The word “coed” generally implies equality between men and women, but in sailing, coed is often a code-word for men’s.
Not so at Yale. Last week, most sailing programs sent their best coed — or male — skippers to the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth, one of the first major coed regattas of the season. Of the 48 skippers in this coed regatta, only three were women, including Yale’s Molly Carapiet ’06 and Julie Papanek ’05.
This weekend, Carapiet will be one of two Eli skippers returning to Dartmouth for the women’s sailing Mrs. Hurst Bowl. If Tufts’ female “A” Division skipper A.J. Crane goes elsewhere Saturday, Carapiet will be the only skipper to sail in both the Captain Hurst Bowl and the Mrs. Hurst Bowl.
Placing fifth in “B” Division Sept. 13 to Sept. 14 in the Captain Hurst, Carapiet said last weekend’s experience may give her an advantage at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl.
“Every day you go sailing is different,” Carapiet said. “But sailing in [Dartmouth’s] boats and in similar conditions [to last weekend] can be helpful, and any time you race against people at a high level you learn something.”
Yale finished 10th in the regatta overall, and Papanek finished 17 of 24 in “B” Division.
Also traveling to the Mrs. Hurst Bowl with Carapiet will be her crew Jenn Hoyle ’05, rookie skipper Emily Hill ’07 and Hill’s crew Meridith Killion ’05.
“At practice this week, we’ve had varied conditions,” Carapiet said. “That will prepare us for whatever conditions we get this weekend.”
Also this weekend, Phil Stemler ’07 and his crew Kate Littlefield ’04, Eivind Karlsen ’06 and his crew Courtney Cox ’06, and laser boat sailor Matt Barry ’07 will travel to the Nevins Trophy at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in King’s Point, N.Y., which features two divisions of two-person 420 boats and one division of the faster, one-person laser boats.
The coed sailing Casco Bay Open at Bowdoin College in Maine will greet Kendra Emhiser ’07 and her crew Natalie Kitchen ’05 as well as Mike Renda ’04 and his crew Sarah Himmelfarb ’06.
Yale also will host a coed regatta this weekend: the Yale Invitational at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford, Conn. on Sunday. Dana Worth ’04, her crew Marisa Benoit ’05, Eric Hayward ’04 and his crew Nell Larson ’05 will defend the home waters.
Worth, the YCYC commodore, said he is confident the Yale Invitational will run smoothly and the younger skippers traveling to varsity events would perform.
“Once again, we are sending young skippers to the varsity and women’s regattas,” Worth said. “Running the regatta at Yale shouldn’t be disrupted at all, as we only had to make minor accommodations.”
Of course, not only are the Yale skippers in the varsity events young, but half of them are women.
One reason female skippers are scarce in coed events is that collegiate sailing offers women-only competitions. Within the Yale sailing program, which practices and socializes as one entity, are two smaller teams: a women’s team (ranked No. 2 in the nation) and a coed team (ranked No. 17 in the nation). Most colleges send women to female regattas and male skippers and crew to coed regattas. Although women usually crew for male skippers in coed regattas, partly because of the weight factor, men rarely crew for the rare female skippers, who are usually used to female crews from women’s sailing competitions.
But at Yale, where 25 of the 40 sailors and 20 of the 30 upperclassmen in the sailing program are female, the women must shoulder a bigger part of the sailing load. And with the graduation of Arthur Kinsolving ’03 and Brandon Wall ’03, and All-Star Stu McNay ’04 abdicating New Haven for an Olympic Games campaign, even more burden rests on female skippers such as Papanek and Carapiet.
But Carapiet, last year’s New England single-handed women’s champion, said that sailing with mostly men does not seem odd to her.
“I grew up sailing against all guys,” Carapiet said. “However, the level of competition in the coed regattas is much higher than the level of competition in the women’s regattas. There are more guys that sail, so the pool of them is larger. Also, the guys are sometimes a lot stronger, so with high wind that can make a difference. But Julie [Papanek], A.J. [Crane] and I are all pretty strong girls.”
Four days after the conclusion of the Great Herring Pond Open last weekend, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy has yet to release full regatta results because of computer-related difficulties, according to the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association. Yale placed third in the regatta, behind No. 1 Dartmouth and No. 2 Tufts.