McNay, Carapiet race in Miami



It is sometimes said that in America, baseball season never ends. For some Yale sailors, the same is true for their own sport.

Although their last regatta of the fall season was on Nov. 16 of last year and the first contest of the spring is almost four months later, some Bulldogs — especially Molly Carapiet ’06 and Stu McNay ’05 — were quite busy over the break.

Both McNay and Carapiet participated in the 2004 Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta over the break in the season, sailing 470-class boats. The regatta featured all 11 Olympic-class boat types and was held Jan. 26-30 in and around Miami, Fla.

McNay, who is taking a year off to pursue an Olympic campaign with Arthur Kinsolving ’03, placed second overall in the ultra-competitive regatta, finishing just two points behind the top team.

After finishing first or second in each of the first six races, McNay and Kinsolving got two fifths and a fourth in the last three, losing the regatta by two points.

McNay said trouble closing out the regatta lost it for his team.

“We were pretty disappointed not to win when we saw we were in pretty good form going into the regatta,” McNay said. “We sailed well at the beginning of the regatta and lost the mentality that we needed to win at the end.”

McNay added that the loss was especially disappointing because he and Kinsolving had attended a training camp with the U.S. Olympic sailing team (which includes Kinsolving’s older sister, Isabelle Kinsolving ’01) and had felt really prepared for the event.

For the rest of the spring, McNay and Kinsolving will be traveling to Spain and France, helping Isabelle Kinsolving and her skipper, Katie McDowell, train for this summer’s Olympics and participating in a few events of their own.

While McNay and Kinsolving would not have gained a spot on the Olympic team by winning in Miami, McNay said he was still hurt by the second-place finish.

“To win would have been nothing more than a representation of what we achieved,” McNay said. “It’s disappointing not to get a tangible result to reward ourselves for all this training. We know that we were good enough to have won; it was within ourselves, but we didn’t perform at the end.”

McNay and Kinsolving also sailed in the Olympic trials for the 49er class of boats, which McNay had never skippered before this year.

“We don’t have any illusion that we would qualify,” McNay said before the race. “It’ll be fun. We’ll work at it as a little bit of a breadth building experience.”

The pair finished last in the 11-boat 49er regatta, which was held February 12-22 at the Key Biscayne Yacht Club in Florida.

While McNay was sailing in the men’s 470s, Carapiet was seeing success of her own in the women’s division — especially considering the men’s and women’s races were held together.

Carapiet finished second in the women’s fleet, first among the American women, and fourth overall in the 470 class at Miami.

Although Carapiet is still a sophomore, her crew, Whitney Besse, is a 2003 Brown graduate and a former All-American.

McNay said he was hugely impressed by Carapiet’s performance.

“Molly [Carapiet] showed great promise in the event,” McNay said. “She really put herself in a position to be a contender for the 2008 Olympics.”

Emily Hill ’07, who is one of Yale’s top freshman skippers, said she thought sailing at Miami was a good decision for Carapiet.

“I think Molly [Carapiet] did awesome,” Hill said. “She’s sailing with Whitney [Besse] now, and they did the Olympic trials in November and doing the OCR was a great way you follow that up.”

McNay praised the effort Carapiet put into pursuing her sailing career, even though participating in the regatta required missing many days of school.

“Though its clearly difficult for her to take such a long time off from school; it showed her organization and her discipline that she was able to manage it,” McNay said. “That organization and discipline is exactly what it will take for them to win the berth in 2008.”

Julie Papanek ’05 said both McNay and Carapiet have a shot at the 2008 Olympics.

“The next [2008] Olympics are a long way away, but the fact that they’ve done so well thus far is telling,” Papanek said. “If they want to make the commitment to put four years worth of sailing and training in, I think they have as good of a chance as anyone.”

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