Sailing | Jumbos finish top−seven in Annapolis
Tufts edges Navy in final races of the day
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 07:10
With an intrepid team of six sailors in tow, the No. 10 co−ed sailing team brought its talents to Annapolis, Md. this weekend to test their mettle in the 2012 Navy Fall Invitational.
With two days, a whopping four divisions and fourteen races apiece, the Jumbos finished by narrowly nudging past the U.S. Naval Academy’s Midshipmen in the Sunday’s final races to clinch seventh place overall.
“There are two meccas in NEISA sailing: the Charles [River] and the South River outside Annapolis’s Naval Academy,” senior tri−captain Will Hutchings said. “This is the biggest regatta of the fall. It really does test how deep you are.”
“Coming into the regatta, we were hoping to get in the top five, but we had a rough first day, so we couldn’t quite make it,” junior Paula Grasberger added.
With a total of eighteen teams from all over the country at the regatta, including the nation’s four top squads, Tufts was prepared for some of their stiffest competition of the year. The College of Charleston, ranked third nationally, even carried an Olympian on their team — senior laser sailor Juan Maegli, who carried the Guatemalan flag in this summer’s Olympic ceremony and finished ninth in his class on the world stage.
“I think we probably could have finished third or fourth, if we were sailing our best, but there were just some really good sailors out there,” Hutchings said.
A−Division regulars junior tri−captain and skipper William Haeger and crew Grasberger were back in action this weekend. After struggling on Saturday, Haeger and Grasberger regrouped on Sunday, finishing runner−up in their twelfth race and top four in four of their last five races to pass Yale down the stretch. They finished with 93 points, good for fifth place in their division and only one shy of matching the fourth−place Brown Bears.
In the B Division, junior skipper David Liebenberg partnered with sophomore crew Sam Madden. Despite winning their first race of the meet, the pair vacillated between highs and lows for the weekend, finishing with 144 points to land thirteenth in their division.
Hutchings, three weeks removed from breaking into the top five of the New England Single−handed Championship, returned to the single−handed race format in the laser dinghy C Division. He finished with 94 points, including a second−place finish in the tenth race and third−place finishes in his third and fourth races. In the end, the results were enough for a fifth−place finish.
Rounding out the event was sophomore Alejandro Ruiz−Ramon, who represented the Jumbos in the D Division’s single−handed Laser Radial race. He finished with 102 points, including a victory in his sixth race, for eighth place in his division.
Tufts finished with a total of 433 points, a full 21 behind sixth−place Stanford but one point ahead of the U.S. Naval Academy. College of Charleston, powered by Maegli’s dominating 36 points in the C−Division, won the event by an impressive margin, with 287 points to the second place Georgetown Hoyas’ 314.
“We would have been unhappy with anything less than eighth,” Hutchings said. “We’ll take [seventh place]. We weren’t thrilled, but it was an okay result.”
“It showed us that we definitely have areas to improve on, boat handling being the biggest, for the rest of the season,” Grasberger said.
The co−ed team next sails this weekend at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy, hosted by Brown, followed by the Erwin Schell Trophy at MIT the following weekend, where they will attempt to qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championship.