By Ali Jones
Yale’s No. 1 women’s sailing team and No. 6 co-ed team left their mark throughout the Northeast this weekend.
Sailors from the women’s team finished second at the Man-Labs Trophy regatta and fifth in the Captain’s Cup in Massachusetts, while members of the co-ed team came out on top in the Captain Hurst Bowl in Hanover, N.H., and finished second at the Pine Trophy Sloop in New London, Conn.. As for the freshmen on the team, they raced for the first time this year at Coast Guard on Sunday, finishing first in the competition with 33 points. The weekend was so packed with regattas contested by the Elis because of the rapid growth of the sailing team, which allows the team to field sailors in several regattas per weekend.
In the co-ed team’s victory at Dartmouth, Zach Brown ’08 skippered and Sarah Himmelfarb ’06 crewed to victory in the A division, 10 points ahead of Harvard and 12 points ahead of the Coast Guard. In the B division, team captain Molly Carapiet ’06 and crew Hannah Oakland ’07 finished second with 45 points, just three points behind St. Mary’s 42.
Carapiet and Oakland finished in the top half of the fleet in their first four races, but they were not where they wanted to be. After talking to assistant coach Stu Mcnay ’05, who suggested trimming the jib, they finished the fifth and sixth races in second place.
“We were able to isolate a problem and immediately do better,” Oakland said. “We ended going from 11th to second in our division.”
The Bulldogs had great sailing conditions on Dartmouth’s lake with sunny skies and a north by northwest wind at 5-12 knots — surprisingly good sailing conditions for the normally calm lake. Unfortunately on Sunday, there was no wind so the teams could not race at all.
“The wind is lighter and shifty and changes velocity a lot,” Oakland said about Dartmouth’s unpredictable conditions.
Five Bulldogs were sent to the co-ed Pine Trophy Sloop Intersectional at the Coast Guard Academy. They sailed in Colgate 26s, which Yale does not have at its boathouse. Co-ed captain Matt Barry ’07, Phil Stemler ’07, Hilary Shapiro ’08, Eivind Karlsen ’06, and Jane Macky ’09 were the Bulldogs who sailed the sloop. According to Oakland, Yale’s participation in this regatta demonstrated their depth and knowledge of sailing.
“Considering our sloop team was brand-new and had never practiced together, finishing second out of ten teams was really great,” Shapiro wrote in an e-mail.
As for the women’s team, at the Man-Labs Trophy regatta at MIT, the A and B teams combined to finish second with 64 points, nine points behind MIT and one point ahead of Harvard. Kendra Emhiser ’07 and Eliza Becton ’06 won the B division in eight races and Emily Hill ’07 and Meghan Pearl ’06 finished fourth in the A division, 12 points behind Harvard.
Macky and Shapiro said the team is optimistic about the rest of the season as it continues to work hard and improve its boat handling skills. Head coach Zack Leonard was impressed with the performance of his team as well.
“Everyone was into it and working really hard,” Leonard wrote in an e-mail. “When we are improving in practice, I usually think that we’ll look at decent results at the end of the weekend. A lot of different people had great results this weekend.”
Next weekend the sailing team will be all over the Northeast again. The women’s team will be in Hanover for the Mrs. Hurst Bowl, while the co-ed team takes part in the New England Sloop Championships in New London, Conn., Hatch Brown Trophy in Cambridge, Mass., and the Southern Series II in Bristol, R.I.
“The challenge is going to be next weekend, at the New England Sloop Championships, because this regatta is going to pull in the best sloop teams in our division,” Shapiro said. “This means that although we did well this weekend, we are going to have to work hard again next weekend to perform as well.”
By Ali Jones