The Hobart and William Smith Colleges sailing team earned a spot in the 2019 Gill College Sailing National Championship thanks to a victory in one of two national semifinals in Newport Harbor. The Colleges won the Gill Coed Western Semifinal finishing with 102 points.
Thirty-six qualifying teams were broken into two 18-team fleets, Eastern and Western. The top nine teams from each fleet advanced to the championship which begins May 30 at Fort Adams State Park. The winner on Friday will take home the Henry A. Morss Memorial Trophy as national champion.
HWS won both A and B Division on its way to winning the Western Semifinal by 43 points. Yale finished second with 145 points. Boston College, the College of Charleston, Georgetown, Connecticut College, Coast Guard, Old Dominion, and UC Santa Barbara also secured spots in the championship.
Juniors Hector Guzman and Maya Weber and first-year Jake Vickers and Chase Carraway competed in A Division. They finished the two days with 36 points, 22 points ahead of the Bulldogs. Guzman served as skipper while Carraway, Vickers and Weber competed as crew. They finished in the top seven in all 14 races and crossed the line first seven times. Guzman, Vickers, Carraway and Weber were in the top three 10 times.
Seniors Charlie Miller and Lindsey Kloc, junior Kyle Easton and sophomore Aidan Morgan competed in B Division. They finished the semifinal with 66 points, seven ahead of Georgetown. Miller served as skipper and Easton, Kloc and Morgan competed as crew. They were in the top 10 in all but one race, winning the fourth. Miller, Easton, Kloc and Morgan combined for seven finishes inside the top three.
Stanford won the Eastern Semifinal with 157 points. Brown was second two points back. St. Mary’s College (Md.), Boston University, Navy, Tufts, Dartmouth, Bowdoin and Jacksonville advanced to the national championship.
The Colleges return to the Gill Coed Dinghy National Championship for the 19th time since 1996. HWS won the event in 2005 in Austin, Texas. The Colleges have finished on the podium in 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2011.