Eli sailors finish second at Owen Trophy Regatta

Battling high winds and strong competition, the sailing team navigated to second, ninth and 14th place finishes in three regattas over the break.

The Bulldogs recorded their best finish of the break when the coed team placed second out of 16 in the Owen Trophy Regatta at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy March 23-24. St. Mary’s College took first place with a score of 183, 11 points ahead of the Elis’ 194.

“The regatta went surprisingly well,” Isabelle Kinsolving ’02 said. “It was a good finish since we were in sixth after day one.”

Regattas are broken into A and B divisions. Each boat races all of the other teams in its division, weather permitting. Points are awarded according to the place the boats finish in each of their races with the winning team having the fewest number of points.

Yale’s second place finish required a strong second day of racing.

Sailing in winds of 5 to 15 knots Sunday and stronger winds of 15 to 25 knots Saturday, the Elis were led by a fourth place finish in the A division from captain and A skipper Stuart McNay ’04, Blanka Solta ’02 and George Malcolmson ’03. The Bulldogs’ score of 107 was 16 points behind Hobart/William Smith College’s 91.

In the B division, the Eli schooners recorded a third place finish. B skipper Isabelle Kinsolving, Arthur Kinsolving ’03 and Solta sailed to a score of 87, 11 points behind a victorious Brown Bears trio.

While the coed team competed in New London, the women’s team sailed in the Presidents Trophy at Boston University the same weekend. The Eli women took ninth in a field of 12 teams. The placing did not tell the whole story, though, because of rearrangements in the Yale boats.

The B team of Grace McGeoch ’04 and Marie Bewley ’04 sailed in the A division race, finishing 10th. Jenn Hoyle ’05, who usually crews for Julie Papanek ’05, was skipper of the B division race with Elizabeth Carson ’03 crewing. The duo quickly adjusted to their new pairing, coming in ninth.

March 9-10, the women’s squad traveled to the 2002 Navy Spring Intersectional at the U.S. Naval Academy. The Bulldogs struggled to a 14th place out of 17. Old Dominion University won the regatta 172 points ahead of the Bulldogs’ score of 241.

In the A division, the Bulldog schooner with Hoyle and skipper Papanek took 11th place. In the B division Bewley and skipper McGeoch finished 15th.

“It was a really good learning experience,” Bewley said. “The winds were much stronger than we are used to sailing in.”

Also over the break, Isabelle Kinsolving competed in her first international regatta at the Barcelona Olympic Race Week March 18-19 to kick off training for an Olympic bid. Her boat finished 17th out of 20.

“Despite the low finish, we accomplished a lot of what we wanted to do,” Isabelle Kinsolving said. “There was really nothing at stake and it was part of the learning process.”

The Bulldogs’ coed squad will look to build upon their strong finish at Coast Guard when they travel to the 4-division Boston Dinghy Club Cup hosted at MIT and Harvard March 30-31. On the same dates, the women’s squad will compete in the Joseph Duplin Trophy at Tufts.

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