Bears Tenth at Gill Coed National Championship
St. Mary's City, Md. (June 6, 2014) – Today was the last day of the Gill Coed National Championship, hosted by St. Mary's College of Maryland. This is the last of three high caliber spring College Sailing National Championships, which were co-hosted by the U.S. Naval Academy and St. Mary's College of Maryland. Coast Guard finished tenth overall, the program's best finish at this event in over twenty years. The Coed Championship wrapped up a highly successful season for Coast Guard Sailing, who now have their sights set even higher for 2015.
Racing got underway at 9:15 a.m. Winds were from the northwest at around 5-8 knots. It was sunny and the temperatures were in the 70s. The wind started to shift to the north and get light. After completing a few races the race officials postponed the racing to wait for wind. After about an hour a westerly wind around 8-12 knots held steady and the racing started up again. Later in the afternoon the wind shifted 180-degrees to the north. It did not hold and there was not enough to complete more races before the 5 p.m. deadline.
Coast Guard started the day in ninth place and in a tight battle with several of the top ranked teams in the country and knew it would come down to the final few races to determine the overall standings. During the nine races that were sailed on the final day, the Bears had their ups and downs due to extremely shifty and unpredictable wind. They ultimately ended up in tenth place, bettering several teams ranked higher than them, similarly to the women's team a week before.
"This is a proud day for Coast Guard Sailing," commented sailing director Doug Clark. "The team has worked incredibly hard all year to get to this level and perform well at the most competitive event of the year. Tenth place at the National Championship puts us among the elite teams in the county, which is where we belong and intend to stay."
Avery Fanning, Robert Turley, and Jaimie Chicoine finished ninth in A-Division with 142 points. Their score line was highlighted with several top five finishes and a race win in race 7. In B-Division, Nikole Barnes and Justine Morrison finished seventh with 141 points. Barnes and Morrison were a major factor in both the coed and women's team's success and finish this season with another solid performance.
"While we're obviously thrilled to have our young skippers already performing so well at this point in their career, our seniors are an equal part of the story this year," said head coach Brian Swingly. "Their outstanding leadership, guidance, and constant encouragement kept our freshmen and sophomores on a path to success all season long."
Yale University won the 2014 Gill Coed National Championship. Georgetown University finished second and Boston College finished third.
As the post season comes to an end, so does one of the most successful years in Coast Guard Sailing history. The year was highlighted with Christina Frost finishing third at the Women's Singlehanded Championship, the women's team finishing fifth at the Women's Atlantic Coast Championship, a victory at the Admiral Moore Team Race Interconference, a sixth place finish at the Women's National Championship and now the coed team finishing tenth at their National Championship. Although the team is graduating four crews and a skipper, all skippers who started in a championship will return for the 2014-2015 season.
"Our goals are naturally very high for next year," said Swingly. "We have a talented and motivated group of sailors who are eager to win."