After opening with a bang two weeks ago, the coed sailing team raised the bar even higher for the remainder of its fall season this past weekend.
The Elis sent a portion of their team to the Hatch Brown Trophy in Boston, where Yale captured the regatta title. The second segment of the coed squad sailed at Salve Regina and took third in the Donaghy Bowl.
“It was a confidence booster for the team and a good way to start to the fall season,” Grace Becton ’09 said of the team’s high finishes.
The Elis won the A, B and C Divisions at the Hatch Brown Regatta, edging out Boston College and MIT. The series of wins left everyone with something to be proud about, Eli captain Zach Brown ’08 said. Brown sailed with Becton in the A Division, where they topped second-place University of Vermont and third-place Tufts.
As a team, the Bulldogs overcame shifty wind conditions and flat water on the Charles River this weekend to win the regatta by a staggering 100 points. Out of the 18 races, the Elis used FJs for 12 of the races and tech-dinghies for six. C Division skipper John Kepton ’10 said that the FJs have two sails, which make them faster than the single-sailed techs. Sailors focus on different aspects of the race in each boat — in the FJs, the goal is more velocity, and in techs, sailors look for the best angle.
“When we switched into the tech, we did really well and our competition did not do that well,” B Division skipper Thomas Burrows ’10 said. “It made the difference for us in the regatta.”
In the B Division, Burrows and Abigail Coplin ’08 started out strong, then slipped behind during the middle few races of the day in Boston University’s FJs, but came back to hold on to first place in the tech-dinghies. Yale squeezed past Boston College and the U.S. Naval Academy, who came in second and third, respectively, in that division.
Kepton and crew Adriane Levin ’09 raced together in a regatta for the first time this past weekend, to great success. Levin ceded her spot in races 11 and 12 to Hilary Shapiro ’08, and despite the shakeup, the C Division managed to eke past St. Mary’s and MIT, the Elis’ closest competitors.
“We stayed more consistent and used our speed to our advantage in the techs,” Kepton said.
The weekend’s regatta is not the most competitive event of the fall season. With trips still to planned to the Coast Guard Academy, MIT, Dartmouth and Navy, among others, the Bulldogs are focusing on using these early season regattas to hone their skills. Becton said that performing well in the fall allows them to participate in more competitive regattas in the spring.
“We had really good boat-handling and great speed, but we could have worked more on execution during the start and starting tactics,” Brown said.
As their counterparts dominated the opposition at the Hatch Brown Trophy, the remainder of the team was holding its own at the Donaghy Bowl, where the Elis finished third overall by winning the B Division and taking third in the A Division.
“All four of us sailed really well,” skipper Jason Rabinovitch ’08 said. “The wind was pretty light and shifty, but we sailed pretty consistently and we are happy with the way it turned out.”
At Tufts next weekend, some members of the team will sail larks — faster boats — in similarly shifty weather conditions. Other Bulldogs will sail in New Hampshire and in Newport.