Sailors finish sixth in season opener

The Yale’s sailing team held rank this weekend, starting the season off strong at the Harry Anderson Regatta.

Against 23 of the most solid sailing teams in America, the No. 6 Bulldogs finished sixth overall, winning B division and finishing 13th in A division. The regatta is held at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club and kicks off the fall sailing season.

Zach Brown ’08 felt the team’s first regatta of the year had both positives and negatives.

“We definitely have room to improve, but it was a good start,” Brown said.

Captain Molly Carapiet ’06 and Brown, the two Yale skippers, had just returned from the World Championships.

“[Brown and Hannah Oakland ’07] sailed a really consistent regatta even in really challenging conditions,” Carapiet said. “Oakland was crewing in A division and did an amazing job. We had only practiced together for two days and she was able to compete at top level.”

Oakland said the regatta served as a “learning weekend.”

Although just four team members raced this weekend, most of the Elis were there to cheer on their teammates and to take out the lasers and the FJ’s to practice for the upcoming weekend.

“The regatta was run smoothly and went quite well,” commodore Drausin Wulsin ’07 said.

On the water was the perfect place to be this weekend. It was almost ideal sailing weather for the regatta on both days, sunny with clear skies and a nice breeze.

The coed sailing team finished last season ninth overall at the Dinghy Nationals. The team lost crews Jenn Hoyle ’05 and Meredith Killion ’05, and all-American skipper Stu McNay ’05. McNay has not gone far, returning as assistant sailing coach, but the rest of the departing seniors’ leadership skills will be missed.

“We lost a ton of seniors who were really important to the team. It will be really different this year without them,” Brown said. “It is different team chemistry than last year.”

After the first day of racing, Carapiet and crew Oakland were 11th in A division, having won the fourth race to make a strong comeback after a rough first frame. Brown and crew Sarah Himmelfarb ’06 finished the day third in B division, bounced back from a tough beginning to win the third frame and the last two races in their division to end the day with a total of 34 points.

“We started off slow,” Brown said. “It took a while to get boat handling back, but I definitely got back. We were better towards the end of the regatta — back to how we were last year.”

Brown and Himmelfarb won their division, dominating Harvard and Brown, who finished second and third respectively. Carapiet and Oakland finished 13th in A division.

“They just had two bad sets that put them behind,” Wulsin said. “It was the first regatta that Molly and Hannah sailed together. They just needed to figure out their technical stuff.”

Next weekend, the team will have races at Coast Guard, Dartmouth, MIT, Tufts and Massachusetts Maritime.

“It’s going to be a big weekend. We are having our first women’s regatta,” Kendra Emhiser ’07. “It will be a good test for the early season success. We’re ready for it, and I look forward to it.”

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