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Sailing | Tufts breaks streak, struggles at Danmark

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 01:10


Courtesy Ken Legler

Harsh conditions had an adverse effect on the Tufts sailing team at the Danmark Trophy in Connecticut.


After consecutive weekends of coming out on top in team regattas, Tufts’ coed sailing team hit a stumbling block this weekend, falling into the middle of the pack during the Danmark Trophy, hosted at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

On the 70th anniversary of the event, conditions at the Thames River were much less friendly than what the team has experienced thus far this season, with increasingly ebbing winds challenging everyone wishing to sail on Saturday.

“The conditions were rough... It was just hard to get into a groove and be consistent with it,” junior crew Paula Grasberger said. “It was our first regatta with a lot of big players.”

Junior skipper and tri-captain William Haeger and Grasberger sailed as the team’s A-division entry once again, finishing with 79 points - good for eighth place in its division. Haeger and Grasberger finished strong, coming in first and second place in their ninth and seventh races, respectively.

Their final race pulled them one point ahead of Yale’s A-division team, which finished with 80 points, and tied them with Hobart and William Smith’s 79 points. However, a head-to-head tie-breaker loss gave the bump up to Hobart and William Smith.

“As a team we were not spectacular, but we had some really good moments,” Grasberger said.

Meanwhile, the team’s B-division was headed by senior skipper and team tri-captain William Hutchings, along with junior crew Kathleen Kwasniak. The pair finished with 86 points for tenth place in its division. The pair’s highest finishes included third place in both their seventh and eighth races.

“We were a little disappointed, but it was our first nationals preview, and we still did well for the number of teams there,” Kwasniak said. “Every school had their A-team there, which hasn’t always been the case the past few weeks, and they were ready to compete, so it was a tough competition.”

In total, the team finished its weekend with 165 points, good for ninth overall out of a field of 20 teams, and just eight points behind eighth-place Old Dominion University’s cumulative score of 157. The event was won by the Brown University Bears with 119 points. It was Brown’s first win since 1992,

Elsewhere, freshmen Sarah Stubbs and Amanda Sommi represented the Tufts women’s team at the NEISA Women’s Single-handed Championship, hosted at Connecticut College.

Like the Men’s Single-handed Championship one week earlier, each school sent two sailors. The event took place in Laser-class sailboats for two days of non-stop individual competition.

Stubbs and Sommi finished in 16th and 17th place with 171 and 172 total points, respectively, out of a total of 18 sailors. Across the 13 total races, Stubbs cracked the top-10 twice, with her highest finishes being sixth place in the 10th and 12th races. Sommi’s highest finishes included eighth in her third race, and later ninth place in her 10th race.

The event was won by Boston College freshman Erika Reineke with a blistering total of 30 points. She, along with the remainder of the top-5 — including the Coast Guard Academy’s duo of sophomore Lauren Cefali and freshman Christina Frost and Yale’s senior duo of Claire Dennis and Emily Billing — will move on to the ICSA Women’s Single-handed Championships.

Both Tufts teams will get a shot at redemption this coming weekend, with the coed team participating in the New England Sloop Championship hosted by Brown University, and the women’s team heading to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for the Olympians Trophy. 

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