Sailing | Coed Sailing leaves competition in its wake at Hatch Brown Intersectional
48−Point beatdown highlight of weekend
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 01:09
With so many factors affecting the outcome of a sailing race, it can be a lot harder than it might sound to simply blast the competition, particularly when it comes to the races in the competitive New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) conference.
But, in so many words, that’s exactly what transpired this past weekend at the Hatch Brown Intersectional, hosted by MIT at the Charles River. Pulling a full 48 points ahead of second place St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the coed sailing team dominated the three−division race in astonishing fashion.
“We were surprised, to be honest, to be doing so well,” said senior skipper and tri−captain Will Hutchings. “No one really goes into the Charles with a winning mentality... But we sailed our best, and we ended up sailing better than the competition on both Saturday and Sunday.”
Despite the difficult conditions, which included strong winds running parallel to the river that led to some uneven rides, the B and C team dinghies were able to dominate their respective divisions. Hutchings, along with junior crew Kathleen Kwasniak, led the way in B Division, racking up 75 points, blowing the MIT Engineers, who had a mere 99 points, out of the water. Similarly, junior skipper David Liebenberg and freshman crew Caroline Atwood made quick work of the C Division, finishing with 77 points, 10 points ahead of the College of Charleston.
Rounding out the group was the junior duo of skipper William Haeger and crew Paula Grasberger, who finished third in the A Division with 101 points, despite a 19−point disqualification in the ninth race.
“It’s still early in the season, but, this regatta has a legacy, being named after a prominent figure in the history of college sailing, so to win it was still a big deal,” Hutchings said. “In terms of competition, there were some All−Americans and top−string players. To win was definitely a good feeling, and it reflects our skill and potential to do well this season, so we’re all excited.”
There is even more reason for optimism, as the coed squad, ranked No. 10 nationally as recently as Sept. 12, may see a bump in their standing if they continue along their winning track.
While the coed team pulled ahead on the Charles, the women’s team traveled to Dartmouth to attend the Mrs. Hurst Bowl Intersectional Regatta. For the second week in a row, the duo of senior skipper Mariel Marchand and junior crew Sara Makaretz impressed by placing second in their B Division boat, racking up 85 points to tie Georgetown but ultimately winning the tiebreaker.
“We’re really doing well; I’m excited to be sailing together,” Makaretz said. We got in a lot of good practice together at the end of last semester.”
Skipper Natalie Salk and crew Amelia Quinn, both seniors, contributed 143 points in their own A Division race. Their regatta was highlighted by a second−place finish in the 10th race, but it was not enough to earn higher than 14th in the A Division amongst the thicket of boats. The efforts of Marchand and Makaretz ultimately helped boost the Jumbos to an overall finish of sixth place (out of a total pool of 22 teams) with 228 points, tying Old Dominion but earning the higher spot thanks to a tiebreaker.
“We’ve been really fast together in all types of breezes so far, so I’m pumped to be with [Mariel] in the rest of our regattas this semester,” Makaretz said. “We’re looking forward to a promising season.”
The coed team is next scheduled to race at the New England Single−Handed Championship at Boston College, while the women’s team will attend the Regis Bowl at Boston University. Both events are scheduled for this weekend.