Sailing | Weekend regattas yield mixed results
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 09:10
Over the weekend, Tufts sailing once again spread out across the East Coast to compete in eight regattas. With the Jumbos’ top sailors split up among the various regattas, the team did not quite meet its expectations. The co-ed team placed seventh out of 20 teams at the Navy Fall Invitational in Annapolis and 12th out of 18 teams at the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth, while the women’s team took 17th out of 18 teams at the Yale Women’s Intersectional. The team’s best outcome of the weekend came at MIT on Saturday at the Firefly/FJ Invitational where Tufts placed first out of 17 teams.
In Annapolis, Tufts’ A division team was comprised of senior tri-captain Will Haeger skippering and classmate Paula Grasberger crewing. The pair took fifth place. In the B division, junior Alec Ruiz-Ramon skippered and classmate Sam Madden and senior tri-captain Kathleen Kwasniak alternated at crew, leading to a seventh-place finish. Sailing alone, freshman Alp Rodopman placed fourth in the C division. Sophomore Amanda Sommi and freshman Sandy Beatty alternated sailing alone to round out the team at the Navy Fall Invitational, placing eighth in the D division.
Though a decent finish, the results were disappointing for the team. According to Haeger and Grasberger, who have been the top boat for Tufts this fall in the two-person dinghies, the goal was to finish among the top three boats in their division and, as a team, finish in the top five overall. As Saturday came to an end, the team was poised for a top-three finish, but stumbled on Sunday to end in seventh place.
“[Our] goal as a boat was to get back into form for dinghies, after having spent some time away practicing sloops,” Haeger said. “As a team, we had hoped to get top five and improve our performance ranking.”
The regatta came just one week after disappointment at the New England Sloop Championship, where Haeger and Grasberger, along with fellow seniors David Liebenberg and Solomon Krevans, finished in fifth place. They barely missed out on qualifying for the Sloop National Championship later this fall, which makes them unable to defend the title they won last year.
The team did see admirable performances from its freshmen, including an impressive fourth place finish from Rodopman sailing in the single-handed division. Though pleased with his performance, Rodopman noted that his first experience sailing at this level was challenging.
At the Captain Hurst Bowl, juniors Dan Nickerson at skipper and Jamie Maffeo as crew sailed in the A division, while senior tri-captain David Liebenberg skippering and freshman Caroline Ambros crewing sailed in the B division. Nickerson and Maffeo finished 14th in their division, while Liebenberg and Ambros ended up 10th in theirs.
With Tufts sending its most successful dinghy pair of Haeger and Grasberger to Annapolis, the team did not find as much success at Dartmouth. Poor conditions on Saturday that included a lack of wind in the morning and a wind that refused to settle in the afternoon hampered the Jumbos.
At Yale, though, the women’s team found considerably less success than their co-ed teammates. Juniors Katie Levinson, who skippered, and Emily Lynn, who crewed, raced in the A division while freshman MaryClaire Kiernan skippered and sophomore Kate Wasynczuk crewed for the B division.
Also affected by bad wind conditions, the team got off to a poor start Saturday and was unable to make it up, resulting in their unfortunate 17th place finish.
“The regatta at Yale last weekend was one of the most competitive regattas I’ve ever sailed in, because you’re competing against the top female collegiate sailors on the east coast,” Levinson said. “Having said that, I think I personally could have done better.”
In a highlight of the weekend, Tufts won the Firefly/FJ Invitational, taking the top spot out of a field of 17 teams. Representing Tufts at the event, which took place just downriver from the Head of the Charles rowing regatta, were senior Cameron Barclift and junior Erin Bondy in the A division, and sophomore Colin Meade and freshman Alex Tong in the B division.