Sailing | Teams get in practice prior to Atlantic Coast Championships
Mixed results at various events mark weekend
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 08:10
As the Atlantic Coast Championships rapidly approach for both of the sailing teams, the opportunity to sharpen their skills in what could be their second−to−last weekend of sailing this season has become more important than ever. This past weekend, the coed sailing team took to their 420s at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy, hosted by Brown University at the Edgewood Yacht Club. Meanwhile, the women’s team headed to the Charles for MIT’s Stu Nelson Trophy with hopes of improving what has been a somewhat inconsistent season.
And although this weekend’s trophy in itself was not particularly important, the location was specifically significant to the coed team, as well as for all New England Inter−collegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) teams participating.
“[The Sherman Hoyt] was your normal intersectional, but all the top sailors were there,” senior tri−captain William Hutchings said. “Because of [the Erwin Schell qualifier] next weekend, all the NEISA teams brought their best teams to practice for next weekend.”
Junior skipper and tri−captain William Haeger and junior crew Paula Grasberger took to the A−division again, as a shifting southeastern breeze met them on the water, with mixed results. In their first two races, Haeger and Grasberger finished 14th and 10th before redeeming themselves in the third race and again in the seventh race with a pair of runner−up finishes, although those ended up as highlights in an up−and−down series of races, totaling 106 points, good for eighth place in the division.
Meanwhile, in the B−division, Hutchings partnered with junior crew Kathleen Kwasniak. Although they started with a runner−up finish in their first race, they were not much more fortunate than their fellow classmates until the second day, where they had a breakdown in the 11th race before winning their 12th and final race. They finished in fourth with 84 points.
Overall, after Saturday, the Jumbos rested at a disappointing 11th place out of the 18 teams present. However, despite the underwhelming results on day one, the team managed to regroup on Sunday, finishing sixth out of 18 teams with 190 cumulative points, wedged in front of the host and seventh−place Brown’s 197 points, but behind fifth−place Old Dominion’s 181 points. MIT took the Sherman Hoyt Trophy with 139 points, with Yale (153) and Roger Williams (157) rounding out the top three.
“I was expecting to finish top−five; sailing at our full potential,” Hutchings said. “We could have won if we performed on Saturday as well as we did on Sunday; but we were still able to pull it together, thankfully.”
While the coed team met with their share of difficulties, the women’s team had the exact opposite occur to them at MIT’s Stu Nelson Trophy. Senior skipper and team captain Natalie Salk joined with fellow classmate Amelia Quinn in the A−division while B−division senior skipper Mariel Marchand and her junior crew Sara Makaretz arrived at the Charles ready to compete. Quinn is also a features editor at the Daily.
“This was an intersectional, so the competition was high and each race for us is important in how it impacts us and our ranking,” Salk said.
The team’s preparation showed from the get−go. Salk and Quinn opened their first race with a victory, and repeated in their fourth, fifth, and ninth races, finishing up with just 87 points; good for second place, only behind Boston College’s 76 points.
In the B−division, Marchand and Makaretz opened with mediocre finishes of 12th and eighth in their first two races, before cruising to a number of top−five finishes in almost all of their remaining races for the day. They finished fourth with 101 points, including victory in their 13th race.
“It felt great,” Salk said. “It was the best we’ve sailed since I’ve been at Tufts, and this regatta was really good for our self−confidence. We’re feeling great right now, and we’re ready to enjoy ourselves.”
In total, the team finished with 188 points in the 18−team regatta, bested only by Boston College’s 157 points, and comfortably ahead of Yale’s 229 points. While the Eagles dominated both divisions with victories in 13 out of 36 total races, the Jumbos made a mark of their own with perhaps the most consistent results of the weekend. Tufts had at least top−five marks in all but 13 of its races, and subsequently earned itself a top−two spot in a regatta for the first time since last month’s Regis Bowl hosted by Boston University.
The coed team faces its next challenge, the Erwin Schell Trophy, this weekend at Brown, with the hopes of earning a qualifying spot for the upcoming nationals. Meanwhile, the women’s team will look forward to the Victorian Coffee Urn hosted by Connecticut College.