EDGEWOOD, R.I. – The coed sailing team earned a berth to the ICSA Gill National Championship Semifinals by finishing fourth at the New England Coed Championship for the Coast Guard Alumni Bowl hosted by Brown University. This will be the Bear's fifth straight appearance in the semifinals, which take place on May 29-30 at Old Dominion University.
After a long cold spring with fickle breeze, day one of the coed championship featured near perfect conditions. Sunny skies and warm temperatures created a beautiful sea breeze that ranged from 10-16 knots throughout the day. The race committee was able to run all of the day's scheduled races, ten per division.
Coast Guard got off to a strong start, finishing outside the top-10 only twice during the opening fourteen races. In A-Division, Dana Rohde and Maddie Ekin were exceptionally strong out of the gate, with five consecutive top-5 finishes to begin the day. Despite short string of double digit finishes later in the afternoon, the Bears sailed well enough to sit in third place overall going into Sunday.
Sunday's conditions left much to be desired. Very light wind, rain, and strong current left the race committee little choice but to keep competitors on shore to wait until the breeze was raceable. At around noon, a southerly filled that allowed racing to resume. The Bears found themselves in a close battle for a podium position while also keeping their eye on the 'cut.' Only eight teams from the most competitive conference in the country would advance to the next round, making every point extremely valuable.
During the four races per division were completed on Sunday, Coast Guard dipped as low as sixth overall after several mediocre finishes. They did, however, keep a relatively comfortable gap between themselves and the ninth place team, making their chances of qualifying greater and greater as the day wore on. The team went on to climb back up to fourth overall, finishing the regatta with 208 points.
In a very closely contested A-Division, Rohde, Ekin, and Andrew Widmeier finished fifth with 91 points, just five away from a divisional win. Mack Fox and Brian Nelson sailed the majority of the races in B-Division, with Shane Riera and Anna Morin making an appearance for Race 11B. They finished seventh in B-Division with 117 points.
Boston College won the 2018 Coast Guard Alumni Bowl to become New England Coed Champions. Also advancing from New England are Roger Williams University, Dartmouth College, University of Rhode Island, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston University.
Photo courtesy of Rob Migliaccio.