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Tulane wins 2022 Open Dinghy National Championship

by Preston Anderson 23 May 23:30 PDT
2022 Open Dinghy National Championship © Parker Waters Photography

After four days of racing on Lake Pontchartrain with tricky conditions and thunderstorms threatening a shortened Championship, Tulane University came away victorious on their home waters with their first Fleet Racing National Champion title in 49 years and their second in program history.

Overall Final Standings:

1. Tulane University
2. Yale University
3. Brown University
4. Dartmouth College
5. Stanford University
6. United States Naval Academy
7. Georgetown University
8. Boston College
9. Tufts University
10. Harvard University
11. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
12. Roger Williams University
13. Connecticut College
14. University of Rhode Island
15. Boston University
16. United States Coast Guard Academy
17. Fordham University
18. St. Mary's College of Maryland

The College Sailing Open National Championship hosted at Tulane University was well under way on May 21-22 following the Semi-Final round that happened on the two days prior. 18 teams from across the country were competing for the prestigious Henry A. Morss Trophy.

Head Coach Charles Higgins of Tulane University had this to say about hosting the National Championship, "I hope that the whole team, and everyone who has been a part of our program for the past 4 years feels a sense of pride for being able to host the National Championships this year. Every year for our program has been a progression toward future goals, and this is certainly a huge step along the way. No one here takes for granted what being a host for this event truly means. I hope our team will be able to look back on this in the years to come and reflect on what this event ultimately meant to them. People often ask what it's like at Tulane, as though we're some destination apart from college sailing. But in reality New Orleans is an amazing place to be, and the sailing here is second to none. After years of planning, postponement due to a pandemic, preparing throughout finals, and now competing through graduation, it absolutely means the world for our team to be here hosting the nation's top teams for the ultimate prizes in College Sailing. Let the good times roll!"

Racing kicked off on Saturday at 10:00 AM with A Division in 420s and B Division in FJs. Competitors saw conditions with breeze coming from the Southeast at around 12-15 knots. Racing was halted for the day at around 2:45 due to thunderstorms.

Leading the regatta is home team Tulane University with a total of 102 points. Boston College sits in second place with 108 points. Dartmouth and Brown University are tied for third with a total of 111 points. Dartmouth also holds a head to head tiebreaker over Brown.

Greg Wilkinson, Boston College Head Coach, stated after racing yesterday, "The racing is incredibly close. You miss one shift near the top mark and you can drop eight or ten boats. We had a few nice comebacks. Looking forward to tomorrow."

At the conclusion of Saturday Robert Bragg '23 and Eloise Burn '21 of Dartmouth College lead A division with a total of 36 points. JC Hermus '22 and Fiona Lobon '22 of the United States Naval Academy trail them in second with a total of 51 points. Cameron Giblin '23 and Andrea Riefkohl Gonzalez '24 of Tulane University sit in third place with a total of 52 points.

"I would say the sailing today has been pretty shifty and there were big puffs rolling through the course. Sometimes it could be hard to predict but at the end of the day we've been comparing it to the Charles River which I think most people here have sailed and everyone in NEISA is very familiar with." Eloise Burn '21 of Dartmouth College stated, recapping the day on the water.

Lachlain McGranahan '24, Marbella Marlo '24 and Pomaika'i Ogata '24 of Harvard University lead the B Division with 36 points. Jack DeNatale '22 and Michaela O'Brien '24 trail them in second place with 38 points. Asher Zittrer '23, Ciara Rodriguez-Horan '22, Gillian Perrell '24 and Kit Stoll '23 are in third place with a total of 50 points.

"Today there's been a really nice land breeze. We've had like 10-15 knots and most of the day I just found myself on the right side of the course looking for the pressure coming off the land and so far it's been going pretty well. Looking forward to getting back out there!" Lachlain McGranahan '24 of Harvard University stated after racing.

Racing on Sunday kicked off at 10:00 am with breeze coming from the Southeast shifting east throughout the day. Winds started around 10-12 knots and died gradually throughout the day. A division sailed FJs and B division sailed 420s.

Home team Tulane University was able to hold on and secure the regatta win with a total of 223 points. Yale University finished the regatta in second with a total of 224 points. Brown University finished in third with 246 points.

Cameron Giblin '23 and Andrea Riefkohl Gonzalez '24 of Tulane University won A Division with a total of 98 points. Jack Parkin '21 and Sammy Pickell' 22 of Stanford University finished in second with a total of 101 points. Shawn Harvey '22 and Sonia Lingos-Utley '22 of Yale University finished in third with 105 points.

"We were really looking forward to this event and going in today winning is the dream scenario. You know you couldn't ask for a better situation going into the second day of the regatta. Really proud of the team just staying composed and getting the job done. Really happy to bring home a win." Cameron Giblin '23 stated after racing concluded on Sunday. His crew, Andrea Riefkohl Gonzalez '24 added, "It's really exciting to get a win on our home turf. So we are really excited we have our whole team here to celebrate."

Lachlain McGranahan '24, Marbella Marlo '24, Pomaika'i Ogata '24 and Christopher Wang '23 of Harvard University won the B Division with a total of 114 points. Following them were Jack Egan '25 and Catherine Webb '23 of Yale University and they finished with 119 points. Rounding out the top 3 were Asher Zittrer '23, Ciara Rodriguez-Horan '22, Gillian Perrell '24, Kit Stoll '23 and Lucy Spearman '25 of Tulane University finishing with 125 points.

"I guess going into that last race we didn't know that we were under that much pressure to get the exact score we needed to clinch the win. We just had a really tough first one and we really wanted to make sure we didn't get bogged down by it and have a good second one. We didn't actually know that was the last set either. We thought that we were going to have a lot more racing after that. I guess I'm glad that no one told us because we didn't have any pressure." Asher Zittrer '23 discussed his boat's mindset going into the crucial last race where Tulane couldn't give up 5 or more boats to Yale in order to clinch the win. "Like Asher said, we had no idea. So after that second to last rough one I was just like keep your head straight and just get a good one off. The moment we knew was when I looked at my teammates on the pin boat smiling and we couldn't believe it. We were like no way. The rest is history." His crew, Gillian Perrell '24 continued about the final race and how surreal the moment was to clinch the regatta victory.

Congratulations to Tulane University for winning the 2022 College Sailing Open Dinghy National Championship! It is Tulane's second fleet racing national championship and first one in 49 years.

For more regatta information visit the event website:

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