NEWPORT, R.I.--The coed sailing team wrapped up their season by finishing 12th at the Gill Coed National Championship hosted by Brown University in Newport, RI. Exceeding all expectations, the Bears sat inside the top ten for the majority of the event but fell a few places in the final set. This ties their performance at last year's championship when they also finished 12th.
The top eighteen college teams that advanced from the previous two days of semifinals had to wait for breeze on shore during the first day of the finals. Eventually a light southerly allowed racing to get underway. Ten races were completed per division in wind that was light to moderate averaging about 6-8 knots with a few higher puffs – there were only a few moments of hiking conditions.
Coast Guard put up several single-digit finishes in each division throughout the course of the day, but rarely in both divisions at the same time. At the end of the day they were in 9th place overall with tight scores on either side of them.
On day two, a wind delay kept sailors onshore until enough filled in to have a 12:10 p.m. harbor start. Winds filled in from the southeast and stayed light to moderate in the afternoon. The last races of the day brought some stronger pressure and hiking conditions. There were big oscillating shifts across the racecourse challenging the sailors to stay in phase and sail fast.
Despite several deep finishes in the opening races of the day, Coast Guard battled hard to hold off a group that was surging from behind. Aided by a 4-1 set in races 13B and 14B, the Bears remained in 9th going into the final set of two races per division. Ultimately they would see their top-10 finish slip away as an unpredictable easterly breeze made for tough decisions and unlucky breaks during the final races. After 16 races per division the Bears finished with 316 points for 12th overall.
The College of Charleston won the 2019 Gill Coed National Championship for the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy with 205 points. Yale was second with 210 and the US Naval Academy was third with 215.
Photos courtesy of Rob Migliaccio.