Sailing teams falter in snow, winds

The October snow and the accompanying weak winds in Boston proved too much for Eli sailors this weekend.

The co-ed sailing team finished ninth with 335 points at the Erwin Schell Trophy regatta held at MIT this weekend. Meanwhile, the women’s team raced through snowflakes on the Charles River to finish sixth with 268 points, coming in behind Harvard, Charleston and Brown. Members of the No. 1 women’s team and the No. 7 co-ed team said they were disappointed overall with this weekend’s performance after the swooping successes of last weekend, though the women’s team has already qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championships.

Women’s team skipper Kendra Emhiser ’07 said the Bulldogs tend to sail better in heavier breeze rather than in the shiftier and lighter breeze in Boston this weekend.

“Conditions weren’t in our favor,” Emhiser said. “We need to make sure we practice in conditions that aren’t as optimal as we like.”

For the women’s team, skipper Emily Hill ’07 and Meghan Pearl ’06 finished ninth with 144 points in the A division, winning the third and last race. In the B Division, Emhiser and Eliza Becton ’06 finished sixth behind Navy.

“The competition is really tough at the women’s events,” Emhiser said. “Each weekend is a new event and you can’t take for granted past results.”

For the co-ed team, skipper Zach Brown ’08 and Sarah Himelfarb ’06 came in sixth in the A division with 145 points, tying the Harvard boat. Things did not go as well in the B division, where Phil Stemler ’07 and crew Abby Coplin ’08 finished 12th with 190 points. These results prevented the co-ed team from qualifying for the ACC’s, thereby ending their fall season.

“We gave it our best shot,” co-ed captain Matt Barry ’07 said. “You can’t expect to win every weekend.”

In contrast to the bad weather in Boston, the freshmen sailors competed under favorable conditions in Rhode Island — but that did not make a noticeable difference for the team. The Bulldogs finished eighth at the Nickerson Trophy at the University of Rhode Island with 190 points, just missing the cut for freshmen ACC’s and coming in one point behind the Crimson.

In the A division, skipper Jane Macky ’09 and Adrian Levin ’09 finished tenth with 110 points while skipper Kate Hagemann ’09 and Grace Becton ’09 finished fifth with 80 points in the B Division.

“We had trouble at the starts and in the first leg,” Macky said. “We expected to do better. A lot of the time we would get in a good position and then miss a shift.”

Macky said she is not sure where the rest of the season, including the national regattas, will take her. Macky qualified for Single-handed Nationals, but said the adjustment to the FJs has been difficult.

Membes of the women’s sailing team — including Molly Carapiet ’06, Hannah Oakland ’07, Emily Hill ’07 and Meghan Pearl ’06 — will compete travel to the Coast Guard Academy for the ACC’s next week.

Emhiser said it is hard to predict how the women’s team will fare at next week’s competition.

“It will be difficult to judge,” Emhiser said. “It is risky to change things up. These results show that each regatta is a new challenge. We have no idea what the conditions will be like and how ACC’s will turn out.”

Boston College and Boston University qualified this weekend to go to ACC’s, joining previous qualifiers Yale, Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard.

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