Coach Pizzo's Report - November 13
The Polar Bears competed in the Match Race National Champion for the Cornellius Shields Trophy hosted by the College of Charleston. On Friday, the initial round robin with all ten teams began in a windy north westerly breeze. It took the Polar Bears a few races to adjust to the current and boats but the team was able to get wins against the University of Michigan, the University of Washington, and Georgetown. Saturday began with the final race of the initial round robin. Bowdoin faced Boston College in the final race of the round. Bowdoin found themselves behind but BC ended up sailing to the wrong mark, giving the Polar Bears a key win in the round robin.
Bowdoin ended up as the fifth seed entering the quarter finals. The Polar Bears faced the Naval Academy in the quarter finals in a first to three wins series. Bowdoin lost the first race is a tight battle but battled back and won the next three races in a row, controlling Navy off the starting line and holding on to win. The final race against Navy included lots of great match racing action with several major luffs before the finish before Bowdoin ultimately won the series.
Bowdoin faced the College of Charleston in the semi finals. Charleston was undefeated in all racing. The Polar Bears battled hard but lost all three races to the Cougars including the final race where each team traded penalties before Charleston was able to finish just before Bowdoin. Bowdoin faced USF in the Petite Finals. Again another great series of races took place but USF ultimately prevailed over the Polar Bears.
The fourth place finish at the Match Race Nationals is the best ever finish for Bowdoin at a National Championship. Harrison Hawk '18 was the skipper and sailed with Matt Safford '20, Marie Bergsund '20, and Alden Grimes '21.