W. sailing captures ACCs

With a dramatic comeback, a big upset and an Ivy title conquest on display, most Yalies were focused on the playing fields this weekend. But apparently the Elis can dominate on the water as well as on land.

The No. 1 women’s sailing team cruised to the top this weekend, winning the Women’s Atlantic Coast Championships at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with 152 points. The fleet included national powers No. 2 St. Mary’s, No. 4 Charleston and No. 6 Navy. Those teams finished second, fourth and third, respectively, this weekend.

“The competition was really good this weekend. All the top teams in the country were there,” captain Molly Carapiet ’06 said. “Basically, the fleet is as tough as it will be at Nationals in the spring.”

The Elis were dominant, finishing more than 30 points ahead of the next school. St. Mary’s and Navy followed behind the Elis with 185 points and 199 points respectively.

Yale was an exception as a New England school atop the standings. Harvard was the next-highest New England finsisher in seventh.

In the B division, skipper Emily Hill ’07 and crew Meghan Pearl ’06 won by 30 points with Navy coming in second. On Sunday, Kendra Emhiser ’07 served as Hill’s heavy crew for four races because of strong wind conditions. The Hill-Pearl-Emhiser team won a remarkable seven of the nine races on Sunday.

“Emily, Meghan and Kendra did an amazing job today,” Carapiet said. “They just dominated, and it was really amazing to see.”

In the A division, skipper Carapiet and crew Hannah Oakland ’07 finished second with 98 points behind St. Mary’s (66). Carapiet said she and Oakland could have sailed better but that they hung on and did their best.

“By Sunday we had figured things out, little things, like playing the shifts, playing those and using those to our advantage as well as possible,” Oakland said.

The pair made a comeback after being disqualified in one race on Saturday. Carapiet said she and Oakland were penalized on Saturday because of contact between their boat and another. The disqualification was protested but was upheld in a hearing at the end of the day. The pair was penalized with a last-place finish for that race, and an additional point was added to its score.

Despite her minor troubles this weekend, Carapiet said she was pleased overall with the team’s fall performance.

“The women’s team had a great season this year, probably one of the best we’ve ever had,” Carapiet said. “Ranked No. 1 for pretty much the whole fall season is a great accomplishment.”

The ACCs were the final team event of the fall. Carapiet, Hill and Jane Macky ’09 will leave this Wednesday for the ICSA/Vanguard Singlehanded North American Championships in Hawaii.

“It is a really exciting end of the season for the girls going to Hawaii,” Emhiser said. “[And this weekend] is a good way to send them off with confidence.”

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