Bears Move on to National Championship Semi-Finals

Bears Move on to National Championship Semi-Finals

HARPSWELL, Maine -- Both the women's and coed sailing teams have advanced to the ICSA National Championship Semi-Finals by finishing eighth at their respective New England Championship. The Bears, who have been on an upward trajectory for the entire season, will now have three more weeks to train before the national championships get underway on May 21.

The NEISA Women's Championship for the Jerry Reed Trophy was hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a range of conditions during the two day event. Saturday's races were sailed in very strong wind that occassionally gusted above 30 knots. The Bears were able to maintain some level of consistency in the trying conditions, solidifying themselves among the top ten teams going into the final day of racing. 

Sunday started with a brief delay to wait for wind. Eventually a light southeasterly breeze filled across the course that allowed racing to begin. Despite the change in conditions, Coast Guard remained consistent and well safe in a qualifying position. They would end the day in eighth place overall with 288 points.

In A-Division, Madelynn Widmeier, Anna Morin, and Lily Maranto finished eleventh with 150 points. Christina Nothacker, Anna Maria Vaccaro, and Madeline Kaller finished seventh in B-Division with 138 points. 

MIT won the 2019 Reed Trophy with 159 points. Brown University was second with 164 points and Dartmouth College was third with 174. The top eleven teams advance to the Sperry Women's National Championship Semi-Finals in Newport, RI on May 21. 

Bowdoin College hosted the NEISA Coed Championship for the US Coast Guard Alumni Bowl. Historically the "Alumni Bowl" is one of the toughest events of the year where the top eighteen teams in the country's deepest conference battel for the right to go to nationals. This year was no different with several of the top-20 ranked teams in the nation being eliminated while the top nine moved on. 

The conditions were about as good as they could be for a championship on Sunday. While it was unseasonably cold and rainy throughout the entire day, the wind ranged from 8-14 knots with very few course adjustments. The Bears found they had a speed advantage and used that to put together several top three finishes, including a string of three first-place finishes in B-Division. After being as high as second overall on multiple occassions throughout the day, Coast Guard sat in sixth place overnight with a big cushion to tenth but plenty of opportunity to move up. 

Light and fickle breeze plagued the morning's racing on Sunday as the race committee attempted to deal with the conditions. Only one race was completed per division before sending the fleet back ashore. Finally, a seabreeze filled which made for great racing to end the regatta. However, with the time limit closing in, only three more races per division were completed. Coast Guard did just enough to stay comfortable in securing their berth to nationals but was unable to reclaim a top spot on the leaderboard. They would finish in eighth overall with 215 points.

Mack Fox and Brian Nelson finished fifth in A-Division with 104 points. Gage Schoenherr and Christina Nothacker finished eighth in B-Division with 111 points. Yale University won the 2019 US Coast Guard Alumni Bowl with 122 points. Bowdoin College was second with 185 and Dartmouth College was third with 190. The top nine teams move on to the Gill Coed National Championship in Newport, RI on May 28.