Sailing | Coed, women’s teams qualify for Championship
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 08:11
With the end of the season quickly approaching, this weekend was the perfect time for the coed sailing team to put up one of its best performances of the year at the Erwin Schell Trophy hosted at Brown University. With the event’s top eight teams earning a qualifying spot at the Atlantic Coast Dinghy Championship to be held at King’s Point in two weeks, the Jumbos managed a sixth-place finish at the 18-team event — but not without a few hiccups.
“We started out the gate very strong, but we weren’t able to keep it up,” senior tri-captain William Hutchings said. “We made some pretty silly mistakes and lost our focus a little bit.”
Racing started Saturday with two divisions and 10 races, six for the A-division and four for the B-division. Junior tri-captain and skipper William Haeger paired with classmate Paula Grasberger for the day, while Hutchings and junior crew Kathleen Kwasniak represented B-division.
The day began well enough for both groups, with their first races ending in runner-up and fourth places for the A- and B-divisions, respectively. While consistency was hard to come by, Saturday was highlighted by several strong finishes, with Haeger’s boat finishing fourth in their third race and third in their fourth race and Hutchings’ boat finishing fifth, eighth and fourth in the B-divisions’ last three races of the day.
Sunday, however, was a different story, with the Jumbos dropping down the standings after some poor results. The A-division managed to keep within the top five for the remainder of their six races, but plummeted down the ranks thanks to a 17th place finish in their 11th race after a change of crew. Meanwhile, the B-division had a mixed bag of results, tempering second and fifth place finishes with a 17th-place disaster.
“I made a few fundamental errors. Despite some of my strategic and tactical mishaps, Kathleen’s crew work kept us fast,” Hutchings said.
In total, the two groups finished with 91 and 86 cumulative points, respectively, for a total of 177, which was good for sixth place with a healthy margin ahead of seventh and eighth place teams Dartmouth and Harvard. However, the inconsistencies left a bad taste in the team’s mouth.
“[Haeger and I] left feeling we could have done better,” Hutchings said. “We’ve been there in the top-three heat, we know how to be at that level, we just don’t know how to do it consistently.”
Thankfully, with the qualifier behind them, the team can now look forward to the Atlantic Coast Championships and boosting their national ranking.
“We have high expectations for ourselves and for the team,” Hutchings said. “We just haven’t been sailing consistently for an entire regatta, but once we can do that, we’re headed for great things.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team sailed this weekend at the Victorian Coffee Urn, hosted by Connecticut College, with the stakes of their own qualification into the Atlantic Coast Championships on the line. While they did well enough to qualify, frustrations abounded.
“It was a frustrating regatta, just due to some poor race management,” senior captain Natalie Salk said.
The senior trio of Salk, Amelia Quinn, who is also a Features Editor at the Daily, and Mackenzie Loy all suited up for A-division, while senior Mariel Marchand and junior crew Sara Makaretz represented the team in the B-division.
During the A-division’s second race, their final score was rendered RDG 20 feet short of the finish line. In the following two races, the team had some additional misfortune with stray marks forcing a change of course, losing the team some valuable placements. The final scores for the division tell the tale, with nearly no top-five placements for the first day.
Luckily for Tufts, they were able to turn it around overnight.
“Sunday we picked it up, and we sailed really well as a team,” Salk said.
And it showed. The A-division won their eighth race and finished with just 64 points, while the B-division claimed several top spots, including runner-up in their eighth race, for a total of 67 points. The Jumbos finished fifth overall, securing their own spot for regionals.
Both teams will get to enjoy a break this upcoming weekend, with no major regattas, before re-engaging themselves for the Atlantic Coast Championships the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11.