SAN FRANCISCO – After three days of grueling competition on San Francisco Bay, the No. 3 Yale coed sailing team won second place at the ICSA/Gill Coed Dinghy National Championships on Wednesday, its best finish in more than a quarter-century.

Coming into today’s racing, the Elis found themselves a mere seven points out of first after a strong performance Tuesday netted them a 28 point gain on frontrunner No. 4 Saint Mary’s College of Maryland and allowed them to surge past No. 1 Georgetown into second place.

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With only eight races scheduled to be sailed today, the focus of the regatta was on St. Mary’s and Yale as the two teams battled it out. But while the regatta lead changed three times, St. Mary’s managed to hold off the Bulldogs.

“As soon as the races started, since it was so windy, you’re zoned in on hiking or going downwind,” Thomas Barrows ’10 said of today’s racing. “It was a lot of fun, especially coming down to the last race competing with St. Mary’s. Even though we didn’t win, it’s fun to have such great competition.”

The Elis finished with 199 points over 36 races, besting third-place Georgetown (231 points) and trailing only St. Mary’s (179 points). The second-place finish was the team’s best performance at the Coed Dinghy National Championship since 1981, when the Elis also came in second.

Barrows, with crews Blair Belling ’11, Marla Menninger ’10 and Jane Macky ’09, led the Bulldogs with a dominant performance in A division accumulating 68 points, besting St. Mary’s A division by 34 points. Joe Morris ’12, with crews Grace Becton ’09 and Mike Hession ’10, sailed solidly in B division, finishing fourth behind St. Mary’s, Georgetown and No. 6 Roger Williams.

The coed sailing team also competed in the ICSA / APS Team Race National Championship held at Treasure Island Sailing Center in San Francisco from May 29 to 31. The team finished fourth at the regatta, which was won by No. 2 Boston College.