Sailing cruises to successes in R.I. and Conn.

Winds might have been too much for some collegiate sailors, but they could not overpower most of the Elis this weekend.

The No. 1 women’s sailing team dominated the Stu Nelson Trophy at Connecticut College, the top intersectional women’s event of the weekend, where they took first over Harvard and Dartmouth. At the Hoyt Trophy, the No. 7 co-ed team finished second behind overall victor Boston College but edged Dartmouth by 1 point. While the top sailors found success at Brown and Connecticut College, the Bulldogs struggled on the Charles River in Boston. At the Smith Trophy and the Oberg Trophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Elis placed 21st and 11th respectively.

On Saturday at the Hoyt, the winds were milder, and the Bulldogs raced with their lighter crews. But conditions changed Sunday. After women’s team captain and skipper Molly Carapiet ’06 and Hannah Oakland ’07 sailed two races, they came back, discussed the wind issue with the team, and decided to switch to heavier crews. Giovanni Zevi Della Porta ’07 crewed for Carapiet and Oakland switched to crew for co-ed captain Matt Barry ’07, who had been racing with Adrienne Levin ’09. It was a team decision that Yale head coach Zack Leonard supported.

“In the first two races, Hannah and I were overpowered so I switched to sail with Giovanni,” Carapiet said.

After the switch, Carapiet and Zevi Della Porta made a strong comeback to improve their standings to help Yale overall. Carapiet and her crews finished second overall with 78 points in the A Division.

“We had some problems getting good starts, but we had really good comebacks from poor starts,” Carapiet said.

In the B Division, the Barry-Levin-Oakland trio came in sixth overall with 102 points.

Carapiet said the Hoyt Trophy was not the most competitive intersectional of the fall, but that it was good practice for next weekend. The Elis still need to qualify for the Atlantic Coast Championships and next weekend they have a chance to do that.

Closer to home, the Bulldogs dominated the Stu Nelson Trophy, clinching the overall win with 133 points. Skipper Kendra Emhiser ’07 and Eliza Becton ’06 won the B Division and skipper Emily Hill ’07 and Meghan Pearl ’06 finished third in the A Division.

“It was a competitive event and it was a really big accomplishment,” Pearl said.

Shifty conditions made it difficult for all of the teams, but the Elis did well given the circumstances. The Crimson and the Big Green put up good fights — finishing with 143 and 155 points, respectively — but they could not take the win away from the Elis. The Bulldogs hope that this weekend’s solid performance can be repeated in a few weekends at the Championships, which will also be held at Connecticut College.

“It was good to get practice in that kind of weather,” Hill said. “We can perform better when it really counts.”

Pearl said she thought the Bulldogs were really consistent overall. Hill and Pearl started off the regatta well on Saturday, nabbing first and second in the first two races.

The Yalies also sent a few more sailors up to MIT to the Smith Trophy and Oberg Trophy, where they met more competition than they anticipated. Commodore Drausin Wulsin ’07 and Karen Chen ’07 sailed in the A Division for Yale at the Smith Trophy Saturday and finished 21st with 142 points. In the B Division, skipper Jason Rabinovitch ’08 and Hannah Aultman ’08 came in 17th with 131 points.

“A lot of schools sent higher up skippers than we did,” Rabinovitch said. “It was a pretty competitive fleet.”

At the Oberg Trophy yesterday, four races were sailed in FJs and four were sailed in tech dingys, a boat that many of the Bulldogs had relatively little experience in. Skipper Phil Stemler ’07 and Abby Coplin ’08 received 47 points to get third in the A Division. But in the B and C Divisions, the Elis had more trouble. Skipper Jane Macky ’09 and Hilary Shapiro ’08 came in 15th in the B Division and skipper Kate Hageman ’09 and Rabinovitch took ninth.

Shapiro said it was difficult to deal with the techs and the conditions.

“We sailed a different kind of boat that Jane had never sailed,” she said. “We did really well at some moments but it sort of didn’t add up in the right way.”

Still, Shapiro said there is potential to improve.

“Overall we were happy with what happened, especially since we won a race,” she said.

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