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Bulldogs Finish Second at Gill Coed National Championship

Photo by Rob Migliachio
Photo by Rob Migliachio

NEWPORT, R.I. – The Bulldogs finished a close second at the Gill Coed National Championship, which came to a close on Friday. After a resurgent comeback from its sixth-place position after day one of the event, the team finished only five points behind the champions, the College of Charleston.


In A division, senior skipper Nic Baird and sophomore crew Sonia Lingos-Utley sailed consistently well, enough to finish nearly 40 points ahead of the next boat behind them. They were edged out barely by the College of Charleston A division boat, which won with three points less than Yale's team. Baird and Lingos-Utley were second in A with 82 points.


In B division, sophomore skipper Shawn Harvey, with junior crew Graceann Nicolosi, sailed most races (1-6 and 11-16), with junior Louisa Nordstrom and sophomore Claudia Loiacono stepping in at the end of the first day of competition (7-10). The four combined to finish sixth in B division, but were also beaten barely by the College of Charleston B division boat, this time by just two points.


The team results were very strong for a nationals performance. The 2019 nationals was one of the highest level events in college sailing history, with the average race finish to take the title coming in at 6.4 (meaning if the team finished 6th in every race, they would have won the event!). There was also a very strong support staff and reserve crew based that could have performed at the same high level should the conditions have allowed it. Sam Tobin, Chrissie Klingler, Nick Hernandez and Kira Woods were those support athletes.


Yale's Teams and Results:

Overall: 2nd place (210 points)


A: Nic Baird / Sonia Lingos-Utley 2nd (82 points)


B: Shawn Harvey / Graceann Nicolosi and Louisa Nordstrom / Claudia Loiacono – 6th (128 points)


The event was sailed both days in a southerly / southeasterly breeze direction, with very light air in the morning of both days building to low end hiking conditions by the end of each day. There was considerable current, which was uneven across the race course, and there was the occasional large wind shift, one time even causing a race abandonment due to angle change. Racing was tight, with boats rounding bow to stern on most top mark roundings.


"Sweeping podium positions across the three national championships was a fantastic conclusion to our season." Coed team captain Dylan DiMarchi commented, "Between the coaching, lift sessions, and off-the-water debriefs, the team's determination clearly paid off. It's an honor to be a part of this success, and we're all excited to bring this momentum into the next school year."


Coach Zack Leonard felt good about the team's performance overall. "We always feel great when we feel that we competed to our potential at the Championships. I'm really proud of everyone on our team for all the hard work they put in all year long, and I'm glad that the results at the end of the year validated the effort."


This concludes the 2018/2019 season for the Bulldog sailors, who will pick back up in August for pre-season practice.


Scores can be found at and reports can be found at


Report filed by Nic Baird '19, Yale Sports Publicity