Sailing struggles after slow week

Practice makes perfect, but the No. 7 coed sailing team has not practiced much recently — lack of wind at the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford for most of last week kept the Elis out of their boats and off the water.

It showed this weekend at the Boston Dinghy Cup, a huge four-division regatta co-hosted by Harvard University, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Facing unfamiliar conditions and tougher-than-normal competition on the Charles, a Bulldogs squad sailing without some of its top skippers finished 13th of 18 teams.

The Elis’ best result at the Dinghy Cup came in B division, where women’s captain Emily Hill ’07 and crews Meghan Pearl ’06 and Caleb Dorfman ’09 finished seventh. Coed captain Matt Barry ’07 with crews Adriane Levin ’09 and Pearl came in 11th in A division, while Eivind Karlsen ’06 and crews Hannah Oakland ’07 and Courtney Cox ’06 finished 10th in C division. Kendra Emhiser ’07 and crews Eliza Becton ’06 and Jason Rabinovitch ’08 finished 12th in D division.

Emhiser said the team took some good things from the regatta, even without the presence of All-Americans like Molly Carapiet ’06 and Zach Brown ’08.

“Our top three boats weren’t sailing so it obviously was going to be more difficult than most weekends,” she said. “In each division we all had moments of glory, some really good races, but because of the conditions and the lack of experience at the level we were sailing, I would say we were all inconsistent.”

But Barry said the disappointing finish had more to do with the Charles’ bizarre conditions than any inexperience on the part of the sailors.

“It was good that people were able to sail against tougher competition but it didn’t go as well as it could have,” Barry said. “The Charles river is a very shifty place to sail and it’s pretty unique in that sense. Our venue is not quite the same, so I think we had some trouble adjusting.”

The real bright spot for the Elis came at the Joe Duplin Trophy at Tufts, where two freshman skippers led the No. 3 women’s team to a second-place finish in the 12-team field. Only the Jumbos, whose unique lake venue and unique Lark-class boats gave a huge home-water advantage, finished ahead of the Bulldogs.

Jane Macky ’09 and Hilary Shapiro ’08 finished 5th in A division, while Kate Hagemann ’09 and crew Grace Becton ’09 dominated B division, finishing first with crewing help from Carapiet on a few races.

Macky, who grew up sailing singlehanded boats and finished fifth in the North American singlehanded championships this November, said she is glad that she is finally getting the hang of the doublehanded system.

“I found it really hard making the transition to the doublehanded boat,” she said. “But we had some really good spring break training and now everything is starting to click a lot more. We were really happy with how we did.”

Emhiser, who finished a disappointing 11th in A division at last year’s Duplin, said she is happy to see how well the freshmen are progressing.

“It was definitely really encouraging to see the results and I hope that they’re pleased, too,” she said. “We’ve always known we have a strong freshman class, but this regatta showed that they’re ready to take any role on the team and continue the tradition of the Yale women’s team succeeding.”

Macky, for one, is raring to go. She will be back in the Boston area next weekend for the President’s Trophy Women’s regatta at Boston University.

“I’m really looking forward to [the President’s Trophy], where hopefully we’ll keep improving on where we were last weekend,” she said.

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