Most people would expect a vacation in Hawaii to be relaxing. But the three members of the No. 1 women’s sailing team out in the Pacific over Thanksgiving were busy besting their competitors, as they have done for much of the fall.
At the ICSA/Vanguard Singlehanded North American Championships, held Nov. 18-20 in Hawaii, Molly Carapiet ’06, Emily Hill ’07 and Jane Macky ’09 dominated the fleet. The trio took first, third and fifth, respectively, finishing up an impressive season for the Eli squad.
“Yale had a great showing as a team,” Carapiet said. “We did better than any other team. We were the only team with three people in one event.”
Carapiet finished just ahead of Paige Railey of South Florida, the top-ranked singlehanded collegiate sailor in the world. After Day 1, Carapiet trailed Railey by 16 points, but she was able to catch and eventually overtake the early leader with a solid second-day performance.
“The second day, the wind was lighter and I sailed pretty consistently,” Carapiet said. “Paige had a couple of bad races.”
Day 1 was determined by boat speed but windier conditions on Day 2 made the races much closer. Hill said success on the second day was determined by who could read the shifts.
“The first day was really long, with 10 races, physically and mentally,” Hill said. “The second day, six races were almost just as hard because of light and shifty conditions.”
Macky fell victim to those Day 2 conditions, sliding from a second-place tie with Carapiet after the first day to her eventual fifth-place finish. Macky said Nationals was supposed to be a three-day regatta, but the races were compressed into two days, due to fears that there would be too little wind on the final day. She said that by the second day she was exhausted and could not keep up her early momentum.
The Bulldogs had several important team events prior to Nationals that limited their laser training time. When time allowed, the trio trained with co-ed captain Matt Barry ’07.
But the three Elis already had the singlehanded experience under their belts. Carapiet went to Nationals her freshman and junior years, finishing second and third, respectively. Macky came in this year ranked second in New Zealand singlehanded racing. Hill said she had high-school singlehanded sailing experience, but has not had the chance to race lasers as much in college.
“It was nice to have a group of people to sail with,” Hill said. “We were really lucky to have the three people training. Matt Barry also helped us get ready.”
Although the Elis might have liked more laser training time, Carapiet said the event was determined by tactical skills rather than boat specifics. Going into Nationals, Carpaiet thought there were four or five girls who could have won the event, including Yale’s own Hill and Macky.
Although far from home, this was not the Elis’ first visit to Hawaii. They trained there last spring.
Hill said the singlehanded results are a great way to wrap up the fall, but the Bulldogs have no plans to ease up before the spring.
“It is great way to finish the season,” Hill said. “But it will not change our spring training.”