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The Xavier varsity sailing team won the New England Scholastic Sailing Association (NESSA) Great Oaks Qualifier regatta at Sail Black Rock in Bridgeport, CT Saturday, September 12th (hosted by Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University sailing teams). Nine schools competed for three NESSA berths in the national Great Oaks regatta, held on November 20-22, at the Southern Yacht Club in New Orleans, LA.
The Xavier Falcon sailors finished first with 20 total points for the day, in this single division contest. Finishing second were the Falmouth Maine Yachtsmen, with 28 points. Third place, and the final Great Oaks berth, was captured by Fairfield Prep, with 29 points.
Leading Xavier to its first place finish in the regatta was junior skipper Gordon Gurnell, who garnered three 1st place finishes and three 2nd place finishes, among his best individual races. Stewart Gurnell, a Xavier freshman, crewed for his older brother in each of the races.
Other teams and their finishes for the regatta: Moses Brown (MA), 38 pts.; Fairfield Ludlowe, 39; Martha’s Vineyard, 49; Marblehead, 54; Portland, ME, 66; Litchfield , CT, 81; and Cheverus (Portland, ME), 97.
This was Xavier’s second regatta for the 2015 Autumn season. The team finished 5th of 13 overall at the Polar Bear Open, hosted by the Bowdoin College sailing team on Sept. 6th. In that contest, a two-division regatta, skipper Gordon Gurnell finished 9th in Division A (with crew Dan McGinley (a senior), while skipper Stewart Gurnell finished 3rd in Division B (with his crew, Mark Wojcicki (a junior).