Sailing | Tufts results mixed in nine-regatta weekend
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 01:09
Once again, the Tufts sailing team was all over the New England coast as they competed in nine regattas this weekend. The co-ed and women’s teams competed in two main regattas, the Hatch Brown Trophy hosted by MIT and the Mrs. Hurst Bowl hosted by Dartmouth, respectively, as they looked to see where they measured up against some of the top teams in the country.
It was a good weekend for the co-ed team with a fourth place finish in the three-division race, while the women’s team had to face some hard truths as it placed 14th out of 16 teams.
At MIT, the No. 12 Jumbos showed off their impressive depth and experience. They finished behind No. 3 Boston College, No. 1 Yale and No. 11 Navy, while defeating seven top-20 schools, four of which were ranked in the top 10. Going up against tough competition is nothing new for the Jumbos, nor are the challenges that arise from sailing on the Charles River.
“Sailing on the Charles River is always hard,” senior tri-captain David Liebenberg said. “It is extremely shifty, and the wind strength is always changing.”
In the A Division, senior tri-captain Will Haeger and classmate Paula Grasberger showed why they are expected to be contenders at the national championships in November. With Haeger skippering and Grasberger filling her role as crew, the duo placed second. They were in the lead after the first three races and were able to hold on at the end for second place, despite the expected race-to-race fluctuations that plagued most of the teams.
For the B Division, juniors Alejandro Ruiz-Ramon and Sam Madden struggled at the beginning after finishing 17th and 12th after the first two races. They had better luck with the rest of the boats, though, and were able to pull off a seventh place finish.
Senior tri-captain Kathleen Kwasniak and Liebenberg provided 18 solid races for the day in the C Division to lock up the top-four finish. For the experienced sailors, the early-season meet served as a chance to get back on the boats they will be sailing for most of the fall season.
“It was my first dinghy regatta of the season, and the first time I had sailed an FJ [boat] since the spring, so we were a little behind the pace on boat handling and speed,” Liebenberg said. “We learned a lot and should be ready for our next regatta.”
Over at Dartmouth, it was a different story. Competing against the top women’s teams in the country, the Jumbos were unable to build up much momentum. Junior Kate Levinson skippered the boat in the A Division with classmate Emily Linn serving at crew. They were only able to finish at the top of their division in a quarter of the races and finished in 15th place out of 16 teams.
In the B Division, freshman skipper MaryClaire Kiernan and sophomore crew Kate Wasynczuk finished in 12th place. The youngest duo to compete in either of the two big meets, the team showed promise, pulling out two first-place finishes. Despite the low finish, the regatta gave the team a necessary learning experience.
“This weekend was great in helping us identify what we were good at, and also helping us find where we could improve,” Wasynczuk said. “The competition at this event was very good and taught us a lot. Our competitors were unforgiving and every mistake cost us a lot.”
While the Jumbos were unable to pull off any victories at the major regattas, they did take home three smaller victories this weekend. At the Boston College Central Series, junior Duncan Swain and senior Julie Pringle finished in fourth place in the A Division. That was enough for the Jumbos to take home the win as seniors Willem Sandberg and Mara Porter dominated the B Division, winning six of the nine races.
At the Stuart Walker Open hosted by Middlebury, the Jumbos easily handled the small field. Senior Ben Weigel and junior Hannah Duggan won Division A, while freshman Scott Barbano and senior Sara Makaretz won Division B to give the Jumbos a sweep.
Back in Boston, the Jumbos won the BU Invite after finishing in second in both divisions. Sophomore Rolfe Glover and freshman Leah Fletcher sailed in the A division, and sophomore James Moody and senior Eliza White competed in the B division.
The next major meet for the women is this weekend as they head to Boston University for the Regis Bowl.