Even weather bad enough to capsize an entire fleet could not stop the women’s sailing team this weekend.
Despite extremely tricky weather, the No. 1 Bulldogs managed to cruise to the top at the Navy Fall Women’s Intersectional at Annapolis this weekend. Three divisions were contested, with rookie Jane Macky ’09 leading the way with a dominant victory in the C division. No Bulldog boat came in worse than third in its division.
Several of the Elis’ top women sailors, including captain Molly Carapiet ’06, competed with the co-ed squad this weekend at either the Mosbacher-Knapp Trophy at Dartmouth or the Hap Moore Team Race at the Coast Guard Academy. But despite a relatively dominant victory at the women’s intersectional, the Bulldogs could have fielded an even more powerful team.
Kendra Emhiser ’07 said the Elis’ ability to field boats in all three divisions and to win in two very different weather conditions solidifies the Bulldogs as a national power and demonstrates their versatility.
“We have an even stronger team than we sent,” Emhiser said. “We are one of the only teams that can field three divisions. It shows that we are one of the top women’s teams.”
When it gets windy, Carapiet said, women are normally at a disadvantage because they are smaller, but she said the Bulldogs have learned how to sail well in breezy conditions by training with the co-ed team.
“We ended up doing well as a team in the heavy wind,” Eliza Becton ’06 said. “At these events, because we have been training with co-ed, we have the advantage. We are used to sucking it up and dealing with heavy winds.”
The performance of the day came from Macky, the team’s No. 1 recruit. The freshman blew by the competition, winning five of 13 races to claim first place in the C division.
Skipper Emily Hill ’07 and crew Meghan Pearl ’06 took third in the A division with 59 points, just behind Charleston and St. Mary’s. In the B division, skipper Emhiser and crew Becton placed third behind Charleston and Georgetown.
The conditions were extremely chaotic on the first day. Poor weather caused all of the boats in the B division to capsize, a situation that required professional assistance. On day two, the weather was calmer with completely different conditions from the day before.
Becton said the regatta is a different kind of competition because the Bulldogs race against teams they do not normally race.
In the C division, Macky raced a laser radial, the female class of the normal laser singlehanded boat. This weekend’s regatta was the last big competition of the fall and good practice for Macky, who is going to the Singlehanded Nationals in November.
Macky said the team was relatively satisfied with its performance.
“The top four were pretty consistent, which made for some quite interesting races,” Macky said. “I think both of our teams had pretty good results. I think they were a little disappointed in the last races.”
Carapiet had similar views of the weekend’s action.
“It was a tough event with good competition,” Carapiet said. “Emily and Meghan do well together in windy conditions. It was one of the top women’s events of the fall. It shows the depth of the women’s team.”
The Bulldogs next hit the water on Saturday, when they host the Women’s Intersectional. Team members hope to maintain the strength they have shown in recent regattas and solidify their position as the top team in the country with a strong showing at home.