Sailing | Women’s team finishes in top five at ACC Championships
Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 07:11
Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy wrecked havoc across the entire Eastern Seaboard, and the storm forced the cancellation of the coed sailing team’s championship event at King’s Point. But the women’s sailing team did not let a storm curtail its wave of momentum, and the Jumbos put together a furious advance this past weekend at the women’s Atlantic Coast Championships hosted by Conn. College.
Featuring a showcase of 18 talented squads from all over the New England area and beyond, the Jumbos managed to finish within the top five overall in the two-day event to end their fall season on a high note before the winter break.
“This was the nationals event for our fall season, so our outlook [based on how we did] is great,” senior captain and skipper Natalie Salk said.
On Saturday, the sailors were greeted with a light northern breeze that turned into a full day of inconsistent air pressure and a weak current, but that didn’t stop the sailors from ending the day with four races in A-division and another two in B.
In fact, the conditions seemed to work in the Jumbos’ favor; Salk and classmate and crew member Amelia Quinn, who is also a Features editor for the Daily, finished their quartet of races in fifth, third, seventh, and eighth places, respectively. Senior skipper Mariel Marchand and junior crew Sara Makaretz captured third and eighth in their two races.
“We actually ended [Saturday] in first overall, which was really cool,” Quinn said.
The second day was a different story, as sailing conditions picked up along with the arrival of a steadier breeze, allowing both divisions to finish their sets of eight races. Holding onto their strong start, Salk and Quinn almost rounded out their weekend with a full set of top-10 finishes, although this time, their competition also stepped it up, taking advantage of the group’s 16th-place finish in their sixth race.
“Natalie and I only had one [race outside the top-10] the entire weekend, so we’ve really improved,” Quinn said. “If we hadn’t had that one bad race, we could have won our division.”
“We were trying to win our division,” Salk added. “We know now that we can win at these championships, and that we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Overall, the pair dropped down two spots, finishing its weekend third in the A division with 55 points, three short of matching second place St. Mary’s College of Maryland and only four points behind A-division victor Dartmouth College.
“All our races were so close, having two [bad races] could have dropped us more, so we were really excited to finish third in A division,” Quinn added.
On the other end, B division’s Marchand and Makaretz followed suit with their senior teammates.
“Mariel and Sara did really well,” Salk said. “They ended up in fifth, which was very strong, and their races were just so competitive.”
Despite two narrow finishes outside of the top 10, Marchand and Makaretz managed to end Sunday with a pair of third-place finishes. The duo capped off a 59-point cumulative effort that kept it afloat in the top five of the B division, between the U.S. Naval Academy and MIT.
“B division did consistently really well,” Quinn said. “[Mariel and Sara] had so much growth and improvement this semester, it’s incredible, and we’re looking forward to what they can do in the spring.”
In total, the Jumbos rounded out their weekend — and their season — fifth overall at the Atlantic Coast Championships, with 114 points total; just five points behind fourth-place U.S. Naval Academy, but twelve points ahead of sixth-place MIT’s 126. Dartmouth College tied Boston College with 88 points, but due to a head-to-head tiebreaker, earned the right for first place and the trophy.
With its fall season over, the women’s sailing team now enters a winter break looking to continue its training regimen and to enter the spring season refreshed and ready to continue its recent upward trajectory.
“We’re going to be training really hard all winter, and we just can’t wait until the spring season,” Quinn added.