This weekend was one of both elation and disappointment for the Yale sailing teams.
Although Julie Papanek ’05 won a berth to the national women’s singlehanded championships with her fifth-place finish in the New England championships at MIT, last year’s champ and national singlehanded runner-up Molly Carapiet ’06 failed to qualify for the nationals after a superb second-place finish in Saturday’s qualifiers for the New England championships. The Yale coed team finished in the bottom half of both regattas they sailed as a team this weekend.
However, all four Yale women at the MIT regatta, including two freshmen, qualified for Sunday’s championships after surviving Saturday’s elimination round, and two freshmen Elis qualified for the Men’s New England Championships, which will be held on Oct. 25-26 at Dartmouth College.
The Yale women’s team is ranked 3rd in the country and the coed team is ranked 13th.
Emily Hill ’07, who sailed in the women’s New England Championships with Carapiet, Papanek, and Kendra Emhiser ’07, said the results at the New England championships didn’t reflect Carapiet’s true skill.
“[Carapiet] is one of the top women’s sailors right now and it didn’t really seem like fair racing conditions for everybody to test their skills,” Hill said. “We didn’t really have more than five knots of wind the whole day, and it wasn’t great sailing conditions. Kendra and I thought some of the races shouldn’t have run in such light air. The whole day was really frustrating — the conditions and everything. The worst thing is that [Carapiet] knows from Saturday that she’s one of the best sailors out there, and had there been wind it would have been a different day.”
Papanek, Carapiet, Hill, and Emhiser were all among the 24 sailors who performed well enough in the New England Singlehanded Championship qualifiers to move on to the championship races on Sunday. 34 other sailors were sent home after the first day. Papanek will travel to Eckerd College in Florida for the 2003-2004 Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s Women’s Singlehanded North American Championships on November 22-23.
Hill said that the conditions at MIT made for very difficult racing.
“It was a really close fleet, and it was really easy to go from doing well to being in the back of the pack again,” Hill said. “The races were all run in really bad conditions. Although we thought they shouldn’t have run some of them, in the end it worked out for Julie, so it was good in that way — it was just unfortunate that it was in those conditions.”
Every female Yale sailor at the New England qualifiers finished at least one race in first — a startling achievement considering the number of sailors and the small number of races that occurred.
But after the qualifiers, all the scores were wiped clean — a factor that allowed 17th-place qualifier Papanek to move on to nationals although Carapiet, who qualified 2nd, did not. Hill finished 10th in the qualifying round and Emhiser finished 21st.
Twelve races were run on Saturday, but because of the large number of sailors and the limited number of boats they were set up in a round-robin format, with each sailor sailing in six races.
Matt Barry ’07 said he was impressed with his fellow freshmen’s performances.
“For Emily and Kendra it was their first time ever sailing techs, so it was great that they both qualified,” Barry said.
On Sunday, the competition heated up, and the wind died down. Only eight races were run in the weak 0-8 knot wind and light rain. Carapiet finished seventh, just two places short of qualifying for nationals. Emhiser and Hill placed 17th and 18th, respectively.
On the men’s side, Barry sailed in the men’s singlehanded elimination regatta at Dartmouth Saturday and qualified for next month’s New England Championships, placing fifth, while Phil Stemler ’07 finished third at Connecticut College’s singlehanded elimination regatta on Sunday, also qualifying for the New England championships.
Barry said that he was happy that he did so well at Dartmouth despite his lack of experience with the venue.
“It was my first time ever sailing there, and it was an experience finding out the geography,” Barry said. “The wind was shifty and variable, but the regatta wasn’t too bad overall.”
Barry also sailed at the Hood Trophy at Tufts, where Yale took 10th in a field of 19. Barry skippered and Kate Littlefield ’04 crewed in B division on Sunday at the Hood. Stemler skippered for B division on Sunday, and Eivind Karlsen ’06 and his crew Courtney Cox ’06 sailed in A division on both days.
Barry said he was happy with his performance on Sunday.
“It went pretty well,” Barry said. “it was my first time sailing at that venue in those boats, and I had four pretty solid finishes. The wind was real light, but I was happy with how I did.”
Yale also sent four boats (two full teams) to the Southern Series 3 at Connecticut College. Benoit Bewley ’05 and crew Alison Spitzer ’07 finished 10th, Erik Hayward ’04 and Nell Larsen ’05 finished 11, Eric Steinlauf ’05 and Andrew Schram ’06 finished 13, and Dana Worth ’04 and Marisa Benoit ’05 finished 14th in the field of 18 boats. Yale’s two teams finished 6th and 7th of the 9 teams at the regatta, which does not count towards national rankings.