Bears Second at Gill Coed National Championship

Bears Second at Gill Coed National Championship

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (June 3, 2016) – Today was the last day of the Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship, co-hosted by San Diego Yacht Club and the Pacific Coast Collegiate Sailing Conference. This is the last of three high caliber spring college sailing national championships that were run on North San Diego Bay off of the B Street Pier. After four days of intense competition Coast Guard finished second for the second year in a row, winning the Oxford Trophy.

After ten races per division on the first day of competition, the Bears went into the final day in fourth pace but well within striking distance of the leaders. They would need to put together a string of top finishes to erase the deficit in order to make a run for the championship.

The sailors hit the water on time and racing began around 10:30 a.m. The sun came out and temperatures stayed in the 70s. The winds were from the west-northwest 5-7 knots, a very typical San Diego breeze that the team was very familiar with.

Coast Guard got off to a strong start, quickly gaining points on all the leaders. After a string of top-10 finishes in races ten through fifteen in each division, they found themselves within one point of regatta leader Georgetown University and with a bit of a lead over Yale University and Boston College. With just six races remaining, three per division, it was a four team battle for the national title.

"The competition to end the regatta was as intense and as thrilling as it gets," said head coach Brian Swingly. "It was an awesome show, the best of the best giving it their absolute all."

The Bears suffered a few double digit finishes in races sixteen and seventeen which allowed Georgetown to gain back some of their lead and for Yale and Boston College to get back into the race. After a solid sixth place finish by Coast Guard in race 18A, while the other contenders sailed double digit finishes of their own, Georgetown held onto a seven-point lead with Coast Guard, Boston College, and Yale all tied on points.

In the final race of the regatta, with everything on the line, Coast Guard got off to an early lead and led the entire way around the racetrack, finishing first by a large margin. Although the race win clinched a second place finish overall, Georgetown managed to climb their way back to third at the finish line, securing their overall victory by just five points.

Coast Guard finished second with 262 points and won the Oxford Trophy for the second year in a row. The Oxford University Yacht Club team and its captain Jeremy Thomas presented this trophy in 1954 on the occasion of the first of a continuing series of college regattas between British and North American teams held alternately in the United States and Great Britain every two years.

Georgetown University finished with 257 points to win the 2016 Gill Coed National Championship for the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy. Yale University held onto third with 266 points to win the Metropolitan Trophy.

Seniors Avery Fanning and Robert Turley closed out an incredible career with a fourth place finish in A-Division. They totaled 135 points and finished in the top-8 in twelve out of eighteen races. Nikole Barnes and Anna Morin finished second in B-Division with 127 points. They won five races throughout the course of the regatta.

"I am so proud of this team and what they have accomplished this season," said Swingly. "They are an extraordinary group who race like professionals and are well respected by their competitors."

"Although we would have obviously loved to win, and put ourselves in position to do so, we are very satisfied with this result," he added. "This team established themselves among the elite in the country and will always be remembered for that incredible ending." 

The Bears will graduate six seniors, including team captain Kayla Ellis, All-American Avery Fanning, All-American Robert Turley, Andrew Britton, Daniel Winter, and Matthew Orgill. During their tenure at Coast Guard the team has risen from a non-ranked team to a national contender. The class of 2016 pushed the program to new heights and solidified their legacy in the sport in the last regatta of their careers.

1. Georgetown University, 257
2. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 262
3. Yale University, 266
4. Boston College, 275
5. Old Dominion University, 283
6. Stanford University, 289
7. U.S. Naval Academy, 335*
8. Boston University, 335*
9. University of South Florida, 338
10. College of Charleston, 348
11. Brown University, 351
12. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 353
13. St. Mary's College of Maryland, 382
14. Roger Williams University, 396
15. Connecticut College, 402
16. University of Pennsylvania, 411
17. George Washington University, 425
18. Fordham University, 448
*Head-to-head tiebreaker