lead. Junior Madelynn Widmeier sat in ninth place with several top-10 finishes of her own.
On Sunday, sailors sat on shore waiting for wind until 1pm when a light sea breeze started to fill. Racing got underway just after 2pm which only allowed the race committee to complete two more races in the women's division and one more in the men's division before the cutoff time.
Rohde finished second in each of the two races sailed and was able to put enough points between her and the sailors above her to take over the lead. She finished with 47 points to take home the New England title and advance to the National Championship. Madelynn Widmeier struggled in the first race of the day but won the second to remain in ninth place overall.
Andrew Widmeier did everything he could to earn a qualifying position in the one race sailed on Sunday. He won the race in impressive style, but was unable to make up the point difference to earn a trip to nationals. He finished in fifth place with 71 points. Schoenherr remained in tenth with 115 points and Gordon finished eleventh with 122 points.
Along with Rohde, Talia Tolland (Tufts University), Anna Weis (Boston University), Lindsay Baab (Brown University), and Sophia Reineke (Boston College) will advance to the ICSA Women's Singlehanded National Championship which will take place in St. Petersburg, FL on November 4-5.
Photo courtesy of Rob Migliaccio.